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Partners Albania Center for Change and Conflict Management QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

EDITION NO. 56

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

In this number: -Partners Albania launches for the first time The NPO Academy! page 1

FEBRUARY 2015

Partners Albania launches for the first time The NPO Academy!

Philanthropy Awards 2014 page 2 Creating an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Albania -The Albanian Parliament adopts the Resolution “For Recognition and Strengthening the Role of Civil Society in the Process of Democratic Development of the Country” -Changes on the fiscal legislation for NPOs in Albania -National Council for Civil Society page 3-4 Ongoing Projects -“Young entrepreneurs of Albania” page 5 -Making the Labor Market Work for Young People in Albania page 6 -Towards an Alternative Tourism -Increasing Transparency and Accountability in E-Procurement page 7 -JoiEU Project -Social Innovation Europe -Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises page 8 - Strengthening women and youth groups -Participation in International Events page 9-10

The NPO Academy is Partners Albania newest initiative, a program which will offer education and development opportunities to NPO executives. NPOs in Albania play a significant role in country development through their diverse competences and areas of operation. However, they still need to improve their skills related to organizational management, strategic planning, financial management and fundraising, mobilization of supporters to build advocacy and lobbying campaigns and a wide range of issues related to sector sustainability. We encourage applying in the Academy executives of Albanian NPOs, who aim enhancement of capacities and their professional development, to build effective organizations serving the public and interest groups. Please read the Information Brochure to find more about the program, criteria and application process now open to all interested candidates!

The Albanian Crowd www.thealbaniancrowd.org The Albanian Crowd is an interactive online platform of the 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. We encourage all members of the platform to frequently send us updated information, announcements and calls for volunteers and supporters for the initiatives and programs they are working on.

Priority will be given to executives of newly established NPOs!

The deadline for submission of the Application is March 2, 2015

We extend an invitation to all Albanian organizations and interested groups to join the platform by completing the online registration form at this link: http://www.thealbaniancrowd.org/aplikimi-en/ continues in page 9

MEMBER OF PARTNERS FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE INTERNATIONAL

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Philanthropy Awards 2015 Partners Albania organized on 5 December 2014 the ceremony gala where were announced the winners of the “Philanthropy Awards 2014”!

The event was attended by a large number of guests from Albanian government, representatives of the diplomatic bodies accredited to Albania, business sector, civil society organizations, donor institutions and media. The awards were presented by Mrs. Juliana Hoxha, Partners Albania Director, Mrs.Brunilda Paskali, Vice Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Mrs. Tahseen Sayed, Country Manager of the World Bank Office in Tirana, Mrs. Adriana Berberi, Chief of Cabinet in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Haki Abazi, Program Director for the Western Balkans of Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Mrs. Ema Andrea, actress and professor in the Academy of Arts. The Philanthropy Awards 2014 winners:

Award for Business Entities Contributing at the National Level Winner: CREDINS Bank Motivation: For the continuous support in the fields of health, education, arts and culture, in particular for the significant assistance given for the reconstruction of hospitals, construction of chemical laboratories and the equipment with medical laboratories of the regional hospitals of Durrës, Shkodra, Vlora and the Central Military University hospital. Award for Business Entities Contributing at the Local Level Winner: ALB-STAR company represented by Mr. Sadik Ismailaj Motivation: For contribution in support of community in Fieri region, through investment in the infrastructure of several institutions and public areas in Fier and Patos, and support to people in need by providing financial aid and employment opportunities. Award for the Individual Contribution Winner: Mr. Emiliano Lule Motivation: For special contribution in building technological infrastructure for visually impaired people enabling their access to information and education, toward social inclusion and integration. Special Award - Pioneer of Philanthropy Winner: Mr. Tef Pogu (posthumously) Motivation: For outstanding contribution given during 1920 - 1944 in support of individuals and groups in economic difficulty in the city of Shkodra, particularly for his contribution to the field of economic development and education, through the opening of factories, soup kitchen for poor people, support for primary school “Stigmantine Sisters” and “Filip Shiroka” school, etc. Certificate of Appreciation Winner: Mrs. Claudia Janiszewski, president and founder of Organization for the Support of Albania’s Abandoned Babies (OSAAB) Motivation: For the valuable contribution and the continuous support for newborn babies abandoned at the maternity hospitals in Tirana and districts, offering a warm and suitable environment for their wellbeing during the first months of life.

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This is the fourth year PA organizes this broad national competition to express appreciation and gratitude to individuals and business companies who contribute to improving the quality of life in our society.


Creating an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Albania During 2014, the Working Group on Enabling Environment for Civil Society in Albania, under the coordination of Partners worked intensively to address all the issues raised in the National Conference “Social Partners - Time for Action” that Partners Albania organized in December 2013. The advocacy efforts of the Working Group resulted in several positive developments and achievements of the civil society sector in Albania.

On December 24, 2014 the Albanian Parliament adopted the Resolution “For Recognition and Strengthening the Role of Civil Society in the Process of Democratic Development of the Country”, the first political document that recognizes and establishes concrete commitments in this regard. The approval of the Resolution, prepared based on the Charter for Civil Society first presented in 2009, represents the achievement of one of the commitments of the government as part of the agenda of the December Conference. In the following link you can find the adopted Resolution. It is a great achievement for the civil society sector in Albania to receive such a broad support across the political spectrum in the Albanian Parliament. http://www.parlament.al/web/24_ Dhjetor_2014_Rezolute_Per_njohjen_dhe_ forcimin_e_rolit_te_shoqerise_civile_ne_ procesin_18923_1.php

National Council for Civil Society In December 2014 it was finalized the preparation of the Draft Law “On the Establishment and Functioning of the National Council for Civil Society”. The draft will be discussed in consultation meetings with civil society organizations and line ministries, before presented to the Parliament for approval. Partners Albania encourages civil society organizations to be active in the process of consultations with civil society organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and the Agency for Support of Civil Society, so their feedback, opinion and suggestions be reflected in the final draft-law.

Changes on the fiscal legislation for NPOs in Albania The recent Council of Ministers decision regarding Added Value Tax (VAT), in line with the VAT Law nr. 92/2014, introduce a series of important changes with regard to VAT for the economic activity of non-for-profits. Partners Albania is working to prepare an analysis of the recent fiscal changes in the legal framework affecting the NPO sector, helping the sector to better understand, implement and take advantage of these changes. It will also make the base for the next advocacy efforts of the sector to this regard. In a nutshell, the changes bring the clarity which has been missing in the last decade by creating lots of ambiguity especially with regard to economic activity of non-for profits. Some of the changes: 1. The VAT Law recognizes as subject of tax exclusion funds, grants and membership fees for NPOs. 2. Public Benefit Status is abolished. Now, the goods and services offered by non-for-profits and excluded by VAT are established in this government decision as well as the new procedure. 3. The decision about VAT exclusion stays with the Regional Tax Directorate, while in the previous decision was the competence of the Minister of Finance. 4. Until now, The Law on NPOs has been vague with regard to the percentage of revenues allowed to be generated through the economic activity by NPOs. The new decision establishes a ceiling of 20% of annual revenues as allowed level for economic activity performed by NPOs. 5. NPOs benefiting from VAT exclusion for the goods and services provided, benefit at the same time from the import VAT exclusion. 6. The Law on NPOs requires regulation of fundraising activity, but until now it has been unregulated. The government decision introduces rules regarding VAT application for fundraising activities performed by NPOs. 7. The Council of Ministers Decision reinforces the government obligation to reimburse VAT to NPOs, which is accrued as part of activity supported through financial and funding agreements from the Albanian government. Please click the link for the Council of Ministers Decision (in Albanian) http://www.qbz.gov.al/botime/fletore_ zyrtare/2014/PDF-2014/200-2014.pdf and the link for the VAT Law nr. 92/2014 (in Albanian) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/ligj_nr_92_ dt_24_7_2014_18593_1.pdf

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The Albanian Parliament adopts the Resolution “For Recognition and Strengthening the Role of Civil Society in the Process of Democratic Development of the Country”


Social Procurement in Albania Partners Albania is working toward the creation of an enabling and supporting legal framework for the provision of quality services to citizens through a fair and transparent procurement process that enables participation of CSOs. Considering social procurement is a new practice and unknown to the Albanian reality, the work in this regard started with drafting of a policy document which presents an overview of the social procurement and its importance in the field of social service delivery, the framework supporting social procurement by CSOs, as well as some models of its application in different countries.

The paper also provides recommendations to ensure that social contracting is not only possible but can be a leading practice with regard to the provision and financing of social services in Albania. Partners Albania presented and shared the Policy Paper with organizations, donors and government representatives in a round table organized on 21 November 2014. Click here to download the Policy Document on Social Procurement.

Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development Partners Albania administered during 2014 a nationwide survey of about 100 civil society organizations, to assess the practical application of laws, policies and regulations affecting civic engagement and enabling environment for civil society organizations in Albania. This assessment served to prepare the second annual report of the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society in Albania, which is part of a series of local reports from eight countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey. On November 27, 2014 Partners Albania presented to representatives of government, civil society organizations and donors the preliminary findings of the Monitoring Matrix report, focusing on an analysis of changes in practice that occurred during 2014 in the enabling environment for civil society development, according to the three main areas of the Matrix: 1) Basic Legal Guarantees of Freedoms; 2) Framework for CSOs’ Financial Viability and Sustainability; and 3) Government – CSO Relationship.

The round-table was addressed by the Prime Minister’s legal advisor Mrs. Eralda Çani which highlighted the government’s commitment to address issues of concern to civil society, as it was also found from the monitoring. Guest speaker in the round-table was also the Director of Policy and Fiscal Relations in the Ministry of Finance Mrs. Arjana Dyrmishi who presented some of the occurring and expected changes on the fiscal legislation that affects the activity of non-profit organizations. During December 2014 PA also organized regional roundtables with CSOs and local stakeholders in Elbasan, Durres, Vlora and Shkodra to present the preliminary findings of the report. The Monitoring Matrix Country Report for Albania 2014 in which are reflected also the legislative changes occurred in the last year, is now available to all interested parties. More on this regional initiative found at: http://monitoringmatrix.net/

Partners Albania work to create an enabling environment for civil society in Albania is supported by Olof Palme International Center in Albania through the Swedish government funds, and the European Union.

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The Paper presents an analysis of the current situation with regards to the legislation in place and the practice, identifying the main factors that hinder the development of a fair and transparent procurement of social services in Albania.


“Young Entrepreneurs of Albania” In frame of its work to promote youth entrepreneurship and employment, Partners Albania organized two business camps to build skills of 140 young entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and turn them into successful ventures competitive in the market. The Business Camps were organized in the vocational schools “Harry Fultz” in Tirana and “Beqir Cela” in Durres. The young entrepreneurs, under the direction and guidance of two experienced trainers from the US, created their companies around a business idea developed during the camps. They were also prepared to present and sell their idea to interested business companies operating in the market.

business camps, in an interesting ceremony organized at school Harry Fultz on January 16, 2015. In his speech, Mr. Veliaj encouraged young people to pursue vocational education, noting that unemployment is lower among those young people who attend vocational schools compared to those who pursue higher education. Mr. Donald Lu, sharing with the youngsters the history of his brother who thanks to a brilliant idea and entrepreneurial efforts became a successful businessman, highlighted the importance of ideas coming from young people, as they are the most original.

The company E-Type will build a software to write in BRAIL script, to assist visually impaired people. TechnoPen company will introduce a smart pen that records everything that listens, automatically transferring the information in a smartphone or tablet. The “I support” company will offer specialized plumbing, electricity, mechanical and other services to citizens or businesses. The Savewater Company will reuse rainwater for domestic or businesses purposes, thus saving drinking water. AL Global Translation will be an online platform serving as the meeting point for translators and people who need translation services. Multi Charger is a multi-functional battery that is intended to serve as a temporary solution when electricity is missing. SHUMLIST will be a social and e-commerce online platform enabling the sale, change or auctioning of electronic, mechanical and other projects. I Choose Company will work to create a rod equipped with sensors, an assisting device for visually impaired people. Bodyguard Car System company will work to produce a special device with sensors that identifies if explosives are placed in vehicles. E-service company will provide expertise for creating websites for all interested individuals and institutions, in the country or abroad. These and many other constitute the range of innovative ideas presented by the 27 companies created by students of both schools. This Partners Albania initiative is implemented in cooperation with and support of the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Tirana.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Minister of Social Welfare and Youth Mr. Erion Veliaj and the United States Ambassador in Tirana, Mr. Donald Lu handed the certificates for young entrepreneurs participating in


Making the Labor Market Work for Young People in Albania Media programs and online information opportunities on career and job orientation for young people, supported by RisiAlbania

Thus, RisiAlbania is collaborating with 4 national media to develop programs with an attractive and informative content for youngsters. Cooperation includes support in the development of programs, training of journalists and marketing activities. Joint efforts with the media aim at increasing the number of young men and women who obtain information about their career, as well as increased interest in various businesses to support these programs. The media program “Ora e Punës” at Club FM: targets young Albanians and focuses on information about jobs, advice on the job application process and job interviews, and on how to build a business start-up. Also, this programs conducts interviews with management executives of companies in the country, interviews with representatives of universities, student clubs etc.

“Ti mundesh” in Top Channel, is a television production on youth education, career counseling and employment opportunities. The program brings successful stories of young people working in some of the “forgotten” or innovative professions, which is then followed by a discussion in studio with employment experts related to that profession. This topic is also reflected in the website and other programs of Top Channel such as E Diell, Wake up, etc. “Drejt punës” - in A1 Report and the supplement “Drejt punës” at Shqiptarja.com: provides information on success stories in some of the professions required by the market but not sufficiently valued by young people as a cook, tourism guide, plumber, craftsman etc., interviews with representatives of professional schools in Albania etc. This program informs young people and their parents about the usefulness of these professions in the labor market.

RisiAlbania has also collaborated with Çelësi company to support the creation of “Profesionisti” (www.profesionisti.al) an online portal to provide quality employment for young people with low and moderate skills. For more on the most recent activities and future programs of RisiAlbania read the January 2015 edition of RisiAlbania Newsletter.

RisiAlbania project is being implemented by a consortium consisting of Helvetas Swiss Inter-cooperation and Partners Albania, and is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation ( SDC) in Albania.

Developing the skills of young people to increase their employment opportunities Considering the PA commitment and experience in developing the skills of young people and initiatives that promote youth employment, the organization “Women in Development” in Korca contracted Partners Albania to organize a 5-day training on “Increasing Young Candidates Personal Skills and Identifying Employment Possibilities in the Market””. Participants were 15 young professionals from Korca. The program focused on enabling young people to integrate into the labor market, to learn about different methods of approaching job vacancies (businesses, public institutions, CSOs) in order to develop their career paths and mapping of future expectations.

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RisiAlbania program has taken an initiative to inform the young men and women on career and job orientation through attractive and frequent media programs.


Towards an Alternative Tourism For more than a year Partners Albania is working to support sustainable economic development through the Vevcani tourism in the cross border area promotion of alternative Struga of ​​Korca, Struga, Ohrid, Debarca and Vecanit. Ohrid Partners Albania and MEDF are Debarcka working intensively to implement the campaign promoting the region as a touristic destination, through the production of a series of promotional materials, a website, a documentary film and a television spot depicting tourist attractions that offers the targeted area. Pogradec

Since January and in following were conducted in the project area seven visits of business representatives, tour operators and journalists from both sides of the border, to exchange practice practices, to explore and promote the region.

PA staff met and discussed during this period with nearly 30 touristic agencies, to include Korca in their promotional packages also the area of Dardha Voskopjës, Boboshtica, Lin, Pusteci, Vithkuq, Tushmeshit, Morava, Korca and Pogradec.

The project “Towards an Alternative Tourism” is being implemented by Partners Albania and MEDF Foundation, and is financially supported by the European Union and ABC Foundation.

Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Public Electronic Procurement Application at Local Level Since January 2014, Partners Albania is monitoring on daily bases the website of the Public Procurement Agency and all announcements published on this website and in public procurement bulletin by the municipalities of Berat, Fier, Himara and Saranda. This monitoring work is being conducted in frame of Partners Albania initiative to increase the efficiency of public procurement through increased transparency and accountability in local government. Partners Albania has continued with the conduction of a survey with economic operators who have applied in tenders announced by the four municipalities in the last years, to assess their satisfaction with the system and electronic procurement procedures. Some of the main monitoring findings and issues identified so far include:

• The PPA portal is not user friendly and offers limited access and information on the tenders; • Municipalities and businesses have difficulty uploading documents in the website (the system sometimes is blocked or is very slow);

• The municipalities have no information on procurement in their websites; • The number of “Small value purchases” results high. For the same good or service there were opened more than one procedure, fragmenting the fund to match the requirements for small value purchases;

• Competitiveness in the procedures “Request for Proposal”, “Small value purchases” and “Work” is low; • Application of “specific criteria” is considered problematic by the economic operators. The special criteria mainly related • •

to the number of employees, means that the company should own etc. are exaggerated and arbitrary, decreasing the competitiveness; The number of complaints by the economic operators for the tender procedures is very low. There is lack of trust by EO and the procedures takes too long (according to EOs); Municipal staff needs to be further trained, updated with information on procedures and amendments in the legislation.

In the following weeks, Partners will consult with local stakeholders the preliminary monitoring findings through local workshops in the municipalities participating in this project, and will organize a national conference to launch the final monitoring report which will be published shortly. For more information on the initiative and expand the monitoring results, please visit the link in our website. Partners Albania work for monitoring the implementation of the public procurement law and procedures in the municipalities of Berat, Fier, Himara and Saranda is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Albania, under the MATRA program for civil society.

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Partners Albania is also working to improve the infrastructure in the area, through the establishment of several touristic orientation boards.


Joint Citizen Action for a Stronger, Citizen-Friendly Union Blerina Guga, Project Manager of Partners Albania, participated in the “Digital Democracy in the European Union” conference held on 27 January 2015 in Brussels, the closing event of the project. Blerina presented in the conference the PA experience in the JOIEU project, and the findings and recommendations of the debate on the development of social enterprises, organized by Partners Albania in October 2014 in frame of this project. The conference gathered at the premises of the Royal Library of Belgium, 110 representatives from member and candidate countries of the European Union, representatives of the Parliament and the European Commission, academics and international experts.

During the last months were organized three international debates in Serbia, Czech Republic and Croatia on the topics: “Keeping Europe Open” - organized in Belgrade on November 13 by the Centre for Development of Non-Profit Sector; “Civil Society and Philanthropy” - organized in Prague on December 9 by Neziskovky.cz, and “The role of young Europeans in shaping EU Policies” organized in Split on January 23, 2015 by Cenzura Plus. PA was part of these debates sharing its experience and perspective, and also the experience of Albanian organizations on the local and European reality. Debates gathered in discussion representatives from relevant government institutions in the partner countries, the EU Delegation, civil society organizations, media, and JoiEU project partners. More information on the debates and activities of the JOIEU project is available at: http://joieu.net/

Social Innovation Europe Social Innovation Europe (www. socialinnovationeurope.eu) is an online platform promoting the social innovation and bringing together the best social innovations and innovators in Europe. It provides the latest information on European social innovation—a clearinghouse featuring interviews with prominent innovators, case studies of successful ventures, the latest research, and in-depth analysis from the leading thinkers in the field. Partners Albania is the Social Innovation Europe country partner, highlighting the most exciting innovators and events in Albania and region. Visit Social Innovation Europe and register to receive news about great ideas and projects in Europe: https:// webgate.ec.europa.eu/socialinnovationeurope/home

Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises Partners Albania, in the framework of the Regional Research Promotion Programme in Western Balkans, is implementing a joint research initiative on Social Enterprises as a driver for employment of marginalized groups in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. The project is being implemented by Partners Albania, Reactor - Research in Action, Konekt, Center for Media Activities in Macedonia, and Center for Peace and Tolerance in Kosovo. This initiative is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC in cooperation with Universite de Fribourg. The research team has so far mapped various social enterprise models in the three countries and in the following phase will continue the work with data gathering and analyzing. Country reports on historical background and legal framework development for the SE in target countries have been drafted and shared among peers and with other stakeholders for feedback. As representative of PA research team, Ariola Agolli, PA Director of Programs participated in a workshop organized in Skopje, Macedonia on February, focusing on the research policy design and implementation. The event was part was part of a series of workshops that will be organized simultaneously with the research conduction, aiming to share experiences among researchers in Balkans, and strengthen their capacities to support changes in policy and legal framework and influence new policies.

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JoiEU project coordinated and conducted over the last year debates in 13 European countries (Romania, Holland, Estonia, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, the Republic Czech, Cyprus, Spain, Bulgaria and Albania) on a set of issues related to citizen participation and strengthening the citizen base of a deeper European integration. JOIEU project was supported by the European Union within the Europe for Citizens program.


Capacity building and assistance for youth and women groups

Initially, Partners Albania conducted an evaluation of the youth group development since its creation in 2011, and their capacity for formalization. In addition, the team of Partners Albania offered seven training programs and assistance for building their capacities in: Project Proposal Writing, Project Management & Fundraising, Advocacy and Lobbying, Networking and Coalition Building and Organizational Development.

www.thealbaniancrowd.org

Writing qualitative proposals and managing successful projects remains a need for the civil society sector. In this focus, Partners Albania conducted in December 2014 a three-day training on “Project Proposal Writing and Management”. Participants in the program were a group of representative of the Albanian Women Empowerment Network from across the country, who were introduced to some of the latest tools and techniques, as well as different project - proposal formats according to donors. This program was supported by Kvinna Till Kvinna.

The Albanian Crowd

The Albanian Crowd is an interactive online platform of the 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. The platform has already 140 member organizations from across the country, operating in different fields. Since it was launched, the platform counts over 8000 visitors, more than 100,000 hits and 15,000 visits from nearly 120 countries from all continents. We encourage all members of the platform to frequently send us updated information, announcements and calls for volunteers and supporters for the initiatives and programs they are working on. We extend an invitation to all Albanian organizations and interested groups to join the platform by completing the online registration form at this link: http://www.thealbaniancrowd.org/aplikimien/

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

During October 2014 - January 2015, Partners Albania assisted World Vision in formalizing and strengthening the capacities of the youth group “Changing the Future” in Dibra. This group has been active in mobilization of youth in Dibra, with more than 150 active youngsters from urban and rural areas, engaged in their activities and initiatives.

PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL EVENTS PDCI Summit 2014 From 1-4 November 2014, Juliana Hoxha, PA Director and Arjola Agolli, PA Director of Programs participated in the PDCI Summit 2014, organized by the PDCI office in Brussels. The Summit brought together executives and management staff from the 19 Centers of the network, from Europe, Americas, Africa and Middle East. During the Summit, PDCI hosted a series of public outreach events to share best practices with members of EU institutions, international NGOs, and multinational corporations. The 2014 Summit also included the PDCI General Assembly, an internal event with influential external guests invited for particular sessions, fostering cooperation and the sharing of best practices and experiences in a variety of fields such as private sector engagement, technology in good governance programming, security sector transformation, and storytelling for social change.

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BCSDN`s Monitoring Matrix Country Reports Will Address Indicators from the Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement Countries Juliana Hoxha, PA Director participated in the regional meeting organized by TACSO Regional Office in Brussels, on 22-23th of January, 2015. One of the discussed issues in the meeting was agreeing upon the optimal monitoring system for the EU Guidelines which would involve coordination with the BCSDN monitoring activities and possible streamlining of the Monitoring Matrix country reports with the EU Guidelines. Partners Albania is the member organization of BCSDN that is conducting the monitoring of the enabling environment for CSO development in Albania, using the Monitoring Matrix. More information on this event is available at: http://www.balkancsd.net/ Klotilda Tavani Kosta, PA Director of Programs participated in the Partners Forum of the World Bank-Austria Urban Partnership Program (UPP). Participants in the event shared the achievements and lessons learned from the first phase of the Urban Partnership Program. As a partner in the first phase of this program, Partners Albania worked with the Municipality of Kuçova to prepare and adopt the Anticorruption Strategy and detailed action plan with concrete measures to improve the organizational system to prevent corruption practices. This intervention was part of the implementation of the Anti-Corruption approach in South-East Europe. In addition, the participants in the Forum discussed on the implementation plan of the second phase of the program. The discussion was structured around an overview of the diagnostic tools for local governments as Municipal Finance, Urban Planning & Land Management, Social Accountability, and Anti-Corruption, and how to scale up the use of these diagnostic tools in the Region, providing solution packages to cities/municipalities. On 17 February, Ariola Agolli participated in the conference organized by the research project EFESEIIS (Enabling the flourishing and evolution of social entrepreneurship for innovative and inclusive societies), held at the University of Warsaw. The conference gathered 52 experts of Social Entrepreneurship, coming from 11 EU countries who discussed during two workshops on how to create an enabling eco-system for Social Entrepreneurship and how to facilitate its spread through policies. More information on this project is available at: http://www.fp7-efeseiis.eu/

Partners Albania is an Albanian NPO committed to advancing civil society and a culture of change and conflict management in Albania. Partners Albania is a member of the Partners for Democratic Change International, a network of Centers in 20 countries, which provide conflict resolution training and services to the civic, NPO, municipal and national government, and business sectors in their countries and worldwide. PDCI website address is: http://www.pdci-network.org/

PARTNERS ALBANIA, CENTER FOR CHANGE AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Address: Rruga Sulejman Delvina, N.18, H.8, Ap. 12, Njësia Bashkiake 5, Kodi Postar 1022, Tiranë, Shqipëri, PO BOX 2418/1, Tel: +355 4 2254881 Fax: 2254883 Email: partners@partnersalbania.org Http://www.partnersalbania.org Follow us on

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Ariola Agolli, PA Director of Programs participated in the 7th edition of Black Sea NGO Forum “Enabling Environment for CSOs: Towards a Strategy of Civil Society in the Black Sea Region” organized in Kiev, Ukraine from 8th – 10th of December 2014. The event was attended by nearly 150 participants, representing a wide range of national and international stakeholders from the Black Sea region – CSOs, regional and international organizations, regional and international donors, local authorities, academia, media. This year’s edition launched a regional consultation with the purpose of starting the process of creating a Strategy of Civil Society in the Black Sea Region. Through working groups and thematic workshops, the Forum gathered valuable input and expertise from participants to identify the common needs and challenges for having an enabling environment in which civil society carries out its activity. During the two days of the event, Ariola Agolli, PA Director of Programs facilitated some of the workshops. The Forum also explored potential solutions through concrete regional cooperation initiatives in key thematic sectors such as: democracy & human rights, environment, child protection or youth. More information is available at: http://www.blackseango. org/

Towards a Sustainable Society, edition 56  

Partners Albania Newsletter, edition 56, November 2014 - February 2015

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