Albanian Institute of Science (AIS)

Albanian Institute of Science

Country: Albania
Focal Point: Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director
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Tel: +355682001718

Mission and vision

The main mission of AIS is to use innovation and new information technologies as tools for providing more information, transparency, communication, and citizens’ participation. Civic technology and ICT are used as instruments to improve the democratic culture of participation, the process of transparency and monitoring accountability in real time through the motto: open governance as good governance.

General description of the CSO work in the anti-corruption area

AIS is a non-profit organization founded in March 2011. Its purpose is to make public sector data available and create room for knowledge that encourages information, transparency, and accountability. One of the AIS slogans is “Open Governance as Good Governance”. Following such principle, the achievements of the organization include the creation of platforms, IT instruments, and well-structured data catalogues containing mainly statistical data about governance at the local and central levels. AIS has applied Open Data standards on Budget, Spending, Procurement, Corporations, and Contracting in the context of Albania. Such standards help in monitoring the performance of the government, identifying the trend of various socio-economic phenomena, and implementing an analytical evaluation of the developments.

Specific description of the CSO work in relation to the UNCAC

AIS has instituted several programs that empower civil society through knowledge and dissemination of information while providing tools for civic monitoring and reporting. Some of AIS’ main projects are: Money, Government and Politics which addresses issues of abuse, corruption, embezzlement and conflict of interest in Albania. The program provides data about the wealth of high-ranking officials, expenditures of state institutions, concessionary corporations, and electoral spending. This process enables tracking of cases of nepotism, embezzlement, and conflict of interest. Access to such data increases transparency, accountability and public pressure.

Open Local Government and Public Health Sector Procurements projects apply Open Contracting Standards to monitor public procurements issued by local government units and public health institutions. The intervention through these projects holds governments accountable and keeps the public informed.

Promoting Transparency over Municipality Spending is the result of AIS activities under a USAID/PLGProject to make municipality budgets more transparent and available in user-friendly format.

Specific description of the CSO work in relation to the review mechanism of the UNCAC

AIS activities are not directly linked with the UNCAC review mechanism but as a leader in open data analysis in Albania, AIS’ focus is to create a transparent government. AIS demonstrates integrity and consistency as it continues to play a watchdog role, while encouraging public pressure on the Government both before and after the 2013 Political Rotation – a time when many watchdog organizations started to weaken, dissolve or turn into consultants of governmental institutions.

AIS has two courageous stories of advocacy through legal instruments:

  1. AIS took the three largest political parties in the country to court to force them to provide financial transparency about their election donors
  2. The open data of the Spending Data Albania Program were used as evidence by the Constitutional Court to prove a case of incompliant mandate for a Member of Parliament.

A global civil society network promoting the implementation and monitoring of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)