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QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

In this issue:

EDITION NO. 66

MARCH 2018

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

- EMBRACE - Entrepreneurship Models that Build Creative Relations and Economy

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- C.A.U.S.E. project Sub-granting scheme winner announced - Financially viable civil society = Active civil society

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- Meetings of actors in the field of social entrepreneurship and philanthropy

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- Monitoring of philanthropic activity in Albania - NPO Academy 2017-2018 - Enabling Environment – Sustainable CSOs - CONCORD HUB3 Spring Meeting in Brussels

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- Partnerships of NPO and self-government: Together for more effective participation - Capacity building for NPOs

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- Stronger CSOs for Transparency in Health - Empowering the Next Generation of Social Enterprise Scholars

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- News from LevizAlbania project

EMBRACE - Entrepreneurship Models that Build Creative Relations and Economy Partners Albania works to encourage the development of social enterprises in Albania, as a driving force in the country’s socioeconomic development. During February, PA presented the innovative project “EMBRACE - Entrepreneurship Models Building Creative Relationships and Economy”, which builds on PA latest initiative - the NPO assistance to develop new business models contributing to their financial sustainability and thus better serving the needs of their beneficiaries. Along with the promotion of a constructive dialogue and advocating for an enabling financial and legal environment for SEs, PA started the implementation of a training and assistance program for NPOs to initiate and / or strengthen social business initiatives, including raising awareness on social entrepreneurship and sharing of best models and success stories. Relationship and partnership building with the business sector, and the support of specific social entrepreneurship related NPO initiatives addressing social challenges and fostering inclusive growth, will be another important component of this program.

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- Education of Young Jobseekers in the Banking Sector, 20172018 page 11 - Making the labour market work for young people in Albania

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- The Albanian Crowd, online platform of Albanian NPOs

The “EMBRACE - Entrepreneurship Model Building Creative and Creative Economy” project is implemented by Partners Albania for Change and Development in partnership with Project Ahead (Italy), and is funded by the European Union through the Delegation of the European Union to Albania.

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C.A.U.S.E. – Confiscated Assets Used for Social Experimentations Sub-granting scheme winner announced

In January, Partners Albania announced the project “KeBuono! Social Pastry: legality, inclusion, and awareness as ingredients for a better community”, winner of the first open Call for Proposals under the sub-granting scheme of the project C.A.U.S.E. – Confiscated Assets Used for Social Experimentations. Through a usufruct contract between the implementing organizations Enti Kombëtar i Jozefinëve të MurialdosENGIM and Qendra Sociale Murialdo, and the Agency for the Administration of Sequestered and Confiscated Assets, “KeBuono!” will create a sustainable model of social enterprise in a confiscated asset from the organized crime, for a period of at least 5 years.

During the signing of the project agreement between Partners Albania, ENGIM, Murialdo Social Center, and the Agency for Administration of Sequestrated and Confiscated Assets, January 2018

The project “C.A.U.S.E. – Confiscated Assets Used for Social Experimentations ” is funded by the European Union through the Delegation of the European Union in Albania.

Financially viable civil society = Active civil society Following the second call for applications for civil society organizations interested in participating in the program Financially viable civil society = Active civil society, Partners Albania started in January the training and assistance program for the second group of selected NPOs. Know your organization, your market and your added value were the modules introduced during January - February 2018.

Partners Albania continues the technical assistance and mentoring work to identify the products and services that NPOs can provide, thus creating alternative sources of income for a greater impact on the communities where they operate.

This initiative is implemented by Partners Albania in framework of Civil Society Watchdog and Advocacy Program supported by the Public Affairs Office of the United States Embassy in Tirana.

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In the same period, PA launched a Second Call for Proposals under the sub-granting scheme of CAUSE, which remained open for over five weeks. PA organized a series of information sessions for interested organizations, to assist them in preparing qualitative and competitive projects. The winners of the Second Call will be announced in April.


Meeting of actors in the field of social entrepreneurship in Albania Following its work to promote and support the development of social entrepreneurship in Albania, Partners Albania organized on February 22nd an informal meeting of social entrepreneurs supported through the Green Ideas competition throughout the years, and other actors working for the development of social entrepreneurship in Albania. Enterprises supported by PA, made a short presentation, focusing not only on the achievements in developing competitive products and increasing employment opportunities, but also in the challenges faced during their journey.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

This informal event also served to present some of PA’s latest and upcoming initiatives in this field. The meeting took place at the premises of Telekom Store. Telekom is one of the supporters of the Green Idea Competition since the beginning of this initiative.

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International experts’ meeting on fundraising legal framework January 2018, Brussels Following the PA work in support of the development of philanthropic activity, Juliana Hoxha, PA Director, participated in the meeting of the experts group from 15 countries Regulating fundraising: Which way forward?, organized by The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law | ECNL, in January 2018 in Brussels. The meeting discussed pressing issues and the importance of civil society organizations’ (CSOs) right to access resources. ECNL presented in the meeting its latest study comparing the legal framework on fundraising in 16 European countries.

Meeting of Philanthropy for Green Ideas partner organizations from the Balkans Partners Albania hosted in February the two-day retreat of partner organizations of the Philanthropy for Green Ideas from around the Balkans. Philanthropy for Green Ideas is an annual competition that supports the development of local and sustainable small business ideas in the Balkans. Each year, this competition organized by Balkan Green Foundation, welcomes the winning ideas of national competitions that take place in Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and recently in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Nga e majta lart: Biljana Dakić-Đorđević – Fondacioni Trag Serbi, Karen Karnicki - Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Juliana Hoxha – Partnerët Shqipëri, Anica Maja Boljević - FACT Mali i Zi, Rinora Gojani - Balkan Green Foundation Nga e majta poshtë: Irina Janevska - ARNO Maqedoni, Dajana Berisha - FIQ Kosovë, Visar Azemi - Balkan Green Foundation

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Click here to read the ECNL study comparing the legal framework on fundraising.


Monitoring of philanthropic activity in Albania Findings for January - March 2018 During January-March 2018, the daily monitoring of philanthropic activity recorded 33 donations, totaling 2,500,000 ALL. The following graphs present some key data for this period, while more detailed monthly reports on philanthropic activity are available on our website.

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Beneficiaries

Fields of donation

Geographical distribution of beneficiaries and donors

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NPO Academy 2017-2018

Partners Albania successfully completed the NPO Academy program for the fifth group of participants, representatives of NPOs from all over Albania. Since 2015, through this program, over 75 NPO leaders have gained knowledge and skills development, cooperation, networking and partnerships opportunities with similar organizations within the country and abroad. PA will publish in April a report which will highlight the concrete impact the NPO Academy has had on increasing the quality of the work of its participants. During September ‘17- March ‘18, PA organized the cycle of 13 lessons for the 15 participants of this season as well as a study visit to Slovakia from 26 February to 3 March. Sharing experiences and best practices on a series of issues related to the development and sustainability of the sector, involvement in policy-making processes at local and central level, and discussion on partnership opportunities were the focus areas during meetings with the Slovak organizations.

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Intensive training in Advocacy and Lobbying, January 2018

During the study visit in Slovakia, March 2018

At the closing conference to be held in April, participants of the NPO Academy through the years will share with the other guests some of the benefits, personal and professional achievements and plans for the future. During this event will also be held the graduation ceremony of NPO Academy 2017-2018 participants. NPO Academy was implemented by Partners Albania in cooperation with Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia (PDCS) in framework of the project “Pillars of civil society: More effective cooperation between civil and state sector in Albania”, financially supported by Slovak Aid - Official Development Assistance of the Slovak Republic.

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Enabling Environment – Sustainable CSOs Following its work on creating an enabling environment for civil society organizations, Partners Albania is currently implementing an initiative aiming to contribute to improving the legal framework and fiscal treatment of CSOs. PA is preparing a report that will provide a full overview of the legal framework and its implementation in practice, as well as concrete recommendations for the fiscal treatment of CSOs. During January-March, PA conducted a comprehensive review of the legal framework in Albania regarding the fiscal treatment of non-profit organizations. A wide range of other sources were consulted, including: data and reports published or received by state institutions, various reports produced by Albanian and international organizations as well as international resources to compare country-based fiscal treatment with international and regional best practices. Partners Albania organized several regional consultations with representatives of non-profit organizations in Tirana, Vlora, and Kukësi to discuss their experience and get their feedback on issues related to the sector’s fiscal treatment.

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This initiative is supported by IBON International through the CSO Partnership for Development Efficiency (CPDE) within the ” Advocacy on CSO Enabling Environment ” program.

CONCORD HUB3 Spring Meeting in Brussels, 13-15 march Within the CONCORD HUB3 Spring Meeting in Brussels, held on 13-15 march, Klotilda Kosta, PA Director of Programs participated and contributed to the event of March 13, focusing on Promoting Civil Society Space. This event, jointly organized by CONCORD Europe, BCSDN and Fond Romania/ Black Sea NGO Forum, was an effort of European civil society development organizations to build a platform for discussions, exchanges and solutions of shared problems around the issues of enabling environment for CSOs, shrinking space by illiberal democracy, CSO accountability, the engagement of civil society in EU policy, civic participation and community engagement. The event gathered more than 100 participants, representatives of organizations from EU and the Western Balkans, platforms and networks, and representatives of the European Commission and the donor community. The second day of the HUB3 Meeting was devoted to the CSO partnership for development effectiveness (CPDE), for familiarizing the participants with the work of CPDE, how European CSOs can be more involved, and how they can contribute towards greater development effectiveness. Partners Albania is CPDE Focal Point in Albania for the monitoring of indicator two of the GPEDC framework: Civil society operates within an environment which maximises its engagement in and contribution to development.

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Partnerships of NPO and self-government: Together for more effective participation In January 2018, Partners Albania started the implementation of the project Partnerships of non-governmental organizations and self-government: Together for more effective participation, in continuation of several previous initiatives with regard to fostering and improvement of the CSOs - Government partnership and cooperation. Through this project, PA will help strengthen Albanian civil society organizations and local government representatives, on the use of several mechanisms that will contribute in influencing effective local policies and decision-making. The program consists of a series of trainings, individual coaching for NPO leaders, and international transfer of experience. During January – March, Partners Albania organized five two-day training programs on Participatory Governance and Advocacy & Lobbying, with the participation of 75 NPO representatives. The trainings focused on participatory tools and mechanisms, discussed monitoring and advocacy initiatives to enhance participation of CSOs, transparency and accountability of local government, and partnership among sectors.

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This program is financially supported by Slovak Aid – Official Development Assistance of the Slovak Republic.

Capacity building for NPOs Partners Albania is working with nine organizations from across the country, beneficiaries of the Grant Program of the US Embassy’s Democracy Commission. The program is specially designed to enhance the effectiveness and quality of the projects implemented by these organizations. Project Evaluation and Monitoring and Financial Management were the first topics of a series of training and technical assistance to be provided throughout 2018.

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Stronger CSOs for Transparency in Health Partners Albania starts this year a new initiative called Stronger CSOs for Transparency in Health. PA will strengthen organizations working in the health sector to increase their role and active participation in enhancing transparency and reducing corruption practices in the health system. Furthermore, the project will strengthen CSOs to increase their role watchdog role contributing to effective implementation of the legal framework and practices that foster greater transparency and accountability of health state institutions.

“Stronger CSOs for Transparency in Health” initiative is financially supported by the Transparency in Health Engagement Activity project that is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Empowering the Next Generation of Social Enterprise Scholars Klotilda Kosta, PA Director of Programs participated in the event organized in Lisbon on February 28 – March 1, in framework of EMPOWER-SE - Empowering the Next Generation of Social Enterprise Scholars project. In the workshop entitled “Foundations of social enterprise”, Klotilda talked about the challenges and the development of social enterprises in Albania. As one of the participating organizations, Klotilda represented Partners Albania in the Management Committee Meeting of the EMPOWER-SE Project, together with experts from 33 countries.

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On February 21st, PA organized the first roundtable in framework of this initiative, which served for recognizing the role and creating cooperation bridges among 20 NPOs from all over the country, and independent oversight institutions such as the Ombudsman, the Supreme State Audit, HIDAACI and the Commissioner for the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data.


www.levizalbania.al

LevizAlbania is a project that aims to strengthen the local democracy in Albania through the engagement of civil society actors and individuals as the champions of democracy. It is implemented by a consortium of three organizations: Open Society Foundation for Albania, Partners Albania and CoPlan, and financially supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Albania.

Strengthening civil society organizations for effective inclusiveness and participation in policy and decision making

From the regional trainings on “Participatory Governance” organized in Berat, Kukës and Tirana, with the participation of about 50 representatives of CSOs and individuals from these regions.

Partners Albania organized three networking sessions with LevizAlbania grantees to assist them in the successful implementation of their initiatives through sharing and discussing experiences, offering successful models and recommendations provided by PA experts. Local Democracy Camps is the PA latest initiative within LevizAlbania project, aiming to increase skills and activism of young people, to contribute to the improvement of local democracy in their home cities. The first camps, with the participation of 40 youngsters, were organized in Korça and Shkodra. During this program, participants were introduced to the participatory governance principles and techniques, and discussed on priority issues around which to build concrete action plans at the local level, and to apply with these ideas to the future calls of LevizAlbania.

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In support of LevizAlbania, in order to address the needs of beneficiaries and interested applicants, PA is offering a wide assistance program online and onsite, supporting networking in territories larger than those in which CSOs operate, and their expertise to successfully advocate in the local decision-making.

Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI) from Macedonia joined virtually the Camp in Shkodra, sharing with the participants the experience of their involvement in the monitoring of decentralization process in Macedonia, in particular the participation of ethnic minorities in the political and economic spheres. In addition, the young participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the experiences of LevizAlbania grantees, and were informed on the priorities of the Call for Applications No.5 (now closed).

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Education of Young Jobseekers in the Banking Sector, 2017-2018 Partners Albania in cooperation with experts from Alpha Bank Albania, Banka Kombëtare Tregtare, CREDINS Bank, Societe Generale Albania and Tirana Bank, conducted during December 2017 - February 2018 the Education of young jobseekers in the banking sector program for the second group of 15 students of economic sciences, aiming to contribute to improving employment opportunities among young people in Albania who are pursuing a professional career in the banking sector. The program provided educational and development opportunities through the most modern methods of learning and multidimensional expertise of engaged lecturers, as well as opportunities for interactive exchange and exposure in the banking sector.

Bank as an institution – organizational structure, functions, banking products and services was the second lecture led by Ms. Manjola Angoni, Director of the Human Resources Department at Alpha Bank Albania.

Preparing for a job interview and the recruitment process was the lecture led by Mrs. Lutjana Konomi, Manager of the Public Relations and Marketing Department at Tirana Bank.

Recruitment challenges and career in the banking sector was the third lecture led by Ms. Edlira Zambaku Memushaj, Director of the Human Resources Department and Mrs. Armela Hasa, Training Specialist at BKT.

Work skills was the last lecture held by Ms. Irida Vejsiu, Director of the Human Resources Department and Mr. Skerdi Buhuri, Director of the Training and Development Sector at Societe Generale Albania. The students were greeted by Mr. Frederic Blanc, SGAL’s CEO who among others discussed with them on the importance of human resources and the role of technology in the banking system.

The program will continue with other groups of students during the academic year 2018.

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From the opening ceremony of the program. Participants were greeted by Mr. Ardian Angoni, Manager of the Human Resources Department at Credins Bank and Mrs. Lutjana Konomi, Manager of the Public Relations and Marketing Department. The first lecture focused on the Banking System in Albania and its development trends, led by Ms. Joarda Mema, Head of Segment and Product Development Unit at Credins Bank.


Making the labour market work for young people in Albania RisiAlbania is a development project aimed at increasing the employment opportunities of young people. It is a SDC project, implemented by a consortium of partners comprised of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Partners Albania. Some of the project’s activities for this period were:

RisiAlbania media intervention – an inspiring model for Kosovo “An audience we have not targeted until now, but I believe that after this visit in Albania we can better address and after seeing its impact on youth, is radio audience” - says Dren Selimi, project intervention manager at Enhancing Youth Employment- EYE Project in Kosovo after visiting CLUB FM RADIO 100.4 MHz studios and learned about its successful and high impact programme “Working Hour”. During his 2-day exchange visit in Albania (19-20 February 2018) he learned about the media programs, partners and some of the beneficiaries RisiAlbania has supported through dissemination of information on the labour market and career guidance. Developing new touristic products in South of Albania Tour operators, local government representatives, academia and tourism experts gathered on March 15, 2018 to discuss on developing and implementing new touristic products or packages related to eco-tourism, adventure, cultural, historical and culinary experiences, in the Qarku of Gjirokastra and the South Region of Albania. Risi launched a new call for proposals to develop value-added tourism ideas in this area aiming at addressing issues related to seasonality and promoting job creation.

Risi Albania - 5th anniversary in making a change on Albanian labour market! Agreement of Phase II signed RisiAlbania celebrated its 5th anniversary on March! Risi succeeded during last years to create through affiliated businesses 950 new fulltime jobs in the sectors of Tourism, Agribusiness and ICT, enabled job- intermediation services placing 5’400 young people and supported private training providers increasing knowledge and skills of 9’700 young people, thereof 50% women - all indicators which have shown dynamics and results issuing out of a systemic approach! Deputy Prime Minister Senida Mesi and Head of Cooperation with Eastern Europe at the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ruth Huber, signed on Friday 23, 2018 the agreement on Phase II of “Risi Albania” project implemented by HELVETAS Intercooperation and Partners Albania. Deputy Prime Minister Mesi stressed that RisiAlbania project has in its focus youth employment in sectors like innovation, agriculture, rural development and tourism, and responds well to a priority of the Albanian government which is employment. “As a result we believe that this project will help the Albanian government reach its objective”, she said. Whereas in her speech, Ambassador Ruth Huber stressed that the success of this project depends on the joint efforts of the Swiss and Albanian governments and the technical expertise of the implementing partners.

For more info on RisiAlbania project visit

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Boosting local economy through Medicinal and Aromatic Plants cultivation After the successful intervention in Korça with Çibuku Ltd, a private sector company that serves as a consolidator of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) in the region, which established a collection point for MAPs, Risi Albania project supported 15 women in Shelcan village in Elbasan buying drying racks for MAPs which helped them to increase products quality and meet the market demands for higher standards. “By Improving the drying process we managed to increase our profit margins with 10 - 30 % during the first harvests”- said Margarita, a former emigrant who decided to return home and expand her medicinal herbs cultivation business.


Join and update information of your organization in

The Albanian Crowd www.thealbaniancrowd.org The Albanian Crowd is an interactive Online platform of Albanian NPOs

and social enterprises. The platform provides comprehensive information on the location, scope of work, areas of activity, beneficiaries, services the organizations and social enterprises offer and projects they are working on.

It also serves the institutions and individuals from the public sector, business community, media, international organizations and donors who will find in it dynamic information, partners and services needed. The platforms supports already 150 member organizations from across the country, operating in different fields. Since it was launched, the platform counts over 20,500 visitors, more than 2 million hits from nearly 150 countries from all continents.

All interested groups can join the platform by completing the Online registration form at the following link: http://www.thealbaniancrowd.org/aplikimi-en/ We invite the organizations already members to send us continuous updates to publish in the platform.

Partners Albania is an independent Albanian NPO established in 2001, working to support civil society and facilitate inter-sector cooperation in order to strengthen democratic institutions and advance economic development. Partners Albania is a member of Partners Network, a partnership of 22 independent, local organizations in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East working for peaceful and democratic change.

Rruga Sulejman Delvina, N.18, H.8, Ap. 12, 1022, Tirana, Albania, PO Box 2418/1 Tel. Fax: 04 2254881 Email: partners@partnersalbania.org http://www.partnersalbania.org Follow us on: Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter Visit The Albanian Crowd, the online platform of NPOs and social enterprises in Albania

PER NJE SHOQERI ME TE ZHVILLUAR

The Albanian Crowd provides the opportunity for its members to share the most recent updates about projects and activities, identify potential project partners and recruit volunteers and supporters.

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Partners Albania Newsletter "Towards a Sustainable Society"  

Edition 66, March 2018

Partners Albania Newsletter "Towards a Sustainable Society"  

Edition 66, March 2018

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