What is the programme about?
As a response to the devastating earthquake of the 26th of November 2019 as well as the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, UNDP is supporting the Government of Albania in its economic recovery efforts through the Economic Recovery and Resilience Programme in Albania (ERRA).
Funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Netherlands, ERRA aims to stimulate the economy through revitalizing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME-s). MSME-s constitute the backbone of the Albanian economy, accounting for 99.8% of the total number of enterprises and 81.6% of all employment. Supporting their recovery and resilience capacities is thus deemed to be crucial for the revival of the economy.
The main objective of this two year programme (January 2021- June 2023) is to work directly with the private sector, the Government of Albania as well as other partners to implement two successfully tested approaches– In Motion and the Supplier Development Methodology.
“In Motion” is an international methodology, developed and successfully applied by UNDP in many countries affected by natural disasters. It seeks to boost productive capacities and broaden market reach for micro and small enterprises by supporting them in innovating traditional business models, improving business infrastructure and strengthening their commercial image. The methodology was piloted with 15 micro enterprises in the Municipality of Durrës in the aftermath of the November 2019 earthquake, facilitating their reopening through grants for the purchase of damaged equipment. The pilot intervention also helped business owners to improve their entrepreneurial skills and recreate their businesses’ commercial image. The methodology will be applied at a larger scale in the municipalities affected by the earthquake through a team of 16 certified businesses consultants that underwent an intensive training of a total of 24 hours over a 3-day period (24-25 May and 3 June 2021).
Whereas the “Supplier Development Methodology” (SDM) is a method of productive chains with a business and social approach, which aims to improve and transform business relationships in a value chain between a lead company (a large or medium-sized enterprise) and its suppliers (micro, small or medium enterprises). SDM has been designed by UNDP and successfully implemented in twelve countries over a fifteen-year period, proving to work well in basic as well as advanced industrial sectors. International, well-known brands such as Nestlé, Nike, Zara, Bombardier as well as small and medium-sized companies in the food, apparel, footwear, tourism, automotive and agriculture sectors have trusted and worked successfully to improve performance in their value chains through SDM. In Albania, the program is envisioned to start with the application of the methodology in two pilot value chains and, later on, expand to include other strategic sectors. The methodology will be applied through 18 accredited business consultants who will be rigorously trained over a five months’ period.
Aside from the direct assistance to the private sector, ERRA also aims to provide the Albanian institutions with innovative tools for transparent and effective economic policies. The project aims to support legislative and regulatory reform for cooperative, mutual and inclusive insurance, together with improved institutional capacities for increased economic resilience. Another key objective of the project will be the support of the recently laid off workers with reskilling and upskilling to match with the needs of the private sector.
The programme adheres to the national priorities of the Government expressed in the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2014-2020, Albania’s Economic Reform Programme 2019-2021 and the National Employment and Skills Strategy 2019-2022. Additionally, the programme is well aligned with the outcome and the recovery strategy of the Post-Disaster-Needs-Assessment, undertaken in the aftermath of the November 2019 earthquake as well as the UN Albania Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery and Response Plan.
1. Strengthened value chains in selected strategic economic sectors of the Albanian economy through the Supplier Development Methodology.
2. Enhanced recovery and resilience capacities for micro and small enterprises through the In Motion Methodology.
3. Data and innovative digital platform to inform policy.
4. Reskilling and upskilling programmes offered to jobseekers and recently laid-off workforce to respond to the needs of the affected private sector companies.
What we have accomplished so far?
- 15 micro businesses in the municipality of Durrës have recovered and strengthened through technical and financial support provided by the “In Motion” pilot project, in February-September 2020. The pilot intervention resulted in a 10% increase in business profits and two new jobs created among the fifteen businesses.
- 16 business consultants have been certified in the “In Motion Methodology”, undergoing an intensive training of a total of 24 hours, over a three-day period. The consultants will be accredited only after applying the methodology in practice.
- 18 business consultants are currently being trained in the “Supplier Development Methodology”. The intensive training is conducted by a team of experienced international experts and will last for a total of 90 hrs in face-to-face sessions and 180 hrs in virtual sessions, over a 5-month period.