Albania: Bashki te Forta (Strong Municipalities)


Municipal administrations in all 61 municipalities in Albania will be supported to effectively manage service delivery based on the citizens’ needs. Municipal councils will be enabled to better represent citizens’ interests and ensure that public resources are well managed. Setting up a reliable and up-to-date local statistical system will allow an informed decision making. Through these improvements, citizens will benefit from better services such as waste and pre-school education and will actively be involved in local issues.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Governance
Other
Decentralisation
Public sector policy
Sector not specified
Democratic participation and civil society
Public finance management
01.06.2017 - 30.09.2022
CHF 12'800'000
Background

The Territorial Administrative Reform created in 2015 a new landscape in Albania, reducing the 373 local government units into 61 with the objective of increased efficiency and good governance.

New laws on the functions, organization and finances of municipalities were approved and more functions delegated to them within a decentralization process. Gender representation in new local councils improved (35% women).

The reform was completed with high pace and municipalities are struggling financially with the high inherited debt, the limited financial and human resources at disposal.

Whereas the laws provide good ground for better governance e.g. public hearing, its implementation is still at an early stage. Local administration lack capacities to perform; transparency, participation and accountability towards citizens remain limited.

Consolidation of municipal administration and provision of quality services at the centre and periphery are now the most demanding tasks.

Objectives People in Albania benefit from citizen-oriented municipalities and an improved service delivery for waste and pre-school education at municipality level.
Target groups

The end beneficiaries are:

Citizens in the municipalities of Albania 

The direct beneficiaries are:

Administrations of all municipalities;

Municipal councils all over the country, including the secretariats of these councils;

Statistical offices/branches/units in regions/municipalities and Institute of Statistic (INSTAT) in Albania.

Central Government (Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Education an Sports, other ministries)

Medium-term outcomes

Locally anchored, official statistics: Central and local Government make use of official local data and the locally anchored statistical system;

Performing, transparent Administration: Municipality Administrations perform their functions in improving the delivery of selected services and promoting citizens involvement;

Strong Municipal Councils: Municipal councils strengthen their representation and oversight function.

Results

Expected results:  

O1) Key statistical data and indicators are available for municipalities and regions; Elements for a harmonized register-based system of population/ household and building/dwelling statistics are in place; The organizational structure and the tools of INSTAT support effectively the nationwide statistical system;

O2) Waste management is improved in a sustainable way according to a new national standard; A model of pre-school education management at municipal level is defined; Municipalities are trained to monitor their own performance;

O3) Councillors are able to fulfil their mandate; Council secretariats are strengthened and support a better functioning of councils; Effective communication channels are established between councillors and citizens


Results from previous phases:  

Citizens are not satisfied with municipal services, municipalities struggle in fulfilling their functions, and are rarely involving and informing citizens.

Local data is scarce, no regular official statistics are available on municipal level. Thus no evidence based decision making can take place.

The buildings, dwellings, population, and household registers in Albania do not exist whereas they are key for service management of municipalities.

Municipal councils do not exercise in full their oversight role due to various reasons. Citizens do not feel well represented in the local councils, esp. rural ones.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss state institution
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • National State Institute SWISS
  • Swiss Private Sector


Other partners
  • Swiss Federal Office of Statistics (for Outcome 1)

  • Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (for outcome 2 and 3)

Coordination with other projects and actors

The Government of Albania's coordination mechanism among development partners (EU, WB, GIZ, UNDP, Italian Development Cooperation, USAID and Sweden) on support to local government. Switzerland is co-chairing this coordination group on behalf of the donors. 

There are synergies and complementarities among Swiss funded projects on support to subnational public finance management, civil society, health, social care and social services reform and regional development. A continuous coordination with implementing partners takes place.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   12'800'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   2'144'785