Decentralization Working Group Kickoff Meeting

Kickoff Meeting of Decentralization WG

With support from the USAID Planning and Local Governance Project, the Minister of State for Local Issues organized the Kickoff Meeting of the Decentralization Working Group seeking to:

  • Present the Government of Albania’s plans and program for Decentralization Reform
  • Engage Representatives of Line Ministries of Government of Albania (GoA) in discussions and priority setting for decentralization reforms
  • Brief members of the Decentralization Working Group (DWG) about the roles and responsibilities of the Group
  • Provide an opportunity for a dialogue between local government representatives and GoA officials to build a Crosscutting Decentralization Strategy

Attendees of this meeting included ministers, vice ministers and other senior officials of the Government of Albania, US Ambassador to Albania, members of the Decentralization Working Group, mayors and deputy mayors, representatives of the civil society organizations, donor community and other stakeholders. 


PLGP Albanian Mayors in NEXPO Event

NEXPO-fairDo you know that Albania’s local governments are part of a network comprised of 16 Local Government Associations which represent roughly 9,000 local authorities in South East Europe?

Yes, Albania’s local governments are part of NALAS, a network of associations of local authorities of South East Europe. A large delegation of Albanian local officials were active participants in the NALAS International Municipal Fair held in Rijeka and Opatija, Croatia from September 25 to 27. A total of 88 municipalities and communes from Albania were represented at the event. Among the participants were Mayors and Deputy Mayors from 11 of the partner local governments of USAID’s Planning and Local Governance Project (PLGP).

Participants representing  more than 500 local governments from South East Europe and beyond had the opportunity to exchange experience and learn of Best Practices in local governance, municipal management, and service delivery.   All Mayors attended the first day’s session, “The Road to EU Integration-Removing Barriers, Unlocking Our Potential”. A very timely topic as Albania hopes to soon secure EU candidate status. Workshops over the next two days included two sessions specifically targeted to Albanian local officials. One workshop focused on fiscal decentralization and own source revenue collection. This workshop was jointly organized by USAID’s  PLGP and the Decentralization and Local Development Program funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).  The second workshop, organized by the Council of Europe, discussed efforts to build a pluralistic and unified platform of dialogue for local government elected officials in Albania. Both sessions generated lively discussions and contributed to efforts to build a non-partisan consensus on issues of importance to local governance.


CAP in Kuçova

Kuçova, 15 Years of Civic Engagement

Kuçova celebrated the 15th Anniversary of its Citizen Advisory Panel. This milestone is an indication of the strong involvement of citizens in the local decision-making and priority-setting process. With the support of USAID, the Kuçova CAP was created in 1997, two years ahead of the adoption of the Organic Law, which mandated that local governments increase the transparency of their activities by informing and involving citizens in decision-making.



PLGP Support for PPPs

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) provide an opportunity for LGUs to access private financing for purposes of improving the quality and efficiency of public infrastructure and services. For these types of ventures, PLGP has focused efforts in three main directions:

  1. Legislation and Policy Making – Central and local government officials recognize that changes in legislation are required to improve the PPP enabling environment in Albania. As this is one of the areas where both tiers of government agree on the need for improvements, PLGP works to facilitate discussions in this regard and as part of the fiscal decentralization efforts.
  2.

PPP Legislation

Amendment to the PPP Law

In April 2013, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) presented the PLGP with a draft Law on Concessions and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). The draft was developed in February 2013 with funding from the European Union under their SIGMA Program. Upon request from AmCham, PLGP reviewed the draft law for the impacts that it could have on the activity of Local Government Units (LGUs) in Albania.


Territorial Planning Amendments

Changes to the Territory Planning Law

Albanian Law No. 10119, “On Territory Planning” has been amended six times since it was approved in 2009. Initially it was modified to postpone the date of entry into force and later to reflect stakeholders` interests arising over time. Changes have been introduced in the bylaws on territorial planning as well, in order to ensure agreement with the law.


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