Project Factsheet
Tools for » Economic governance, regulatory reform, public participation, and pro-poor development in Albania
Project ID:00067186Description:MDGF-1808-A-ALB EcoGov
Fund:
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 29 Oct 2007
Theme:
MDGF Economic Governance
End Date*: 31 Dec 2012
Country: Albania Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   UNDP - UNDP(MDTF/PUNO only).
About

Overview:

This Joint Programme (EG JP) was designed to enhance the effective management, regulation and monitoring of key public utility sectors such as water and electricity, in strengthening of consumer’s voice to promote and protect their rights and in designing of pro poor utility policies in favour of vulnerable groups. The outcomes of this joint programme provided its own contribution to the implementation of Albanian Government NSDI and achieving its objectives particularly in the water, energy and consumer protection sectors.

The EG JP essentially provided several studies, reports, assessments and research for regulatory bodies. Among the most notable results; the assessment of the power model in Albania as well as the capacity diagnosis report for the General Department for water and sanitation. A consumer survey was prepared that will be used to improve the quality of services. At the request of the Ministry of Economy, the JP is contributing to the legal framework as well as the strengthening of the capacities of the new inspection infrastructure directly related to the support provided within the Economic Governance to regulatory entities and consumer protection policies in Albania.

A new “water model contract” was developed and approved by the national water commission. The JP also implemented a training programme for 230 journalists and supported the capacity development of mediators to handle consumer-business disputes. Critical data collection was undertaken through various studies and reports, for example “access to water and sewerage in the informal urban settlements and rural areas in the selected Albanian districts”. The data of the studies provide scientific support to inform government decision-making.

 

Outcome 1:

Capacities of regulatory bodies to better monitor the provision and efficiency of service delivery enhanced.

Outcome achievements:

  • Power Market Model assessment undertaken. 80% of recommendations of the report approved by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy (METE) and the ERE (Albanian Energy Regulatory Entity).
  • Assessment of the water and sanitation service quality monitoring data provided and approved by the General Department of Water and Supply (GDWS). The power producer (KESH) and the power transmitter (OST), both have now business plans which will help them to improve their performance. A capacity diagnosis report for the General Department for Water and Sanitation (GDWS) regarding the assessment of national water institutions was prepared, discussed and endorsed by the Albanian authorities.  Upon the Ministry of Economy’s request, EG JP supported the inspection reform for a better business climate facilitated by enhanced regulatory work. EG JP support has contributed to the legal framework as well as the strengthening of the capacities of the new inspection infrastructure.

 

Outcome 2:

Consumer associations and state bodies strengthened to provide a strong national voice of consumers.

Outcome achievements:

  • Initial training of the GDWS staff started as part of water/sanitation strategy preparation and a “Gap Analysis and Capacity Building report” stemmed from the training workshop given in June 2012.
  • A report on “prioritizing water investments in rural areas” was produced. Capacity development through study visits and on the job training was undertaken. The JP supported the implementation of the Consumer Complaint Management System, and trained mediators on consumer legislation and rights particularly through the Albanian Foundation for Conflict Resolution (AFCR) that have mediators in various cities such as Durres, Tirana and Korca.
  • The JP supported the mid-term review of the Strategy on Market Surveillance and Consumer Protection for the Food and Non Food products, leading to the production of two reports.
  • Through the formulation and implementation of an intensive national consumer awareness campaign as were five TV spots produced and aired in the national TV channels, informative leaflets, two talk shows, different articles written on consumers rights and related matters, EG JP endeavored to enter in each Albanian family, inform and raise the awareness on their rights and how/ where to claim them. 400.000 consumer protection leaflets and 100.000 brochures targeted at business were distributed. 230 journalists were trained through nine training sessions on consumer protection.

 

Outcome 3:

Vulnerable groups, people in need, and those living in informal areas benefit from pro-poor utility policies.

  • EG JP supported critical data collection exercises. A national survey on citizen’s perception on the services provided by water and electrical energy operators was conducted. The methodology followed the Citizen Report Card methodology, and was accepted and approved by the national partners. Based on the data from the survey, two regional and national reports respectively for the water and energy sector, were prepared, shared with stakeholders and endorsed by the partners.
  • Reports were produced on review of available micro-economic data to analyze electricity and water consumption in the population, and particularly by vulnerable groups. 1.300 households in Durres were surveyed for their willingness to pay for water.
  • A study on access to water in the informal urban settlements and rural areas of 5 Albanian districts was also undertaken, and the result was presented in a national workshop with 80 participants from national and international organisations.

 

Best practices:

  • The fact that METE was involved since the very beginning of the project and the whole intervention was tailored to meet its needs and those of other national partners. The EG JP became a part of larger initiatives in response to the national strategies and priorities of Albania.
  • The JP design enabled the best use of UNDP and World Bank capacities.
  • The JP’s flexibility was also one of the main factors of the programme success, particularly in view of the changes at institutional level that impacted the decision making process.
  • The two governance structures consisting of the Project Management Committee and the National Steering Committee, with the participation of two vice-ministers and the Head of Donors Coordination Department, ensured national ownership of the decisions taken and activities implemented.

 

Lessons learned:

  • This type of programme needs an explicit inception phase with clear guidelines to review the design and update the programme according to the new realities. During such as phase a reviewed project document should be produced.

 

More details can be found in the final project report: http://mptf.undp.org/document/download/11229

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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Albania or the lead agency for the programme.

The person with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Fioralba Shkodra, UN Coordination Specialist; Telephone: 00355 4 2276 648; Email: fioralba.shkodra@one.un.org; Skype: fioralba.shkodra
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