LëvizAlbania


Albania is at a critical juncture in its democratisation process and low level of civic engagement in the society does not aid. Challenging the status quo, LëvizAlbania empowers actors in the civic space (citizens, interest groups, CSOs, media etc.) to be drivers of change and pressure the government to take action benefiting the Albanian citizens. It complements SDCs extensive past and present work of institutional transformations of local level government.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Governance
Democratic participation and civil society
Decentralisation
01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023
CHF 7'000'000
Background

- The country is faced with democratic deficits and shrinking civic space characterized by weak institutions and indifferent society.

- There is an increasingly favorable legal and institutional framework at local level enabled by Territorial-Administrative Reform.   

- Civil Society remains weak and unable to drive change.

- Lack or weak anti-corruption policies /strategies at local level, allowing for low trust of citizens in government.

- The increased number of online media outlets offers diverse information however self-censorship and strong connections between politics, business, and media persist.

- Increased pressure (mainly external) for fundamental reforms (judiciary, electoral, political party etc).

Objectives Albanian population benefits from an improved democracy at local level.
Target groups Citizens of Albania, Civil society organizations, interest groups (formal/informal), civic groups, individuals “Champions of Democracy”, Media and Journalists, Local Government Units and Councils and selected line – ministries.
Medium-term outcomes

1. Civic actors influence the local priority setting, decision-making and the effectiveness of service delivery by local authorities.

2. Civil society actors engage in strategic/joint actions to address structural/systemic challenges related to good governance at local level.

Results

Expected results:  

- Civil society actors influence policy and decision- making at local level governance.

- Systemic mechanisms on civic participation, transparency and accountability are introduced at Municipal level

- Municipalities respond to civic input and demand 

- Structural barriers to local democracy are identified and addressed by citizens and public authorities

- Evidence based local governance is promoted and supported by organizations and authorities

- Open data platform to measure fiscal and financial performance is operational and used across board

- Youth activism in decision making is strengthened.


Results from previous phases:  

- Groups and individuals empowered by LA led 166 successful initiatives on local democracy.  

- 560 cases of legal assistance to CSOs and citizens have been enabled by LA.

- Responding to citizen pressure 20 local public services in 29 municipalities are improved.

- Citizen influenced municipal budgets in 20 municipalities.

- Improved legal framework on environment protection procedures on publlic consessions, local referenda etc.

- Enhanced transparency accountability and transparency of LGUs, namely 18 new municipal websites and 8 municipal transparency programs.

- 10 youth structures were established increasing youth activism and participation in local decision-making and acting as watchdog. 

- Innovative ICT tools to support local democracy (open data, public consultation, evidence based journalism) were established and used by citizens and organizations


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Coordination with other projects and actors Synergy is established with: Strong Municipalities (SDC), STAR, Strengthening Sub-national Public Financial Management in Albania (SECO), Regional Local Democracy Programme – ReLOaD (EU-UNDP); Citizen-Centric Service Delivery – World Bank; UN Women and OSCE women Alliances in politics.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   7'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   850'000 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF  13'900'000
Project phases Phase 2 01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023   (Current phase) Phase 1 15.10.2013 - 30.06.2019   (Completed)