Decentralization and Local Development Program. Albania

The Decentralization and Local Development Program (dldp) aims at supporting municipalities and communes in northern Albania (Shkodra and Lezha regions) towards improved local governance, thus supporting the decentralization and transition process in the country. The program acts as facilitator with a program management office in Shkodra, providing mainly planning, technical and advisory, facilitation/coordination and co-financing support.

The Context

The SDC-funded decentralization and local development program (dldp) has been supporting municipalities and communes in northern Albania towards improved local governance since 2006. It has been very successful in capacity building and strengthening cooperation between local governments using highly inclusive bottom-up approaches. Building on the experiences working at local level and using its competences in advocacy and lobbying, in phase 3 of the program, dldp will also increase its efforts to reach out to the national government in order to put local governance issues on the national agenda.
At the local level, dldp has gradually expanded its project area (by 2010 the Qark of Shkodra, the original project area, was complemented by Lezha) and will include an additional three Qarks for phase 3 (Diber, Durres and Kukes). This will allow the program to select new LGUs and disseminate/upscale best practices horizontally. The project area will then cover 5 of the 12 Qarks in Albania - or 30 % of the population. As for the remaining 7 Qarks, dldp will work through national actors and institutions to facilitate and assure the dissemination of its proven tools and practices.

Development Goal

Inclusive quality service delivery to citizens (men and women) is improved by strengthening the capacities of local governments in Northern Albania, by anchoring dldp’s products at national level and by contributing to a conducive legal framework.


  • Inclusive quality services by supporting and facilitating inclusive,  transparent and accountable processes that build on citizen’s needs and builds on norms and standards.
  • Improved services by supporting planning processes and delivery mechanisms through technical and financial  support as well as  the development  of   standards, their implementation and monitoring.
  • Strengthened capacities by delivering thematic packages (tools and curricula) and building of institutional support capacities.
  • Anchoring products by identifying, supporting and strengthening national institutions in owning and using the different developed products.
  • Conducive legal framework by using practical evidence and best practices to influence and shape policies and the law in favour of good local governance.

Intervention Areas

At local level
  • Strategic planning and budgeting
  • Public Finance Management
  • Improvement of public services, focusing on urban waste management
  • Information, communication, transparency
  • Inter-LGU (Local Government Units) cooperation and incentivisation of the Functional Area Program
  • Capacity building through training and technical support
  At national level
  • Centers of Competencies, good practices
  • Institutional building for central institutions and de-concentrated agencies
  • Contribution to national and sectorial strategies
  • Dialog on national policies, with institutional and policymaking actors, civil society, media and business community
  • Cooperation and exchange with other programs

Phase I

2006-2009: 4‘500‘000 CHF (SDC)

Phase II

2010-2013: 4‘800‘000 CHF (SDC)

Phase III

2014 – 2017: 7'280'000 CHF (SDC)

Involved in the project

Local Government Units in Qarks of Shkodër, Lezhë, Kukës, Dibër and Durrës, Qarks of Shkodër, Lezhë, Kukës, Dibër, Durrës, Local Authorities Associations, Line Ministries and Regional Agencies, other Programs and Donors, consulents and service providers, Albanian School of Public Administration, Department of Public Administration, Private sector, civil society, media.

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