Supporting the Government of Albania to Improve ICT Infrastructure and e-Services

What is the project about?

UNDP Albania has since 2002 worked closely with the Government of Albania to support the country’s transition to an Information Society through ICT development, thus playing a pivotal role in enabling the government to succeed in a variety of initiatives. This support has included specialized technical assistance in the drafting of two National ICT Strategies (in 2003 and 2008), the e-Schools initiative, establishment of the National Agency for Information Society (NAIS), GovNet, IPSAS, e-accounting, Inter-Operability (also known as X-Road), and the development of a set of key policy papers, such as the Security Policy Study and an Intranet and Internet Study. UNDP Albania has also been instrumental in the articulation of a number of ICT projects, such as National Wireless Broadband, National Digital Library and building an enabling infrastructure in Albania. As a result of this cooperation, and in view of Albania’s European integration agenda, which places great emphasis on automation and IT as a means to provide more effective services to the population as well as to fight corruption, the Government of Albania has requested UNDP to continue and to expand its assistance in the area of ICT.

Bridging the digital divide between urban and rural parts of the country is important to the national EU integration agenda, as social inclusion is a central component of the Acquis Communautaire. Interventions at local level have introduced ICT applications and enhancing citizens’ participation. This has directly impacted the transformation of local institutions’ operation in the municipalities of Elbasan and Kamez through the use of ICT tools. ICT applications has increased the transparency and accountability of municipalities, improved daily work practices, created citizen centered services, and ultimately contributed to better local government. Building upon this success, the process can be up-scaled nationally by replicating the results in other municipalities in the country.

UNDP is in a strategic position to provide further assistance in moving forward the ICT agenda in Albania. The Country Office has a team of experienced and dedicated ICT programme staff, offering expertise and technical assistance in a wide range of projects.

ICT sector remains on the focus of Government plans for intensifying the process of Digital Albania. Important new initiatives have been launched like the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and the modernization of postal sector, which we have been supporting since 2012.

The government initiative of “Digital Albania” will be one of the four pillars of the new NSDI 2013-2020. This will require more infrastructure, reforms, capacities, and improvements in the area of e-governance.

Albania has already in place most of basic elements of a governing and regulatory framework for telecommunications. The Postal and Electronic Communications Authority, National Agency on Information Society, National Authority for Electronic Certification, the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data, the Minister for Innovation and ICT are all new institutions in charge of the ICT development.

The availability of relevant and compelling content remains critical for demanding broadband services. Citizens need even more access to other types of e-services.  The government portals will be strengthened to provide e-services and other transactional activities, such as downloading online forms, updating of citizens information and making online requests.

Possession of IT skills remains one of the most significant factors for successfully aligning it with the needs of the modern economy. Public agencies are developing more e-content and enhancing their current national portals and web sites to make them more citizen-driven and create more opportunities for citizen engagement and e-participation. Also, the level of commitment for IT Managers will increase to become more e-government oriented.

Minister for Innovation and ICT has introduced since last year important reforms in the Postal sector. A policy document has been formulated and is being consulted with the relevant stakeholders. A full package of laws is expected to be drafted this year, which will increase competitiveness in this sector.

The Ministry of Finance has embarked on the initiative to establish an electronic system for monitoring the operations in the sector of gambling. A company has been contracted last year, and it is advising the process of creating a concession in this sector.         

UNDP delivers its support through providing (a) policy advice for managing the information society agenda of the government; (b) advisory services in specific directions of the ICT agenda; (c) assisting the government in deploying e-services. UNDP makes sure to include in all Terms of Reference particular tasks with a view to integrate gender equality concerns in the course of project implementation. All project activities will pay particular attention to gender specific elements.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • National Spatial Data Infrastructure legal and institutional frameworks approved and operationalized;
  • Rights of Way legal and institutional frameworks prepared;
  • Policy document on the development of postal sector approved, and the legal framework ready to be prepared
  • An electronic system for monitoring the operations in the sector of gambling being prepared for concession
  • Web based Electronic Document Management System focusing on citizens’ requests/complaints in the municipalities of Elbasan and Kamez established. Such a system has improved both services and the level of local governance;
  • The use of e-participation portals that enable citizens to participate in consultation processes such as budgeting and urban planning in the municipalities of Elbasan and Kamez established. E-participation portals have increased transparency to the citizens;

 

Who finances it?



Year

Donor

Amount contributed 

2011

ONE UN Coherence Fund

$ 175,872

2012

ONE UN Coherence Fund

Government of Albania

$ 216,379

$ 10,407

2013

ONE UN Coherence Fund

Government of Albania

$ 187,730

$ 192,664

Delivery

Year

Total delivery

2011 $ 175,872
2012 $ 226,786
2013 $ 380,394
Project Overview
Status
Active
Duration
May 2011 - December 2013
Geographic coverage
Tirana, Elbasan, Kamez
MDG
9
Programme officer
Arben Rama
Partners
Minister for Innovation and ICT, Ministry of Finance, Municipalities
Related documents
Project document