Established with USAID support in 1998, Kuçova’s Citizen Advisory Panel was the very first voluntary-based group to operate in post-communist Albania. It successfully continues to be very active and effective in conveying citizens’ needs and concerns to the local government with regard to local participatory budgeting, infrastructure investment planning, information and communication with citizens, and other aspects of local life and development. The ceremony was attended by more than 100 people representing various local and regional institutions including mayors from neighboring LGUs, current and former CAP members, representatives from Kuçova Youth Center, municipal councilors, municipal staff, and locals.
Attending this celebratory event was the USAID Representative, Dr. Catherine Johnson. In her greeting remarks, Dr. Johnson said that this bottom up mechanism was democracy in action and a legacy of USAID’s work in Albania. The event included a variety of outdoor activities performed by Kuçova youth group and an award ceremony for outstanding current and former CAP members and a plaque presented to the outgoing Deputy Mayor Shpetim Nishani who has been a long advocate for the CAP and committed partner to USAID over his 20 plus years in office.