Regional Development Programme in Northern Albania

Project completed

The Government of Albania is pursuing the Regional Development (RD) reform in order to reduce regional disparities, provide better socio-economic conditions for citizens and prepare the country for the EU accession agenda. Within this, the project will support the legal and institutional framework for RD .and strengthening local, regional and national capacities for strateqic investrnents in the regions.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Urban development
Rural development
01.04.2019 - 30.06.2023
CHF  7’725’000

• In the preparation of Albania for the EU accession, regional policy and coordination of structural instruments are part of earlier steps to be taken, coherent to the requirements of Chapter 22 of the EU "Acquis communautaire'.

• After a 'test and trial' approach, the Government of Albania (GoA) has changed the structures for RD in 2018 and mandated the Albanian Development Fund (ADF) to assume the functions of the National Agency for Regional Development and to be the lead agency for the operationalization of RD in the country.

• At the policy level, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the chair of ADF, has been assigned for following up on RD.

• A new law on RD - reflecting the new set-upis in preparation in parallel to a new legal basis for ADF.

Objectives Disparities in Albania are reduced by supporting the development of regions, which advance their potentials and provide better social and economic conditions for their citizens.
Target groups The Government of Albania will profit from a legal framework and multi-year programming on Regional Development. The Albanian Development Fund will be profiled and consolidated as the main institution in the country responsible for strengthening and implementing the regional development agenda in the country. The ADF shall be in future accredited by the EU for the absorbtion of structural funds. Diverse stakeholders such as local government units, private and. social actors shall be enabled to absorb RD and EU funds through a programme approach. The citizens of Albania are the ultimate target group benefitting frorn more, more strategic and efficient investments in their regions.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: The central government successfully defines, coordinates and implements the institutional and legal framework for Regional Development.

Outcome 2: The ADF as Managing Authority and other competent institutions and bodies prepare and approve the programming frame for future use of EU funds and make effective and strategic use of increasing funds for the development of regions through a partnership approach.

Outcome 3: The socio-economic conditions for Albanian citizens are improved through the implementation of RD projects reflecting regional needs and priorities.



Expected results:  

1. Support to the Regional development policy implementation (policy

implementation management, monitoring and evaluation - application of partnership instruments)

2. Setting-up in ADF a management system for RD implementation and future use of EU funds (management and control system in line with EU and international standards)

3. Assistance for the preparation of Operational Programme for Regional Development (medium-term/long-term programming instrument for implementation of Regional Development) 

4. Setting-up in ADF a grant management system for RD implementation (managementand control system in line with EU and international standards) and implementation of 2 types of grant scheme (1) Investment grant scheme and (2) Grant scheme for feasibility studies

5. Setting up project pipeline (regional/local)


Results from previous phases:  

• Intensive diplomatic exchange of CH and Austria, have been supportive in building a momentum for RD policy. Relations were set up with local and regional authorities and private actors who have contributed in draft policies and activities of project.

• DRAFT policy on RD, draft law (comments on the former draft law) and new version of the RD law (12/2017), 4 socio-economic profiles of the regions established.

• Pilot grant scheme set up and 16 projects implemented through municipalities, managed and accompanied by the 4 Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).

• The capacities of the National Agencies for Regional Development have been enhanced and prepared for taking more responsibility toward the regional development of their territories.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Foreign private sector North

Other partners

ECORYS NL (lmplementing agency)

Austrian Development Agency (ADA): co-donor

Coordination with other projects and actors The project is complementing other projects of the Swiss support toward the decentralization and local governance agenda, but as well on infrastructure; it also ensures that the perspectives of partnerships, strategic planning and EU alignment are part in design and implementation of the new framework on RD.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    7’725’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    8’684’944
Project phases

Phase 4 01.04.2019 - 30.06.2023   (Completed)

Phase 3 01.12.2016 - 31.03.2019   (Completed)