Partnerët Shqipëri për Ndryshim dhe Zhvillim (Partners Albania for Change and Development)
Partners Albania for Change and Development was founded in 2001 with a mission to build a culture of change and conflict management in Albania, and has become a national leader in the development of Albania’s third sector.
Partners Albania builds the platforms for communities, civil society organizations, government and business to resolve conflict and advance constructive change. Partners Albania has many years of experience combining local knowledge with innovative tools and techniques to build sustainable solutions and effective leadership. Partners Albania's capacity includes:
Training and on–site assistance - Enhance knowledge and strengthen capacities of organizations and governmental institutions at national and international levels.
Participatory processes, design and facilitation - Promote collaboration and ensures participation of diverse communities at all levels of decision-making.
Research - Monitor the performance of governmental institutions in support of democratic processes.
Encourage and support citizen initiatives - Promote advocacy tools to build participation, collaboration and ownership in meaningful and effective ways.
Advocacy for a better civil society legal framework - Contribute to the development of an enabling framework for non-profit organization operations and self-regulatory mechanisms for the sector.
Facilitation of organizational development processes, conferences, and meetings - Provide professional assistance and advanced methodology in facilitation.Some specific examples of Partners Albania’s work include:
Enhancing Women’s Role in Governance
Through this project Partners Albania promotes women leadership and strengthens the presence of women in public institutions. The project, which focuses on over 10 cities in four main regions of southern Albania, covers areas ranging from leadership to training on gender issues and community relations.
- Leadership and Advocacy Forums: Partners Albania organized nine regional forums on advocacy and leadership attended by 160 women. The forums are intended to help women network at local and regional levels, to support women engagement in professional and public life, strengthen their role in politics, and increase advocacy for achieving Albania’s 30% quota of female seats in parliament.
- Trainings on Gender Mainstreaming: Approximately 250 elected officials, municipal and commune councilors, and civil society representatives have been trained on gender mainstreaming issues. The participants assessed the state of gender mainstreaming at the local level, with a focus on education, vocational training and employment, and services for people in need.
- Engaging Local Communities: Approximately 800 Albanians participated in 24 community meetings that provided an opportunity for interaction between community members and local government representatives. Both parties discussed gender dynamics and public services, including infrastructure, water and sewage, sanitation, education, health, employment, and social aid.
Building the Civil Society Sector
- Partners Albania has been at the forefront of efforts to build the capacity and strength of Albania's third sector. The Center regularly conducts needs assessments of the sector as a whole and in specific technical areas, and has contributed to the USAID's annual Civil Society Capacity Index along with many other sector-wide initiatives.
- Partners Albania was a key part of the USAID-funded Democracy and Governance in Albania Program (DGA Program). Partners Albania contributed to strengthening Albanian civil society organizations to actively promote transparency and good governance. Partners Albania administered a $700,000 small grant fund, which supported indigenous nongovernmental organizations to run programs that promote free and fair elections , contribute to the fight against corruption, and promote greater transparency and accountability in local and national government.
With financial support from the Open Society Institute for Albania, Partners Albania organized a series of consultations with the Albanian non-profit sector as part of an initiative to revise and improve the fiscal legal framework regulating non-for-profits in the country. For further information, please see the Assessment Report on the Fiscal Framework of Civil Society in Albania, prepared by the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) and local experts. The report provides an overview of the pressing issues to be addressed in the fiscal environment for Albanian nongovernmental organizations, European standards and best practices, recommendations and alternatives.
- With World Bank Institute support, Partners Albania trained local NGOs on the Albania's new freedom of information law. Partners hosted a series of live, interactive e-seminars on how to access documents through the new law which included highlighting several test cases. Under the Democracy and Governance Program, PA provided sub-grants and technical assistance to NGOs seeking to access documents for specific initiatives. When attempts to access documents were futile and public administration was non-responsive to formal appeals due to high political barriers, Partners Albania trained NGOs to use other tools, such as media outreach, to overcome these hurdles.
- Partners Albania was a partner to Chemonics on the Millennium Challenge Corporation funded Public Administration Reform Program in Albania. Partners Albania led public outreach efforts to educate the general population and the business community about anti-corruption initiatives taking place in the tax administration, business registration and public procurement offices of the government. Partners Albania facilitated organization of dozens of trainings and round tables with participation of over 350 representatives of business sector, public administration and media. Partners conducted a survey of National Business Registration Center
performance in seven municipalities.
- Partners Albania major anti-corruption efforts are focused on local government, since they are directly responsible for public service provision. Partners Albania assessed transparency in local service delivery in eight municipalities. Based on the findings, Partners Albania worked with local government administrations to develop action plans, built skills of local administration officials, ensure public participation and consultation in the process, and disseminate the lessons learned at national level.
- Partners Albania promotes transparency in the municipal budgeting process through innovative programs that has trained until now 477 municipal officials and other civil society groups, together in participatory decision-making skills. This program has increased the participation of NGOs in the budgeting process, and after participating in the training, approximately 60% of local NGOs participated in municipal council meetings in order to have input into their local budget. As a result, municipal-level policy has been more accountable to citizen’s needs.
- Partners Albania worked on the “I Support Good Governance” Campaign in Albania. This campaign mobilized civil society groups to identify their priorities for local government and discuss these issues with candidates for local elections of 2007. Partners Albania worked with local NGOs to launch awareness campaigns, debates with experts on local TV stations, meetings with the mayoral candidates from each political party, and forums with candidates and interest groups. Partners Albania also worked with NGOs in the post-election period to develop monitoring tools and advocacy campaigns to encourage elected official to be accountable to their campaign promises.