Partners Albania, Center for Change and Conflict Management is an Albanian organization, established in 2001, with a mission to build a culture of change and conflict management in the country. Partners-Albania (PA) is a member of Partners for Democratic Change (Partners) network comprised of 18 independent centers, which provide conflict resolution training and services to various actors of third sector, local and central government and business sectors in Central/Southeastern Europe, Latin America and Middle East. Partner’s Network since January 2006 is formally registered as well in Brussels.
Partners Albania builds the platforms for communities, civil society organizations, government and business to resolve conflict and advance constructive change. Partners Albania has over 8 years of experience combining local knowledge with innovative tools and techniques to build sustainable solutions and effective leadership.
Some of the programs, where the center is focused with its activities in the three sectors of civil society, central/local government and business are:
Training and assistance - Enhance knowledge and strengthen capacities of organizations and governmental institutions at national and international level.
Participatory processes - Promote collaboration and ensure participation of diverse communities at all levels of decision-making.
Research - Monitor the performance of governmental institutions in support of democratic processes.
Encourage citizen initiatives - Promote advocacy tools to build participation, collaboration and ownership in meaningful and effective ways.
NPO legal framework - Contribute to further development of enabling NPO legal framework and other self-regulatory mechanisms for the sector
Facilitation of organizational development processes, conferences, and meetings - Provide professional assistance and advanced methodology in facilitation.
International Cooperation - Promoting exchanges, values among different countries and regions, and implementing initiatives with NPO sector and/or local government.
PA enjoys a diverse network of partners, clients, and funders, including: USAID, the World Bank and World Bank Institute, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO-IPEC, European Commission, the Open Society Foundation of Albania, the Canadian International Development Agency, WFP, Medicos del Mundo, Handicap International, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe and several other local organizations in 12 prefectures which are focal points in the field and partners in many activities that PA organizes all over the country.
The team of Partners – Albania is composed by professional and experts in different fields, with a relevant experience in training, facilitation of participatory processes, mediation policy design, and project management.
For the last three years Partners – Albania, Center for Change and Conflict Management had administered a total of 1.307.504 us$, from which a found of 1,244,640 us$ is coming from grants and 62,864 us$ from contracts and services that PA delivers. The main donors in this period includes USAID, OSFA, Britsih Embassy in Tirana, Netherlands Embassy, Balkan Trust for Democracy, Olof Palme Center, etc. PA during its 8 year experience in training, consultancy and grant management has administered around 3.1 million us$.
Since its creation, Partners-Albania has pursued the following activities towards building a culture of democracy:
Develop & Strengthen Institutions. Partners-Albania develops and improves the skills of local and central institutions across all sectors to better respond to the diverse change and conflict management needs of their constituents.
Train & Teach. Partners - Albania provides organizational development, conflict management and resolution, and other skills to institutions and individual practitioners.
Build Consensus & Resolve Conflict. Partners-Albania help communities resolve local issues by introducing conflict management processes within communities that strengthen relationships among diverse populations.
Promote Public Policies. Partners-Albania works to integrate change and conflict management processes into evolving legal systems by promoting new legislation that legitimizes and sanctions mediation and citizen participation processes, and also by utilizing participatory methods to implement current policies.
Assist Advocacy. Partners-Albania supports NPO-s effort for a more transparent and accountable government by providing training and technical assistance on public advocacy campaigns, lobbying, strategic planning, issue definition and goal-setting, media relations, fundraising and resource allocation, coalition building, communications and negotiations, and conflict resolution mechanisms.
Develop Curricula. Partners-Albania designs academic and training curricula on change management and conflict resolution.
Partners Albania has administered the US$ 600,000 small grant component of the USAID-funded Democracy and Governance Program (from October 2004 to present) and the US$ 900,000 small grant component of the USAID-funded Social Development Fund Program (from November 2001 to October 2004). The first program is designed to fight against corruption and promote greater transparency and accountability in local and national government and there is supported and monitored 20 projects up to now. The second program addressed social needs for vulnerable populations by supporting Albanian NPO-s working on this issue is supported and monitored 51 projects during the respective time line.
Partners - Albania mission is advancement of civil society and a culture of change and conflict management in Albania. PA works to strengthen institutions, communities and individuals capacity to manage change, maximize the benefits of diversity, prevent and resolve conflicts. Three pillars of its overall scope of work and strategy in the country are: (1) provision of multidimensional assistance to the third sector (2) strengthening local government role through training and capacity building initiatives (3) launching of cross-sector initiatives targeting academic circles, youth, women and diverse groups in the country and in international level.
PA has a reach experience in program design and implementation in local, national and international level. The targeted areas/groups in the PA projects in 8 year experience have been:
* NPO sector - providing to them capacity building training and direct assistance, as well small grants in the frame of Social Development Fund Program and Democracy and Governance in Albania Program funded by USAID (2001-2007); and Network of Open Society in Albania Program, funded by OSFA (2006-2009). PA has become a prominent leader in the sector and serves from 8 years as a resource center for sector and inter sectoral partners.
* Local Government - PA implemented Local Government Capacity Building Programs for a period of six years (2001-2006). Over 200 local government officials from 13 municipalities have received training in communication and outreach skills, financial accountability, conflict management skills, and improving the ethical environment. Two Regional Projects supported by Stability Pact and Balkan Trust for Democracy, have been initiated and implemented by Partners - Albania, in partnership with its regional partner organizations on " Fostering Communication and Outreach Skills of Local Government" (2004) and on “Promotion and Dissemination of Best Practices on Participatory Local Governance at cross- Balkan level, among municipalities of Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro” (2005-1006). During 2008-2009, PA implemented in 6 Municipality the Anti corruption initiative: "Towards a more transparent and accountable local governance", funded by British, Netherlands and US Embassy in Tirana.
* Youth Projects - Almost 200 young leaders from across Albania have been trained in a range of leadership, conflict management, coalition building, and project implementation skills and have gone on to implement projects using these skills in their communities.
• National Youth Strategy and National Youth Action Plan: Partners – Albania facilitated the process of Reviewing of the National Youth Strategy and the Design of the National Youth Action Plan for 2006-2011. Partners – Albania in closed collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports and supported by UN Agencies in Albania, (UNICEF, UNDP, ILO/IPEC/UNFPA) had leaded and facilitated the process. PA was selected to lead this process based on its previous experiences, expertise high level of knowledge of the sector and good partnership with youth civil society organizations in various regions. The process has been a very participatory one including youth organizations, youth political forums, disadvantaged youth organizations, Roma and Egyptian organization, business organizations, local government representatives, government agencies all over the country. 4 regional workshops has been organized in Tirana, Shkodra, Vlora and Korca. More than 300 youth and representatives of youth organizations in Albania were actively involved in the process. By October 2006, National Youth Strategy and National Youth Action Plan were approved by the Albanian Government.
* Woman Programs - As part of Women leadership program, seventeen women have comprised the core participant group, which has received training in skills including conflict management, leadership, and advocacy and networking. This group has implemented action plans in their communities and gone on to train 340 additional women from across the country in these skills. Woman and Woman NPOs has also been part of the training and grant program of PA during 2001-2007.
* International Training and Exchange Program - PA based on the expertise and experience accumulated in the Center throughout the years, P-A has continued during this two year period to offer a series of training and technical assistance programs to various sectors in international level. Some of the experiences includes: Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Tajikistan, Jordan, Georgia, etc.
* Public Administration in Central Level - PA as an implementing partner of Chemonics International in support of the Albania’s Millennium Challenge Account Threshold Country Plan, from 2006 to 2008 offered support to the strengthening of human resource capacities of Tax Administration, Public Procurement Institutions and National Registration Center of Bussineses. PA had also supported and organized a series of training and round tables with the above mentioned Institution’s employees aiming to inform them and other representatives of groups of interest and media as well on the Public Procurement Low, Electronic Procurement, and Customer Care etc. In this framework, only in 2007 PA contributed in the organization of several workshops, round tables and trainings with the participation of representatives and employees of these institutions, with a total number of 352 beneficiaries. Two surveys for the National Registration Center and Tax Office Performance has been administered by PA during 2008 (about 1800 interviews).