What is the programme about?
The programme “Support to Social Inclusion in Albania” aims at assisting in the effective elaboration and implementation of the Government of Albania's new Strategy for Social Inclusion and Social Protection. It supports the Albanian Government in establishing an extended dialogue with social partners in the country and the European Commission.
Main emphases is put on building capacities of institutions at central and local levels and enhance participation of civil society and citizens as rights holders in the national social inclusion processes. The programme encourages the further development of local initiatives to reduce inequalities and promote social and economic inclusion for vulnerable groups. It aims at increasing the knowledge and public awareness, including local authorities and community members, about the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as to partner with civil society organizations in implementing illustrative community level interventions. Such interventions include anti-discriminatory measures for groups vulnerable to social and economic exclusion.
The programme pays special attention to the support for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and adopts a mainstreaming approach of Roma issues throughout its components.
The programme is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and is part of the Government of Albania - UN Programme of Cooperation 2012-2016. It is implemented by UNDP, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, UNICEF, UNODC, UNAIDS, IOM in partnership with Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth (MoSWY)
What we do?
- Generate knowledge for evidence-based social inclusion policies
- Strengthen policy management capacities of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, line ministries and de-concentrated units to implement the Social Inclusion and Protection Strategy.
- Enhance implementation capacities of regional and local governance mechanisms to implement inclusive policies.
- Support marginalized groups to demand and exercise their rights to equal access to services.
The interventions are coordinated with other ongoing initiatives, in Albania and regional level, targeting marginalized groups to avoid any potential overlap and maximize the impact of complementary efforts.
What have we accomplished so far?
The national policy framework in this area has benefited from the UN support for the development of several policy documents, relevant action plans and monitoring and evaluation frameworks, namely: Policy Document for Social Inclusion 2016 – 2020 including a set of national indicators on social inclusion based on qualitative analysis on the most vulnerable categories of the population; National Social Housing Strategy 2016 - 2025; Action Plan on Persons with Disabilities (2016 – 2020); and alignment of the Health and Reproductive Health Strategic Document and budgetary frameworks to the principles and targets of SI. The work conducted under the policy framework is aligned and will be implemented in tandem with the Territorial and Administrative Reform and the National Crosscutting Strategy for Decentralization and Local Governance. Besides the provision of technical advice, UN participating agencies, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UN Women, UNODC, and IOM have facilitated the consultative processes on the policy formulations ensuring participation of all relevant stakeholders, including vulnerable groups.
- Legal, administrative and financial instruments for social inclusion have been developed through UNDP support, including secondary legislation to improve the Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities. In addition, UN Women provided technical support to the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, on the draft Labor Code reinforcing a series of gender related recommendations on improved women’s access to labor market, equal work treatment between women and men, reinforced social protection measures in labor relations for women and men, enjoyment of maternity and paternity leave, reduction of harassment at the work place, etc.
- Knowledge has been produced for evidence-based policy-making on the situation of those most at risk of social exclusion such as women, men, youth and children (girls and boys) belonging to the most vulnerable groups, namely people with disability, Roma and Egyptians, elderly, victims of trafficking and unaccompanied minors. Maps of vulnerabilities as per the different administrative divisions have been developed by UNICEF for use as a social protection planning tool by the central and local administrations.
- Inclusive local plans for persons with disabilities (PWD) in Lezha, Lushnja and Progradec clearly stipulate the needs of PWD and provide guidance support for the implementation of the interventions towards the fulfillment of their rights. Two direct infrastructure (demonstrative) projects are being implemented namely the establishment of the day care centre for PWD in Lushnja and the workshop for the vocational training of the Deaf Students national Institute.
- Roma and Egyptian local CBOs became a reliable partner for fighting discrimination and furthering Roma and Egyptian social inclusion at local and central levels in the regions of Tirana, Durres, Lushnje, and Berat as result of the partnership forums established with participation of municipality representatives, local Roma CSOs and regional offices of Education, Social State Services and Health.
- Capacities of selected local government units have been strengthened on different social inclusion and social protection issues, namely identifying the needs of people with disability, people living with HIV; monitoring and reporting towards the indicators of the new Action Plan for Integration of Roma and Egyptian communities; identifying and responding to Child Protection issues; and participatory budgeting on issues that affect women.
- The MoSWY and its pertinent institutions, including the National Employment Service, Social State Services, Social Insurance Institution, Labour Inspectorate, etc., are being supported towards establishing harmonized procedures and data collection standards aiming to produce a solid database for social programs, disaggregated by sex.