Partners Albania for Change and Development (PA)

Partners Albania for Change and Development

Country: Albania
Focal Point: Juliana Hoxha, Director
Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required
Tel: +355 4 2254881

Mission and vision

Partners Albania (PA) is an independent Albanian NGO established in 2001, working to support civil society and facilitate inter-sector cooperation in order to strengthen democratic institutions and advance economic development.

Partners Albania is a member of Partners Network, a partnership of 19 independent, local organizations in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East working for peaceful and democratic change. Partners Albania is also a member of several European and regional networks such as Euclid BCSDNECASDIESISAnna LindhWINGS and others.

General description of the CSO’s work in anti-corruption

Partners Albania for Change and Development, since 2001, has contributed towards good governance in the country. In the frame of the programmatic area “Transparent and Accountable Participatory Governance”, we take pride of our achievements in (a) empowering NPOs and change actors in their monitoring role and engagement in policy-making processes and (b) promotion and advocacy on good governance practices, and support of institutions and interest groups in their implementation.

PA has achieved these results through an integrated approach based on research, awareness raising, advocacy and facilitation of multi-stakeholders’ dialogue and cooperation in reducing corruption practices.

Specific description of the CSO’s work in relation to the UNCAC

Partners Albania, since 2001, has implemented dozens of actions in this regard:

  • Facilitated the drafting of the regulatory framework of the newly-adopted whistleblowers’ legislation in Albania
    • Organized various regional consultative meetings for the consultation of the legal framework.
    • Facilitated the implementation of a capacity building program, strengthening the Albanian institutions capacities (the High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests and the Albanian School of Public Administration) to properly implement the newly adopted legislation.
    • Organized a study visit for the representatives of the Minister of State for Local Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests, and experts, exposing them to relevant and successful experiences on the implementation of the whistleblowers’ protection law at European countries.
    • Designed and implemented a wide awareness raising campaign among all relevant actors on the importance of using this legal tool as a preventive measure.
  • Assessed the accountability and transparency of public institutions with regards to public services
    • Monitored the implementation of public procurement at the local level and advocated for increased transparency and anticorruption measures.
    • Contributed in setting-up evaluation mechanisms for the effectiveness of local policies adopted through regular public input.
  • Introduced new tools for reducing corruption at the local/national level:
    • Prepared and implemented anticorruption strategies and local action plans at local government level.
    • Facilitated drafting of advocacy actions of local NPOs to fight corruption in the health sector.
  • Created a sustainable model of social re-use of confiscated assets from organized crime in the Western Balkans:
    • Established the first three social enterprises in three confiscated assets in the country.
    • Prepared and implemented wide educational and promotional campaign launched on national TV channels and social media.
    • Prepared a Practical Guide for CSOs for the establishment of social enterprises on confiscated assets
    • Assisted the “Agency for the Administration of Seized and Confiscated Assets” to prepare internal procedures for the destination and the assignment of confiscated assets to CSOs for social re-use.
  • Ensured that CSOs are effectively engaged in the public debate and efforts on anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing:
    • Conducted a mapping and analysis of the legal framework, regulations, and government measures to respond to international standards and recommendations on AML/CFT affecting CSOs.
    • Designed and implemented a wide information and educational campaign on AML/CFT launched on national TV and social media, to ensure that civil society in Albania is effectively engaged in the public debate on these issues;
    • Organized a series of roundtables with CSOs, Albanian Financial Intelligence Unit, General Directorate of Taxations, other relevant state institutions, and stakeholders;
    • Created the on-line Hub with information on AML/CFT issues for CSOs;
    • Contributed to the debate among CSOs at the WB region on these issues;
    • Designed the methodology of NPO sector risk assessment on terrorism financing through multi-stakeholders’ process.
  • Facilitated public institutions at local and central level in design and/or implementation of public communication strategies, contributing to an enhanced transparency:
    • Designed tools to increase public access to information.

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

Partners Albania during the last decade has been engaged in numerous initiatives contributing and expressing its commitment in the review mechanism of UNCAC. More specifically contributed to:

  1. Building capacities of local stakeholders in good governance and the fight against corruption:
  • Leviz Albania /Move Albania an eight years programme funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the consortium of three Albanian organizations (Open Society Foundation for Albania, Partners Albania and CO-Plan) contributes to democratization at the local level, tackling the demand for better governance. Partners Albania contributed to the enhancement of capacities of Albanian NPOs and drivers of change across the country to influence local priority setting, decision making, fostering of local democracy and accountability of public institutions.
  • PA has contributed to the development of anti-corruption strategies and local actions plans to cure and prevent corruption at local government level. The initiative consisted in the introduction of an innovative approach on the fight against corruption “Curing and Preventing Corruption at Local Level”, identifying the services vulnerable to corruption and the designing and implementing of anticorruption strategies and action plans
  • Civic actors’ engagement in participatory budgeting at local and central levelcontributed to strengthening of local actors’ capacities with regards to the budgeting process and advocating for issues of interest. PA successfully contributed to leading and facilitating various public consultations among local and national CSOs, and government institutions as Ministry of Education and Sports; Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Finance and advocating with the Parliamentary Commissions on priority issues. For the first time, PA in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance developed the document “Citizen Budget” as an important tool of information on public finances for the wider public.
  • “Stronger CSOs for Transparency in Health” an initiative contributing to the increased role of NPOs in advocating the with the government to address issues of corruption in the health sector and to implement best practices in enhancing transparency and accountability of health institutions. An introduction of the patients’ organisations, NPOs working in the health sector with the relevant oversight authorities (Ombudsman, Commissioner for the Right to Information and Data Protection, High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflicts of InterestHIDACCI, served to increase awareness and information of the CSOs on the oversight bodies’ roles and the mechanisms that can be used by NPOs to increase the transparency and fight against corruption. Several capacity building programs are implemented dedicated to patients’ organisations, NPOs working in the health sector on the topics of: Community Mobilization; Increased understanding on anti-corruption tools, legal framework and existing mechanisms; and Advocacy and Lobbying.

2. Assist public institutions at local/national level to improve/build skills on accountability and transparency:

  • As the implementing partner of Chemonics International Inc. in Millennium Challenge Threshold Country Program I, PA implemented the action “Public outreach efforts to educate the general population and the business community about anti-corruption initiatives in the tax administration, business registration and public procurement offices of the government”. PA facilitated dozens of trainings and round tables with participation of over 350 representatives of business, public administration and media sector with regards to the improvement of transparency of the program beneficiaries (Public Procurement Agency and Public Procurement Advocate’s Office). Internal and External Communication Strategies and plans developed contributed to enhancing the transparency of the targeted institutions.
  • “Monitoring the implementation of the public procurement law and procedures for public tenders” implemented in 7 municipalities (Tirana, Elbasani and Lezha, Berati, Fieri, Himara and Saranda) through a set of activities such as: review of monthly and annual monitoring reports; a survey with 200 economic operators to measure level of satisfaction from the tender procedures; organization of focus groups with procurement units in the respective municipalities, which contributed to the identification of the main challenges related with procurement procedures and recommendations for an improved system in place.
  • PA through Assessment of the transparency in local social service delivery, in eight municipalities” (Durresi, Kruja, Kucova, Rubiku, Korca, Elbasani, Municipal Units 1 and 5 in Tirana) contributed to increased transparency of local governments by: designing and/or reviewing public communication strategies and public access to information; design and monitoring of evaluation plans to support budget adjustments; setting-up mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of local policies adopted by the municipality through regular public input.
  • “Implementing the newly-adopted whistleblowers’ legislation in Albania” – contributed to the prevention of corruptive practices in the Albanian institutions by means of proper implementation of the law on protection of whistleblowers. The specific objectives achieved through this project, were: Setting out the regulatory framework that will ensure the applicability of the law; 2. Raised and strengthened the capacities of the Albanian institutions in order to properly implement the newly adopted legislation and 3. raised awareness among all relevant actors/institutions on the importance to use this legal tool as a preventive measure. The project established intra-institutional communication and respective mechanisms pertinent to implement the legislation on whistleblowers’ protection. Various institutions have been targeted as the Council of Ministers, Albanian Parliament, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State for Local Issues, National Coordinator on Anti-Corruption, HIDACI and independent institutions.
  • “Assessment of public participation and consultation at the local level, the legal and regulatory framework and practices in this regard”. PA contributed through a guiding manual for engagement and public consultation, to provide information about planning, standards and methods for organizing public consultation. 12 regional consultations and round tables organized contributed to introduce the manual in 61 Municipalities-Coordinators of Notification and Public Consultation; developed an evaluation system available to assist all LGUs in their work towards public engagement and consultation.
  • The establishment of a model of sustainable re-use of confiscated assets from organized crime by civil society organizations (CSOs) – The action was implemented, as a first initiative of this kind in Albania and in Western Balkan region, contributing on the promotion and development of the culture of social entrepreneurship and fight against organized crime, providing opportunities, skills and financial support for CSOs to implement such a courageous initiative and educating various actors and public on the importance of such activity.

3. PA has strengthened and promoted international cooperation in the fight against corruption through various cross-border, regional and European projects:

  • Exchange of best practices in participatory governance, among municipalities in Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia has contributed to set-up new mechanisms and strengthen regional cooperation.
  • Enhanced capacities of local government officials and local government organizations in the Municipalities of the Stability Pact Region (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia) has contributed to improved services and more transparent institutions.
  • Improved partnerships of NPOs and self-governments – together for more effective participation – two years of  action which contributed to improved skills and capacities of CSOs in advocacy and monitoring of local government through a collaborative approach; and networking with various stakeholders in Albania and Slovakia to learn from best practices at the European level, amplifying the results of the action.

If you or someone from your organization has participated in a workshop on UNCAC and its review mechanism organized by UNODC/ UNCAC Coalition, please indicate who, when and where

  • Xhoana Zeqo, Project Manager participated in the “Multi-stakeholder workshop to strengthen civil society capacity on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and its review mechanism”; September 24-27, 2018; Belgrade, Serbia; organized by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Kostandina Keruti, Project Manager participated at the “Multi-stakeholder workshop to strengthen civil society capacity on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and its review mechanism”; September 19-22, 2016; Vienna, Austria; organized by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

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