Project Factsheet
Tools for » Youth migration: Reaping the benefits and mitigating the risks
Project ID:00067199Description:MDGF-1897-H-ALB YouthEmpMig
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
MDGF Youth Employ & Migrant
End Date*: 31 Dec 2012
Country: Albania Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The Youth Employment and Migration (YEM) Joint Programme (JP) was designed to offer some responses to specific employment challenges in Albania, were strong and sustained economic growth did not always result in employment creation. Labour migration became a survival strategy to overcome poverty, especially for those with low earnings and poor working conditions in the informal economy, particularly in agriculture. The YEM JP aimed at:

  • strengthening the capacity of institutions (national and regional levels) to design and implement youth-centered policies and programmes
  • promoting programmes that  create  more and better jobs for young people and minimize the risks of migration from rural areas
  • building capacity to promote development through return migration and investment in the country. The JP was structured around 3 outcomes and eight outputs.

The JP achieved significant results across a range of areas and levels, for example:

  • improved capacity of the Albanian government to monitor youth labour market indicators
  • establishment of an inter-institutional mechanism to design, monitor and evaluate youth employment and migration policies
  • developed a permanent partnership between the public and the private sectors
  • an improved knowledge and understanding of integrated policies and measures to tackle the informal economy and their impact on migration
  • developed a coordination system for social pacts for youth employment at the local level
  • developed a system for mobilizing resources from Albanian communities abroad.

In the first area two staff development technical trainings were undertaken for a wide variety of partners from various ministries, social partners and other labour market institution on the subject of labour statistics and the methodology to undertake the Labour Force Survey (LFS), including technical questions on informal employment and migration.

A key result in the second area has been the development and implementation of the National Action Plan for Youth Employment (YE – NAP) and development of Territorial Employment Pacts (TEP) that did not exist before in Albania and are being replicated beyond the JP pilot areas.

For the third area of public-private partnership, the JP developed active labour market measure (ALMM) that combine work-training and wage subsidies for disadvantaged youth to enhance their employability. The ALMM was implemented under the context of PPP (Private-Public partnerships) that involved the National Employment Service (NES) and its local branches as service providers.

The fourth strand was the provision of advisory services on measures to tackle the informal economy to various ministries (Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities – MoLSAEO, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture). For  example, the modification of by-laws in agricultural subsidies led to a 1.3% reduction of informal employment in agriculture and added revenue of US$ 1 million for the government. 

Under the fifth achievement Regional Employment Boards were established in the two pilot regions and a territorial employment pact for youth was developed. The primary beneficiaries were unemployed youths 15 to 29 years with a low socio-educational profile.

In the sixth area of achievement the JP partnered with the Albanian Students Abroad Network (ASAN) and a private sector intermediary to identify the young Albanian graduates abroad and promote return of qualified nationals.

Given the high number of international migrants and the large Diaspora, outreach activities were held in a number of countries in Europe and the US in order to also establish links and identify potential investors in line with business opportunities.


Outcome 1:

Youth employment is a priority of the National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI).

Outcome achievements:

  • Youth employment is now a high priority for the government, and it has been included in the new National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI 2013-2020). The MoLSAEO is implementing the NAP for youth employment, in line with the Sectoral Strategy on Employment and Vocational Training (2013-2020). The YE-NAP is being applied beyond the two target regions of Kukes and Shkodra: both Tirana municipality and Lezha region are working on replicating these tools (municipal plan for YE in Tirana, establish a REB and develop a TEP in Lezha).
  • Another fundamental result was the upgrading of the labour statistics system, which was chronically weak and can now provide a credible evidence-base to inform policy making.


Outcome 2:

Risks of migration are reduced through innovative employment programmes targeting disadvantaged youth in two pilot regions.

Outcome achievements:

  • The regional employment boards (REB) have in the two pilot regions greater ownership of the local processes. In Shkodra a Regional Employment Fund (REF) was established, though late, and local government authorities and the RE Office are accountable for the funding allocation that is received directly from the JP.
  • A number of activities were undertaken to reduce the risk of migration with particular focus on creating linkages across sectors to favor the employability of the youth. This included innovative projects in which NES services played the role of service provider for the private sector as PPPs were established in various sectors. Other activities included matching of returning migrants, and other experimental and innovative pilots. The two Youth Employment Service (YES) centers proved to provide a clear added value for the youth from both urban and rural areas of the pilot regions. The centers offered a range of services on issues of interest to youth, including but not limited to employment opportunities, safe migration, preparing the curriculum, career assessment, guidance, etc. YES centers are being gradually established in other regions of the country given the success they are having and the high attendance of youth.


Outcome 3:

The positive impact of migration is increased through enhanced linkages between Albanian communities abroad and home communities.

Outcome achievements:

  • Under this outcome the JP attempted to make the linkages with the large Albanian Diaspora and the young Albanian students in order to provide matching employment opportunities for the latter, and inform and disseminate business opportunities for the first. This was done in the case of the Diaspora through international outreach activities through conferences where the Albanian community would attend. However the global economic crisis makes these efforts more difficult. There are unexploited synergies with the government’s Brain Gain programme.


Best practices:

  • The successful partnership with the government and the very good connection and alignment between the activities implemented at the national level and regional levels
  • The development of various innovative and creative agreements with national and local partners from government; private sector, and non-profit organizations
  • The strong responsiveness to changing situations at the regional level
  • The positive experience of the YES centers through which visible results of dissemination and outreach activities have been recorded
  • The inclusive process to develop the NAP and TEP
  • Strong technical competencies on employment, youth and migration provided to national counterparts through participating UN agencies
  • The success in empowering the different stakeholders, as evidenced by the Shkodra REF experience


Lessons learned:

  • The Joint Program has consistently responded and provided support in a complex operational environment (elections, political changes). The JP as a multi-level actors effort has been flexible to address changing needs and creating foundation for long-term development.
  • Strong commitment of key stakeholders – MOLSAEO, Spanish Embassy, UN RC, is a key condition for the success of JP implementation.
  • Reliable data and background analysis concerning the underlying relation between youth migration and unemployment is necessary in order to provide policy-makers with recommendations in order to properly address the challenge of contributing to improve employment opportunities of the young people and preventing irregular migration.
  • Do not underestimate the lead-time for programme implementation and ensure that a clear communication strategy for the JP exists and is adequately disseminated.


More details can be found in the final project report:

Recent Documents
Key Figures
Report by
Participating Organizations are required to submit final year-end expenditures by April 30 in the following year; Interim expenditure figures are submitted on a voluntary basis and therefore current year figures are not final until the year-end expenditures have been submitted.
Report by
All amounts in US$
View as Excel Print friendly format
Latest Vouchers
This screen shows payment vouchers for transfers made to Participating Organizations. Only payment vouchers from 1 January 2009 and onwards are shown.
All amounts in US$ View as Excel Print friendly format

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:; Skype: fioralba.shkodra
Contact Us | Glossary | Scam alert | Information Disclosure Policy | Feedback