Albania is currently faced with the pressure of fulfilling its responsibilities as a candidate country for EU accession, including two of the priorities addressed in this proposal: strengthening of the CSOs for becoming more professional and sustainable organisations, and hence sector; improvement of the environmental management, with a particular focus on integrated water resource management. Both assignments represent a challenge for the Albanian government and the civil society sector at large for a number of reasons.
Despite such progress, the Albanian environment is still not conducive to CSOs sustainable development. However, the sector is reported as having weak internal organisational structures, and very limited human and financial resources, often tying the lifetime of an organization to that of a project. The majority of them, particularly grass-root ones, operate detached from other organizations or stakeholder groups, leading to low visibility, and engagement in on-going processes of policy-making and policy-implementing. This situation, paired with a number of enabling and legal environment restrictions/ limitations have led to the CSOs being unable to play a significant role in decision-making, and decision-makers generally ignoring any CSO proposals.
“Empower Grass-Root CSOs for improved innovative environmental protection in Albania – Green AL” project is aimed at contributing to the improvement and factorisation of environmental CSOs to effectively address environmental challenges in Albania for tangible change. The action will focus on the strengthening of small local CSOs networks and the creation of new opportunities for collaboration among CSOs, public authorities, and the private sector at the local level, so to build a vibrant, empowered and collaborative civil society starting from the bottom to impact then the national level. To stimulate collaboration at the local level, a new concept of multi-stakeholders response to the most pressing environmental needs will be introduced and put into practice. This will enable us to find the right mix between local initiatives tailored to the specificities of each given context and a tangible impact at the national level in terms of replicability of good practices, advocacy and general public environmental responsibility.
The project is funded by SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) and developed in collaboration with our partners Co-PLAN Tirana, CISP and VIS