Empowering Vulnerable Local Communities – UN Joint Programme

What is this programme about?

children in kindergarten
Kindergarden in Fier, Albania

Roma and Egyptian communities are both the poorest and most marginalized ethnic groups in Albania. According to A Needs Asssesment Study on Roma and Egyptian Communities in Albania, initiated by UNDP, 77.7% of Roma and 84.1% of Egyptian families are very poor. These two groups experience poverty in the form of material deprivation. In addition they also experience high levels of social exclusion, because they are less likely to be able to meet their every day needs  and participate in the processes that have direct bearing on their lives as individuals , such as employment, health and education.

Empowering Vulnerable Local communities is a multi sectorial response which seeks to improve the human security and access to the socio-economic and civic rights of vulnerable communities (Roma and Egyptians) in Albania. Four UN agencies UNDP, UNV, UNICEF and UNFPA have partnered to implement the programme which aims:

  • To support participation of vulnerable communities in local decision making –through identification of priorities and preparation of Community Development Plans. Following the development priorities identified through Community Based Organizations, the programme works closely with local governments to complete a number of comunity infrastructure projects, such as roads, health centers, kindergartens, community centers etc.
  • To help  vulnerable communities   access their rights, particularly access to public services –through civil registration, community policing, establishing and strengthening network of Roma mediators in areas of health education and child protection as well as  supporting vocational training and employment
  • To promote policies and institutional strengthening for social inclusion of vulnerable communities through – capacity building and assistance to local and central government institutions and build capacities of Roma and Egyptian NGOs.

What have we accomplished so far?

Roma quarter in Tirana
Civil Registration of Roma community in Tirana (Credit: UNDP Albania)
  • A comprehensive analysis of the situation of Roma and Egyptian populations in the country   is conducted providing an overview of the  socio-economic situation of Roma and Egyptian communities in the country; 
  • Establishment of 15 Community Based Organizations, which partnered with local authorities to identify the development priorities for their community;
  •  11 infrastructure rehabilitation projects have been completed and 6 others are ongoing;
  •  12 Roma and Egyptian organizations have received on the job training and all of them  have implemented small scale  projects addressing concerning issues for their communities such as education, health, access to rights, increasing participation in decision making thus putting in practice the knowledge transferred to them;
  •  1644 civil registration cases  have been completed thus improving their accesses to services;
  •  112 young members of Roma and Egyptian communities have increased their skills as electrical repair, welder, tailor, hairdresser, cook, computer, and solar panel repair.
  • For the first time, 9 Roma and Egyptian young people are involved in internship courses in public institutions such as municipalities, employment offices, vocational training centers, line ministries and other institutions providing social and public services.
  • Roma Technical Secretariat has a functioning internet-based reporting and monitoring system on the indicators of the Roma Decade Action Plan, made possible through programme support.149 local and central government officials have been equipped with relevant knowledge and skills  to input the  relevant informaiton  in the system. The local and regional authorities have thus the possibility to regularly  report  on progress, enabling the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities  to generate annual progress reports on the implementation of Roma Decade Action Plan.

Who finances it?



Amount contributed 



$ 991.240,99



$ 1.021.949,70



$ 747.171,1



Total delivery


$ 677,448

2011 $ 839,000
2010 $ 226,000
Project Overview
Programme duration
April 15, 2010 - December 31, 2013
Geographic coverage
Tirana, Durres, Fier and Elbasan regions
Programme Officer
Entela Lako
Project Manager
Anila Shehu
UNV, UNFPA, UNICEF, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
Roma Needs Assesment

This study focuses on two marginalized groups of Albanian society, the Roma and Egyptians. The study is based on an analyses of quantitative and qualitative, primary and secondary data collected from various country regions.

The Decade of Roma Inclusion

The Decade of Roma Inclusion is an initiative of nine countries of Central and Eastern Europe to
improve the socio-economic status and social inclusion of the Roma minority in the region. The
Decade Initiative was launched in 2005 and covers the period from 2005 to 2015.

The housing situation of Roma communities

This report analyzes housing-related data from the 2011 regional roma survey conducted by UNDP, the World Bank, and European Commission in the EU member states, in twelve countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

Policy Brief - Roma Housing
Policy Brief - Roma and the labour market
A journey towards social inclusion
View More
Final Report