Albania

Switzerland is supporting Albania in the development of a democratic society and a competitive economy with the aim of helping to advance Albania’s integration into Europe. Switzerland's support is focused on local governance, economic development and healthcare as well as urban infrastructure and energy. 

Map of Albania
© FDFA

Since the end of the communist dictatorship, Albania has made considerable progress towards democracy and a competitive market economy. A series of promising reforms have been launched and implemented, e.g. in territorial and public administration, public finance and in the energy and justice sectors. The goal of joining the EU, which is shared by many Albanians, is a strong driving force behind these reforms. In view of these positive developments, Albania was given the status of EU accession candidate in 2014, and in 2016 the EU Commission recommended initiating negotiations on membership. Albania is still confronting major challenges in fighting corruption and organised crime, and there are other hurdles to reducing poverty and unemployment, which are especially affecting rural regions, disadvantaged groups and young people. 

Themes SDC

Democratisation, decentralisation and local governance

Switzerland is supporting institutional reforms and encouraging democratisation and decentralisation. By promoting regional development and strengthening local authorities, it is encouraging civil society to play a more active role in decision-making processes. It is also strengthening mechanisms to ensure parliamentary supervision over the executive at both local and national levels. Switzerland is actively working to ensure access to good-quality local public services for all, especially for discriminated population groups such as the Roma.

State and Economic Reforms

Economic development

Switzerland is supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Albania. Specifically, it is helping to strengthen the management of public finances, monetary policy and the supervision of the financial sector, thus contributing directly to stabilising the macroeconomic situation in the country. Switzerland is also helping to create jobs through targeted measures to improve the overall legal framework for private companies and in this way facilitate access to markets. A sharper focus is being placed on promoting modern vocational training that appeals to young Albanians and prepares them optimally to meet the needs and requirements of the job market.  

Private Sector Development and Financial Services

Urban infrastructure and energy

By combining measures to strengthen institutions while increasing investment at the local level, Switzerland is encouraging the provision of good-quality public services in Albania. In this context, Switzerland is active in improving urban infrastructure and increasing energy efficiency specifically in the areas of drinking water supply, disposal of waste water and collection of waste. The Albanian authorities are also receiving support in diversifying their sources of energy in order to ensure efficient and reliable energy supply throughout the country.

State and Economic Reforms

Health

On the basis of the Albania’s national health strategy for 2017–2020, Switzerland is supporting efforts to strengthen basic health services for the people of Albania. It is supporting national reforms, helping to improve management, equip medical facilities and support continuous training for health personnel. Furthermore, Switzerland is supporting preventive measures to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and efforts to raise awareness of health issues among the population, and to hold healthcare providers to account. This contributes to improving access for marginalised and vulnerable population groups to health services.

Health

Approaches and partners

The 2018–2021 Cooperation Strategy is being jointly implemented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).  Switzerland closely coordinates its transition cooperation with the Albanian authorities, other donor countries and international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union. All its programmes, which are mainly implemented by the SDC and SECO, incorporate the principles of good governance and equal rights.

Switzerland's key partners in Albania are:

  • National partners: ministries, city and municipal authorities, social and professional organisations, the private sector and local NGOs
  • Swiss NGOs: Helvetas-Swiss Intercooperation, Swisscontact, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Terre des Hommes, Save the Children
  • Bilateral and multilateral partners: Germany (KfW, GIZ), Austria (ADA), Sweden, EBRD, EU, Council of Europe, OSCE, UN, World Bank Group, WHO

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 23

Orienting vocational skills towards the job market

Four students and a teacher cooking.

01.03.2015 - 30.04.2019

Albania’s economic and employment growth is hampered by a shortage in quality techni­cal skills. In response to this, the government of Albania wants to improve vocational edu­cation and training (VET) and align it towards labour market needs. The Skills for Jobs project supports this reorientation.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Economy and Employment
Labor market development
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
INDUSTRY
Employment policy and administrative management
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development

01.03.2015 - 30.04.2019


CHF 7'800'000



Developing Skills for Better Employment

A student screwing a solar panel together.

15.12.2014 - 31.12.2018

Unequal access to employment and the mismatch between education and labour market requirements are among the reasons for the high youth-unemployment in Albania. The Vocational Education and Training (VET) system therefore is undergoing a reorientation in order to meet labour market needs. Through the Skills Development for Employment Programme Switzerland is supporting these reforms.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Education
Economy and Employment
Vocational training and skills development
Labor market development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
EDUCATION
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Vocational training
Employment policy and administrative management
Human rights

15.12.2014 - 31.12.2018


CHF 3'000'000



Supporting Decentralisation and Local Government

Albanian women visiting the Bushat municipal office.

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


Switzerland supports Albania's transition to a democratic society. The decentralisation and local development programme (dldp) strengthens local government in North Albania and disseminates best practices at national level. It has introduced new models for local government functioning in areas such as waste management, public finance management, and e-governance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


CHF 9'620'000



Increasing the Quality of Health Services for All

15.10.2013 - 31.03.2019


Albania has the lowest public health spending in the region. Many patients bypass primary health care and overcrowd hospitals, especially in larger cities. In addition, non-communicable diseases are increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore health promotion, prevention of diseases and improved primary health care services are a top priority for the country.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Health
Health system strengthening
Non-communicable diseases, incl. Mental health
Primary health care
Non-communicable diseases, incl. Mental health
Primary health care
HEALTH
HEALTH
HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management
Medical services
Basic health care
Medical services
Basic health care

15.10.2013 - 31.03.2019


CHF 10'000'000



Better Planning for Albania's Government

Meeting of the Government of Albania.

01.01.2012 - 31.12.2019

Albania’s economy, public finance, and debt remain areas of concern as the government tries to keep positive growth and stability in a challenging context. Although capacities for policy and financial planning have improved, there still is a need for better performance, monitoring and integrated planning. Since 2005 a group of donors including Switzerland introduced the Integrated Planning System, a tool that aids the government in strategy planning while observing budget constraints.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Public financial management (including activities against corruption)
Public financial management (including activities against corruption)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Public finance management
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Public finance management

01.01.2012 - 31.12.2019


CHF 1'375'000



Decentralization and Local Development Program (dldp) in Albania

01.01.2018 - 30.06.2019

Selected municipalities in Northern Albania will be strengthened in managing local finances and improving their waste management process for offering better services to communities in enlarged territories. The learnings from the long term Swiss support will be transferred sustainably to national actors and will be embedded in regulations and standards at local and national level. 


Albania: PACEP (Support to Parliament and Civic Education Project)

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2022

The Albanian Parliament will be supported to enhance the performance and professionalism of its administration and improve its representative, oversight and legislative functions. Educated citizens and engaged civil society contribute toward more accountability in decision making processes and benefit from a well-functioning parliament.


Making Labour Market Work for Young People in Albania

01.11.2017 - 31.10.2021

The Albanian economy has difficulties to absorb young people entering the job market. By addressing all dimensions of employment, namely labor demand, job intermediation and labor supply, RisiAlbania project will apply a comprehensive approach to reduce the high youth unemployment (28.9% in 2016). The project will facilitate private sector growth in targeted sectors, leading to creation of 2200 new jobs, by the end of 2021. lt will contribute to 3000 young people placed in jobs and 7500 youth improved their market-oriented skills.


Strengthening Local Government Structures in Albania

01.08.2017 - 31.07.2019

The project "Strengthening Local Government Structures" helps municipalities in Albania to consolidate modern human resources management and leadership in local administration. lt supports the public administration reform of the Albanian Government in modernizing and depoliticizing public administration, thus complying with the requirements of the European integration agenda of the country. The Albanian School of Public Administration and the Academy of Political Studies will be strengthened as training providers for public administration.


Albania: Leave No One Behind

01.06.2017 - 31.05.2021

320'000 marginalised and vulnerable population of Albania, primarily Roma and people with disabilities, will benefit from improved social services. Currently, the needs of these people are not met by the social protection system. The project supports the implementation at municipal level of the national policy framework developed with Swiss support. So, the entire population will benefit from equal and dignified access to services and resources.


Albania: Bashki te Forta (Strong Municipalities)

01.06.2017 - 30.09.2022

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.


Regional Development Programme in Northern Albania

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2018

Citizens of Albania will benefit from better social and economic opportunities. Since many Albanian citizens face the negative consequences of social, economic and environmental disparities between and within regions of the country, the project will tackle these disparities by strengthening the institutions working on regional development through an active involvement of all relevant stakeholders and increasing strategic investments in the regions.

Object 1 – 12 of 23