Regional Development Programme in Northern Albania


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.

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)
01.12.2016 - 30.09.2018
CHF 2'555'000
Background

Albania is consolidating its institutions and state structure in order to improve the livelihood of its citizens and prepare the country for EU integration. The decentralization agenda in the country has been actively promoted by the current government with a Territorial Administrative Reform that drastically consolidated the local government units (in 2015). A Crosscutting Strategy on Decentralization and Local Governance was approved in 2015 and a law on Local Finances is soon to be approved. The domestic regional development reform is a new major reform that has been launched recently; it aims for a balanced, sustainable and inclusive development of the regions in the country. However, capacities for implementing such a reform are to be strenghtened and the newly established institutions at the national and regional level are not yet functioning.

Objectives

Disparities in Albania are reduced by supporting the development of strong regions which advance their potential and provide better social and economic conditions for their citizens.

Target groups

The government of Albania will profit from a successful policy and legal framework on Regional Development. The new structures of Regional Development (mainly the National Agency for Regional Development and four Regional Development Agencies) are supported in establishing the conditions for functioning properly. Diverse stakeholders such as local government units, private and social actors will benefit from being or becoming part of the new structures on RD. The citizens of Albania are the ultimate target group as they will benefit from better coordinated policies of the government, in terms of effects and public funds utilization and implementation of RD projects.

Medium-term outcomes
  • The central government successfully defines, coordinates and implements the institutional and legal framework for Regional Development.
  • The new Regional Development institutions make effective and strategic use of increasing funds for the development of regions through a partnership ap-proach that includes appropriate consultation of stake-holders.
  • The socio-economic conditions for Albanian citizens are improved through the implementation of Re-gional Development projects reflecting regional needs and priorities.
Results

Results from previous phases:  

Key results from RDP1: At the national level, there were six policy papers on the role and functions of Qarks (intermediate administrative units) that were drafted, together with contributions on the policy level for the territorial reform. At the regional level, capacities of Qarks for regional development planning and delegated functions were strengthened. A comprehensive regional development planning and budgeting process in Shkodër and Lezhë regions were developed and institutionalized together with the implementation of 29 development projects that were designed through a bottom-up approach.

Insights include: The vision and commitment of the central government is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of a Regional Development reform.

The results of the bridging phase (RDP2) are the elaboration of a draft policy on regional development, a legal framework, a new financial framework as well as an analysis on the potentials of each of the regions.

A conducive regulatory framework is indispensable to make Regional Development management work, and to make interventions sustainable over the long term.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   2'555'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0
Project phases Phase 3 01.12.2016 - 30.09.2018   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.08.2015 - 31.12.2016   (Completed) Phase 1 01.07.2009 - 31.03.2015   (Completed)