Donor: Balkan Trust for Democracy
Implementation area: Shkodra
Project Description: The experience of work in Shkodra since 2001 has strongly convinced IDM of the need to work to develop democracy and citizens’ participation to improve the quality of life. With the support of the community liaison, IDM spread its community mobilization experience in the city of Shkodra where citizens of region No. 3 got organized in 5 Community–Based Groups (CBG). Through public schemes of citizens electing their community leaders, who later were trained, empowered, and actively involved in dealing with community affairs, IDM created a positive model and best practice clearly identified in the whole municipality. The project proved to be a novelty also for the local leaders of the municipality. A unique positive experience that helped also build the sustainability of the CBG-s was their voluntary commitment to partner with the municipality on improving the road infrastructure of the neighborhood. A memorandum of cooperation and partnership between the Mayor and the CBG-s helped also a process of transparency where citizens were entitled to supervise the quality of the work of the contracted company by the municipality.
The community center of “Badra – Gjuhadol” is being visited daily by citizens of the area to organize and express their concerns of issues related to their communities. This Centre has been visited frequently by the municipality leaders but also by the members of parliament of the area. The speaker of Albanian Parliament visited the Community Centre during the inauguration ceremony for the asphalted streets of the area. Six schools elementary and high schools in the area are becoming long term partners of the Center which together with IDM has delivered small grants to support community oriented projects, improve sport’s facilities for the young people of the area or different other environmental projects. CBG-es supported by IDM and Balkan Trust for Democracy have raised their visibility in the area and have become active partners of the municipality and other institutions at the local level.
This Community Centre is working hard to build its sustainability beyond project life time by developing different partnerships at the local level and mainly with the business community. Among the recommendations drawn by deputy Mayor of Shkodra Voltana Ademi and Prof. Romeo Gurakuqi in February 23, 2007 Conference in addition to many specific issues concerning this community of citizens, would be worth mentioning the following:
- There is a best practice created in community mobilization that should be replicated in all other parts of Shkodra municipality, The municipality has to build on this model and replicate it by allocating funds from its budget
- Local governance should involve more effective schemes of transparency and citizens participation as it was developed in the MoU with CBG-es of administrative Unit No3
- The Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation that CBG-es developed with the Mayor of Shkodra in the framework of this project should get formalised by decision of the municipality council.