STRATEGIC                                      PLAN                                       OF VLORA                        ...
The present document was drafted in the framework ofUNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programmewww.artgold.undp.org.alwith the finan...
STRATEGIC PLAN    OF VLORA REGION“The Zero Emissions Territory - ZET”            Final document              (June 2011)
Table of contentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                           1INTRODUCTION...
AbbreviationsADF        Albanian Development FundAGA2       ART GOLD Albania 2ART        Articulation of Territorial and T...
Executive SummaryVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   The Un...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   Furthermore, Vlora Regi...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   • A Kick-Off event to p...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                     Hence, the Vision cho...
INTRODUCTIONVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   TO THE STRA...
Background and objectivesVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                 ...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   The ample participation...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   How to read this docume...
MethodologyVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   of the Strat...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                                          ...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   Steps and timeline     ...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                                          ...
VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”                                                   Participation          ...
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STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION

  1. 1. STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION “The Zero Emissions Territory” Final document - June 2011UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albaniawww.artgold.undp.org.al AULEDA www.auleda.orgwww.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu
  2. 2. The present document was drafted in the framework ofUNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programmewww.artgold.undp.org.alwith the financial support of:UNDP AlbaniaCooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo - Ministero Affari EsteriUNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Serviceswith the contribution of:www.inextstudio.org Mr. Andrea Nobili - Senior expert in Strategic Planning Ms. Federica Di Pietrantonio - Junior expert in Strategic Planning Ms. Jonila Prifti and Ms. Maria Grazia Zagaria - iNExTstudio staff (Italy)in close cooperation with:Vlora Regional Council StaffAULEDA - Local Economic Development Agency of VloraUNDP ART GOLD 2 – Mr. Luigi Cafiero, CTA; Mr. Estevan Ikonomi, National ProgrammeOfficer; Ms. Matilda Duri, Communication Officer; Mr. Aurel Jupe, Local Coordinator forVlora Region and ART GOLD 2 project team.in coordination with:ILS LEDA - International Links and Services for Local Economic Development AgenciesIDEASS - Innovation for Development and South-South cooperationUniversitas Programme - KIP (Knowledge, Innovation and Policies for Human Development)InitiativeAcknowledgementsIt would be impossible to mention all the people who gave their precious contribution to thepreparation of this document. Special thanks go to the following institutions andstakeholders: their invaluable help made this work possible.Albanian Government: Ministry of Interiors, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and ConsumerProtection, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, Ministry of Education and Science,Ministry of Tourism, Culture Affairs, Youth and SportsItalian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Inter Agency Scientific Committee for HumanDevelopment Cooperation and Italian Embassy in AlbaniaItalian Cooperation - DGCSUNDP AlbaniaART GOLD 2 project teamUNOPS, UNEP, ILOILS LEDAUniversitas ProgrammeIDEASSAlbanian Development FundVlora Regional CouncilPrefecture of VloraEnvironmental Agency of Vlora RegionMunicipalities and Communes of Vlora RegionAULEDAThanks also to the numerous territorial actors at national, regional and local level who activelyparticipated in the strategic planning process, for their cooperation and commitment. Vlora, June 2011
  3. 3. STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION“The Zero Emissions Territory - ZET” Final document (June 2011)
  4. 4. Table of contentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1INTRODUCTION TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION 5 Why a Strategic Plan in Vlora Region? 5 Background and objectives of the Strategic Plan of Vlora Region 6 How to read this document 8 Methodology of the Strategic Planning process 9 Steps and timeline of the Strategic Planning process 11 Participation - The basis of the Strategic Planning process 13CHAPTER 1. ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK 20 1.1. Introduction to the analysis framework 20 1.2. Sharing the analysis - The Kick-Off event 22 1.3. Territorial framework 23 1.4. Historical highlights 24 1.5. Infrastructure for the mobility and urban fabric 26 1.6. Social context 31 1.7. Environmental aspects 35 1.8. Landscape and cultural heritage 38 1.9. Value chains 50 1.10. Territorial programming 56 1.11. S.W.O.T. analysis of the regional territory 64 1.12. General development goal and keywords of the strategic plan 66 1.13. Scenarios for regional development 69CHAPTER 2. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 76 2.1. Methodological introduction 76 2.2. Participation in the strategy definition - Open Days and Public Debates 77 2.3. Vision for regional development 86 2.4. Strategic Guidelines and Actions 88 2.5. Synergies among Strategic Guidelines - Internal coherence of the Strategic Plan 98 2.6. Consistency of the Strategy with the regional development policies 109 2.7. Consistency of the Strategy with the national development policies 111CHAPTER 3. ACTION PLAN 115 3.1. Methodological introduction 115 3.2. Participative projects devising - The Focus Groups 116 3.3. The 10 Project Boxes for regional development 119 3.4. Synergies among Project Boxes 147 3.6 A future for the Strategic Plan: the Coordinated Development Projects 149ANNEXES A. Bibliography and References B. Diagram of the Strategic Planning process C. Project Boxes and Project proposals D. Survey of programmes in progress in Vlora Region E. Map of cultural and landscape heritage in Vlora Region
  5. 5. AbbreviationsADF Albanian Development FundAGA2 ART GOLD Albania 2ART Articulation of Territorial and Thematic Cooperation Networks for Human DevelopmentCDP Coordinated Development ProjectsCPC County Partnership CouncilCTA Chief Technical AdvisorDGCS Direzione Generale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (General Directorate for Italian Development Cooperation)EU European UnionFG Focus GroupGPP Gross Primary ProductivityIDEASS Innovations for Development and South-South cooperationILS LEDA International Links and Services for Local Economic Development AgenciesINSTAT National Institute of StatisticsISD Integrated Support for DecentralisationKIP Knowledge, Innovations and Policies for human developmentLEDA Local Economic Development AgencyMASH Ministria e Arsimit dhe e Shkencës (Ministry of Education and Science)MBUMK Ministria e Bujqësise, Ushqimit dhe Mbrojtjes së Konsumatorit (Ministry of Agriculture)MDG Millennium Development GoalMETE Ministria e Ekonomise,Tregëtisë dhe Energjitikës (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy)MITIK Ministri për Inovacionin dhe Teknologjinë e Informacionit e të Komunikimit (Ministry for Innovation and Communication and Information Technology)MOE Ministria e Mjedisit, Pyjeve dhe Administrimit të Ujrave (Ministry of Environment)MPCS Ministria e Punës, Çështjeve Sociale dhe Shanseve të Barabarta (Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities)MPPT Ministria e Punëve Publike dhe Transportit (Ministry of Public Works and Transportation)MTKRS Ministria e Turizmit,Kultures,Rinise dhe Sporteve (Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports)NGO Non Governmental OrganisationPB Project BoxSDC Swiss agency for Development and CooperationSG Strategic GuidelineSNV Stichting Nederlandse Vrijwilligers (Netherlands Development Organisation)SP Strategic Plan or Strategic PlanningSWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and ThreatsTSG Technical Support GroupUNDP United Nations Development ProgrammeUNEP United Nations Environment ProgrammeUNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationUNOPS United Nations Office for Project ServicesUTL Unità Tecnica Locale (Local Technical Unit)VKM Vendim i Keshillit te Ministrave (Decision of the Council of Ministers)WB World Bank
  6. 6. Executive SummaryVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” The United Nations Development Programme territorial issues in a coordinated manner, while (UNDP) is the UNs global development maintaining continuity with programmes, network, advocating for change and connecting projects and sector policies already ongoing in countries to knowledge, expertise, and the area. Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 resources to help people build a better life. Albania aimed at promoting and supporting democratic participation of local, national and At present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, international actors in the decision-making assisting them in formulating their own process regarding Vlora Region development solutions to global and national development policies, and sought to provide the Regional challenges. UNDPs main goal is to help Government with the required capacities to developing countries build their own national autonomously draw and manage international capacity to achieve sustainable human funds for development. development; that is, to improve peoples lives on an enduring basis. To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a Strategic Plan (SP) as a long term programme In particular, UNDP Albania supports the on territorial governance and sustainable countrys aspirations towards European Union development adopting a participatory approach. integration and contributes to national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals The SP aim is to engage the local community to (MDGs) regarding poverty reduction, gender create its own vision for the future, and discover equality, environmental sustainability and good the best way to implement it by connecting the governance. cultural, environmental, social and economic aspects of the territory. The UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programme is part of the UNDP Art Initiative (Articulation of The SP mission is to propel a balanced and territorial and thematic networks of human endogenous development of the area and development cooperation), which promotes increase the value of the Region by national co-operation for governance and local strengthening its unique cultural, social, development projects. The Programme is environmental, economic identity and its human financed by the Italian Government (Italian resources. By doing so, the Regional Cooperation) and supports the Albanian Government and community can become more Government to achieve the MDGs and meet aware of the roles they can play in the the requirements of EU accession through the development process and become more promotion of partnership with regional councils, confident in their abilities to cooperate in in line with the Albanian National Strategy for development processes. Decentralisation and Local Governance. The Within the framework of ART GOLD 2 the programme works to create links and Strategic Planning represents an innovative implement partnership among Albanian and democratic process necessary to lead Albania European regional and local communities, local towards EU integration and a useful instrument institutions, Local Economic Development to complete the administrative decentralisation Agencies (LEDAs) and other actors operating in ongoing in the country. the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas Programme and IDEASS, among others). In a country characterised by a scarce tradition in participatory practices, Vlora Region Vlora Region is one of the areas targeted by Strategic Planning serves as a democratic and ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit bottom-up process, necessary to strengthen the needed support designing an overall collaboration and mutual trust amidst development policy, involving the entire institutions, local and foreign actors. regional territory and addressing critical STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 1
  7. 7. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Furthermore, Vlora Region Strategic Plan development. They are strongly represents a coordination platform among interconnected and help achieve several donors, international organisations, national goals at the same time. They are realized orientations and regional and local policies. through projects implementation. Hence, donors can allocate funds on projects This Strategy, discussed and approved by that best reflect community needs, and be part territorial actors, attempts to convey the regional of a real sustainable development. community’s desires and needs, as directly or The Strategic Planning process in Vlora Region indirectly expressed during participatory meetings started with the inventory of territorial policies at and events, and finally adapt them within the national, regional and local level, in order to current situation of the territory, the ongoing coordinate them, prevent overlapping, develop programmes and the national policies and goals. synergies and optimise results. At the same The next step of the Strategic Planning process time, a territorial analysis provided an overview was the Action Plan, which is an integrated of the current regional territorial situation in system of projects, which need to be terms of infrastructure, environment, cultural implemented in order to attain the SP goals. heritage, economy, social aspects, etc., through The projects were mainly proposed by local the usage of the most recent published actors and established in a rational and vision information on various planning and oriented framework. The territorial actors programming documents, together with the involved in the participation process proposed outcomes of territorial surveys and participatory around 100 project proposals and ideas meetings. There was no need for additional regarding the implementation of the shared research to be conducted, because the regional sustainable development Strategy, Strategic Planning process did not start from hence representing the fulfilment of territory scratch rather it maintained continuity with requirements. Other ideas were also suggested policies already operating on the territory. The by SP experts based on the outcomes of public territorial analysis allowed the identification of debates and of meetings held with national the Region’s real strengths and weaknesses, level institutions. Another group of project ideas s u m m a r i s e d i n a n S . W. O . T. a n a l y s i s . came from the analyses conducted by one of Subsequently, the Keywords and possible ILS LEDA experts on the regional value chains. Scenarios of regional development were identified. Keywords summarised the issues In order to give a wider perspective to these and needs emerged during meetings, which the proposals and ideas, the SP experts introduced territorial actors deemed crucial for regional “Project Boxes” or “containers” where projects development. The Scenarios represented the addressing the same topics and/or same parts possible future configurations of the Region, of the regional territories were clustered around and were based on present conditions, trends a single theme and integrated, hence outlined by the current operating policies at all developing synergies and interactions. In this way, levels and on the possible variables that the projects can contribute more effectively to the SP can introduce to trigger sustainable and achievement of the Vision and to the re- endogenous development. definition of the future role of the Region in the national and international setting. The territorial analysis gave way to the definition of a shared short, medium and long-term The Strategic Planning methodology adopted in regional development Strategy, consisting of: Vlora Region uses a bottom-up approach. This means that each step of the Strategic Planning • A Vision - suggesting the possible role that process was characterised by the participation Vlora Region can play in a global perspective, of all local stakeholders in the definition of the in coherence with the analysis results and the SP. The participation steps had a growing outcomes of the participative process. interaction level, where the involvement and • Nine Strategic Guidelines - The integrated and collaboration of stakeholders and civil society synergic directions to follow in order to was constantly sought after, both by arranging accomplish the Vision, addressing the main face-to-face meetings with significant actors critical aspects of the Region. (more than 100 meetings were held in the framework of the Strategic Planning process) • Thirty-three Actions - The “tools” to fill the gap and by organising public consultation events: between the present situation and future STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 2
  8. 8. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” • A Kick-Off event to publicly launch the Nonetheless the Region has a variety of Strategic Planning initiative; potential tourist attractors (cultural heritage, • Thematic Workshops to identify critical natural areas, traditions and food) and hence has the opportunity to move towards territorial issues and start defining the responsible and sustainable tourism, regional development Strategy; generating income and employment whilst • A public debate to share a draft Vision and respecting the environment and the local Strategy for regional development with all culture. territorial actors; ‣ Scenario 2) Rural development and agro- • Two Focus Groups meetings for the joint business - Rural activities are an important identification of integrated projects to part of regional culture and identity. achieve the Strategic Plan objectives. However, the environmental issues regarding the rural sector such as the lack of Participation to the events was satisfactory and water, wastewater and solid waste all actors proved to be interested and willing to actively engage in the Strategic Plan management systems should be addressed immediately in view that the natural preparation. During this process the environment is a potential source of income collaboration between regional and local actors, for rural areas both through its ability to and between ART GOLD 2 and partners, was affect the quality of food products and also strengthened. The results of the participatory process were all taken into through its attractiveness for tourism. The challenge is thus to achieve an overall consideration and included (after the required environmental sustainability in regional rural work of processing and systematising activities) activities, balancing innovation and tradition in the Strategic Plan. Therefore, all the Plan and enhancing the quality and the security of contents can be considered as shared and agreed upon by the whole regional community. typical local products. The participatory process in Vlora Region was ‣ Scenario 3) Services, networks and light supported by a number of information and industry - Vlora Region lacks the basic communication materials aimed to inform the services systems. Infrastructure problems territorial actors around Strategic Planning have a negative effect on economic issues, involve them in the process and activities, which cannot be developed stimulate discussion during public consultation without an adequate energy supply and events. These materials were conceived taking reliable communication systems. Ongoing into consideration the scarce habit of the policies have acknowledged, to some regional population to participatory practices. extents, the necessity to upgrade One of the most important tool created for the infrastructure and services networks, while Vlora Region Strategic Plan is the website keeping an eye on environmental (www.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu) where it sustainability. The risk is that the lack of is possible to find all the information concerning financial resources can cause delays in the the Strategic Planning in Vlora Region. implementation of the strategies hence The process described so far led to the following leading to short-term solutions and losing sight of the overall sustainability and findings, conclusions and recommendations: coordination of interventions. The challenge • Given the present situation and the trends is to continue to coordinate all the relevant outlined by current national and regional components of the Scenario, so that all policies, Vlora Region has three possible sector policies converge on the same development Scenarios ahead: objectives and are coherent amidst each ‣ Scenario 1) Tourism development - other. Tourism is the leading sector in Vlora • To achieve a more diversified development Region economy as well as the main and avoid the unbalances that a single sector catalyst of economic growth. However, development can cause, these Scenarios hitherto a clear strategy for tourist should be carried out simultaneously, in an development has not been established. The integrated and complementary manner, “beach tourism” has played the leading role, making sustainability the central thread of with negative effects on the environment. regional development. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 3
  9. 9. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Hence, the Vision chosen for the regional future of the Strategic Planning process is to sustainable development is “Vlora Region initiate and develop a set of integrated 2020: a Zero Emissions Territory – ZET”: projects, focused on geographical zones of Vlora Region should become a territory in interventions that can be considered which sustainability covers all sectors of homogeneous because of their human activity (tourist accommodation, morphological, socio-economic and/or cultural transports, solid waste management, water features. These integrated projects shall derive and wastewater management, productive directly from the outcomes of the Strategic activities, building activities, etc.) and in which Planning process conducted, and shall serve all development policies and initiatives are as the “tangible expression” of the shared coordinated and synergic. In this framework, development Strategy on the regional territory. the Region should decide to meet the growing Through them, the Actions of the regional SP global demand of cultural tourism, eco- will be gradually implemented, always tourism and rural tourism and consider considering the “big picture” represented by the environmental protection not a limit but an overall Vision and Strategy. The recommended opportunity to foster innovation, socio- integrated projects or Coordinated Development economic development and professional Projects (CDPs) to develop are the following growth. four: • In order to accomplish this Vision, 9 Strategic ‣ The Cultural Tourism Region - Creation of Guidelines were identified: thematic tourism circuits involving the 1. Community based tourism cultural heritage sites spread in the whole 2. Typical rural products and handicraft Region, to be managed and promoted in a 3. Fishing and Aquaculture coordinated way with the active 4. Education and Training participation and cooperation of all 5. Enhancement of regional Cultural Heritage governmental levels, cultural associations, 6. Environment and landscape preservation tourism-related businesses. and rehabilitation ‣ The Shushica Valley Rural District - 7. Material and nonmaterial networks and Establishment of a partnership for the energy management and coordinated rural and 8. Social inclusion tourism development of the sub-regional area 9. The Strategic Plan of children and teens of the Shushica river Valley, featuring organic • These Strategic Guidelines will be achieved agricultural tradition, high tourist potential and through the implementation of 112 shared a rich landscape and cultural heritage. The projects and project ideas, contained in 10 partnership will involve local governments and thematic “Project Boxes”: a cluster of businesses (single and associated) 1. Thematic tourism in Vlora Region working in the agro-food and tourism sectors. 2. Brands for Vlora Region food products ‣ The Albanian Southern Coast Landscape 3. Water and soil protection Tourism Region - Implementation and 4. Seaways in Vlora Region integration of the Albanian Southern Coast 5. Vlora Region handicraft Development Plan, extending it to the whole 6. Basic infrastructure & ICT for Vlora Region Region, and implementation of the Strategic 7. Vlora Region Social care network Plan projects regarding the coast, in order to 8. Children of Vlora Region preserve and develop the littoral areas of the 9. Health in Vlora Region Region in a sustainable way. 10.Working women in Vlora Region ‣ The Delvina Agro-food District - • Considering the thematic nature of Project Establishment of a partnership for the Boxes, the projects they collect involve the management and coordinated rural entire regional territory. Therefore, in order to development of a sub-regional area make their implementation as effective as featuring a strong agricultural tradition and possible, it will be necessary to identify a rich heritage of typical agro-food products physical areas of intervention at sub-regional with a consolidated market (Saranda). The level, also to facilitate the establishment of partnership will involve local governments project partnerships and make their actions and a cluster of businesses (single and more incisive. Therefore, the challenge for the associated) working in the agro-food sector. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 4
  10. 10. INTRODUCTIONVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION The bridge to the Zvernec Monastery in the Municipality of Novosele Why a Strategic Plan in Vlora Region? An absolute priority for most territories nowadays is the in March 2010, the Region launched a strategic development of a stable and sustainable economy planning process within the framework of UNDP ART base. In that respect the Albanian government has GOLD 2 Programme. adopted a development policy focused on investments A Strategic Plan is a territorial growth and renewal in key infrastructure and has promoted leading sectors platform aimed to attain an endogenous and in the economy that demonstrate regional comparative sustainable development model through the advantage. Vlora Region government units have involvement of the entire cultural, environmental, social shown a continuous interest in being part of an and economic components of a particular area. The integrated development in compliance with the National Strategic Plan is an innovative and flexible territorial Tourism Strategy and the National Strategy for governance instrument, already applied in several Development and Integration. European cities and territories, intended to provide a Vlora Region is the main tourist destination in Albania. clear direction on local development policies. Although at the local level a few strategic development Strategic planning is a necessary tool for communities plans referring to municipal territories exist, so far a and institutions in order to promote democratic shared Regional future vision and strategies to guide participation as an integral part of the territorial the development of every single Municipality and planning hence allowing local actors to state their Commune, especially those that do not have any local opinions and the latter to be integrated in the development plans, have not been established. Hence, development policies. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 5
  11. 11. Background and objectivesVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” of the Strategic Plan of Vlora Region Vlora Region SP is an initiative of the ART ART GOLD 2 promotes a national cooperation GOLD 2 Albania programme, which is part of framework for governance and local the UNDP ART Initiative (Articulation of development through the active role of public territorial and thematic networks of human and private actors as well as of local and central development cooperation). institutions representatives. UNDP (the United Nations Development Vlora Region is one of the areas targeted by Programme) is the UNs global development ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit network, advocating for change and connecting needed support designing an overall countries to knowledge, expertise, and development policy, involving the entire regional resources to help people build a better life. territory and addressing critical territorial issues in a coordinated manner, while maintaining At present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, continuity with programmes, projects and sector assisting them in formulating their own solutions policies already ongoing in the area. to global and national development challenges. Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania UNDPs main goal is to help developing aimed at promoting and supporting democratic countries build their own national capacity to participation of local, national and international achieve sustainable human development, that is, actors in the decision-making process to improve peoples lives on an enduring basis. regarding Vlora Region development policies, In particular, UNDP Albania supports the and sought to provide the Regional countrys aspirations towards European Union Government with the required capacities to integration and contributes to national efforts to autonomously draw and manage international achieve the Millennium Development Goals funds for development. (MDGs) regarding poverty reduction, gender To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a equality, environmental sustainability and good Strategic Plan (SP) as a useful instrument to governance. support the administrative decentralisation in ART Initiative promotes national co-operation Albania. As indicated in the methodology applied for governance and local development projects. by strategic planning experts, an SP is a short, medium and long-term programme for The programme is funded by the Italian Ministry sustainable territorial development and of Foreign Affairs through Italian Cooperation and supports the Albanian Government to governance, designed through a participatory, “bottom-up” process. achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to meet the requirements for EU Hence, the Vlora Region SP was guided by accession through the promotion of principles of participation and negotiation: the partnerships with regional councils, in line with main public and private actors operating in the the Albanian National Strategy for territory were engaged in open meetings and Decentralisation and Local Governance. events, during which they jointly identified regional potentials and weaknesses and The programme aims to create linkages and envisaged possible regional development establish partnerships among Albanian and Scenarios. European regional and local communities, local institutions, the Local Economic Development Subsequently, the same actors collaborated in Agencies (LEDAs) and other subjects operating defining a common development Vision and the in the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas strategic goals to achieve it. Programme and IDEASS among others). STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 6
  12. 12. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” The ample participation in the numerous submitted by territorial actors for UNDP funding. meetings and events organised during the SP experts provided technical assistance in the process, demonstrates the ability of the SP to development of these projects, primarily focusing trigger and strengthen mechanisms of on their consistency with the sustainable cooperation within local communities. regional development direction traced through Strategic Planning. Hence, SP is not a product rather an ever- changing process, built through negotiations Within the framework of ART GOLD 2, Strategic and mediations and the use of participatory Planning represents an innovative and techniques. democratic process necessary to lead Albania towards EU integration. The main goal of the strategic planning process was to identify a list of far-reaching projects, The Vlora Region SP represents a coordination consistent and shared, resulting from a bottom- platform among national, regional and local up approach. The project identification was policies and the institutions which promote them guided by the idea that Albania will become a (Ministries, local governments, Albanian member of European Union in the near future. Development Fund, etc.) and is a useful Additionally, SP incorporated priority projects, coordination tool for international donors. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 7
  13. 13. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” How to read this document The present document gives an account of the updated, always through the involvement of the strategic planning process carried out in Vlora whole regional community. Region from March 2010 to June 2011. The Regional government should use this It also explains how the strategic planning document as a memorandum and a guide for methodology was applied in the target area, the the gradual implementation of coordinated way territorial actors were involved in the development projects in the Region. process, and the results achieved. It describes The participative nature of the SP guarantees the regional territory’s current situation and the continuity and legitimacy of the illustrates the shared sustainable development development strategy. The fact that this strategy that was chosen by the regional strategy was approved by most territorial actors community. should be taken into account by present and All its contents were shared with territorial future administrators to fulfil local community actors and/or were drafted on the basis of their expectations. suggestions and observations. Hence the SP This SP was drafted in alignment with the goals does not claim to be exhaustive and can be of the Regional Strategy for the Achievement of subject to integrations and additions at any the UNDP Millennium Development Goals time. (MDGs). By and large, this document represents a It also refers to the national strategic goals, summary of what emerged from the democratic stated in the National Tourism Strategy and in negotiations process that was the basis of the the National Strategy for Development and strategic planning exercise. Hence, it is open, Integration. shared and modifiable. If necessary, it can be The Strategic Planning process for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 8
  14. 14. MethodologyVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” of the Strategic Planning process Strategic Planning is a cyclical process of review • a set of Keywords, synthesising the analysis and assessment, constantly accompanied by results, and the Strategic Plan general goal; monitoring, communication and participation • the development Scenarios, expressing procedures. It consists of four main steps: possible future configurations of the Region based on present conditions and on the trends 1. Launch outlined by current policies at all levels. In this phase, meetings with stakeholders were 2. Analysis Framework important to highlight current problems and 3. Strategic Framework share objectives for sustainable development. 4. Action Plan 3. Strategic framework The territorial analysis was the first step towards 1. Launch the definition of a shared short, medium and The Strategic Planning process in Vlora Region long-term regional development strategy, started off with a series of preparatory activities, consisting of: aimed at introducing the strategic planning • Vision - Is the future image of an area, initiative to Albanian authorities at all levels, directing all development policies. It suggests mapping stakeholders, pointing out general goals the possible role that Vlora Region can play in and programming further activities. The strategic a global perspective in compliance with the planning methodology and its possible outputs analysis conducted and the outcomes of the were discussed with various territorial actors, participative process. emphasising future benefits in terms of • Strategic Guidelines - Are the directions to development policies coordination, resource follow to accomplish the Vision, creating an optimisation, local community involvement and integrated and synergic system focused on awareness. The SP was then introduced to the crucial issues of regional development. public through a Kick-Off event organised in Vlora • Actions - Are the “tools” to fill the gap between and supported by a communication campaign. current situation and future development. They are strongly interconnected, help achieve 2. Analysis framework several goals concurrently and are carried out through projects implementation. Vlora Region’s current situation was analysed, The contents of this step were discussed and starting from the information contained in recent shared with territorial actors in a series of plans and programmes regarding the regional thematic workshops in Vlora and in Saranda. territory. This analysis includes: • an analysis of territorial aspects (historical 4. Action plan background, infrastructures, environment, cultural heritage, social and economic The Action Plan contains an integrated system of context), based on information from existing coordinated projects (proposed by territorial planning and programming instruments, actors and organised in a coherent, vision- assessed through territorial surveys and oriented framework), which must be implemented integrated with the participatory process to achieve the Strategic Plan goals. The Action outcomes; Plan traces possible procedures to implement the • a compared analysis of plans and projects and suggests the role of institutions and programmes regarding the Region; private actors in the implementation process. The • an S.W.O.T. analysis, identifying the area’s Action Plan was discussed and agreed upon by main potentials and problems; territorial actors during Focus Groups. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 9
  15. 15. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” A diagram synthesizing theSTRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” main steps of the strategic planning process 10
  16. 16. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Steps and timeline of the Strategic Planning process Type of activity Strategic Planning Performed activities Participation Desk Time (SP) steps and other activity field activity Preparatory meetings with UNDP February- representatives, AULEDA and AGA2 staff to  March share the SP methodology 2010 Meetings with local authorities and other February- significant stakeholders, to present AGA2 SP October methodology, collect information on 2010 programmes and projects implemented and  under implementation in the targeted areas, establish cooperation and synergies Surveys of the regional territory March 2010 Preparation of a draft SWOT analysis   Ongoing plans and programmes analysis March- Extrapolation, processing and organisation of September data and information useful to outline the 2010 Analysis Framework  Draft of the Analysis Framework, including possible regional development Scenarios In-depth definition of roles and responsibilities May- of all people involved in the programme, to  August optimise the SP process 2010 Launch Preparation of a “Strategic Planning Starter Kit” May 2010 and CD-Rom to support training activities  Analysis addressed to AULEDA Framework Training and technical assistance to AULEDA May 2010 staff to prepare the Kick-Off event of the SP  Coordination activities with other UN July- programmes, especially assessing their ongoing  October activities in AGA2 areas of intervention 2010 First County Partnership Council meeting August 2010 Support the participative identification of priority projects to be funded by AGA2, and to  the definition of shared selection criteria Technical assistance and training to AULEDA August- and AGA2 Local Coordinator on the September organisation of the Kick-Off event 2010 Technical assistance and training to AGA2 Communication Officer on communication   activities concerning the SP process, focusing on the preparation of information and communication materials for the Kick-Off event Kick-Off event: presentation of the SP October 2010 methodology and of the first achieved results to territorial actors; share the draft Analysis  Framework STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 11
  17. 17. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Type of activity Strategic Planning Performed activities Participation Desk Time (SP) steps and other activity field activity Support AULEDA and AGA2 staff in the November organisation of the Open Days events, focused 2010 on the definition of the regional development  strategy Open Days in Vlora and in Saranda: discussion November on possible regional development Scenarios 2010 and outline of a draft development strategy  using a participatory approach Process and organise the Open Days November- outcomes December Prepare a draft Vision and Strategy for regional  2010 development based on the debates results Improve coordination between strategic planning December process, other ongoing ART programmes and 2010 Strategic activities carried out by significant Albanian and  Framework international cooperation actors Provide technical assistance to AULEDA and December AGA2 staff to carry out 2 public debates to  2010 discuss the draft Vision and Strategy Carry out a meeting with a panel of experts December selected by the Regional Council and a public 2010 debate with territorial actors: approval of the  draft regional development Vision and Strategy Define the final version of the regional December development Vision and Strategy, based on the  2010-January public debates results 2011 Present a draft Strategic Plan during the January 2011 International conference “European integration, knowledge, innovations and democratic  governance of development” in Tirana Monitor and support the process of priority February 2011 projects design in collaboration with AULEDA  and the Regional Council of Vlora Round of meetings with Municipalities and March 2011 Action Plan Communes to increase local authorities  involvement in the SP process Focus Groups in Vlora and in Saranda: April 2011 conception and design of project proposals to  include in the regional SP STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 12
  18. 18. VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Participation The basis of the Strategic Planning process A moment in the participatory process: the Kick-off event in Vlora (October 2010) Each step of the strategic planning necessary coordination meetings with all the methodology is characterized by participation actors involved in the programme. hence encouraging the growing involvement Participation activities, within the framework of and commitment of territorial actors. ART GOLD 2, supported the establishment of a During the first phase, actors are informed on the County Partnership Council (CPC) and a strategic planning methodology and objectives. regional Technical Support Group (TSG). The On the second one, they are asked to focus on former is the main advisory and coordination the identification of potentials and critical aspects body for the preparation and implementation of of their Region, and to outline possible regional development policies and is formed by development Scenarios. The third phase is a institutional subjects and representatives of civil joint identification of a shared Vision and society, education and business organisations, Strategy for regional development. The last whereas the latter provides the CPC with the phase encompasses a deeper involvement of necessary technical assistance in defining and territorial actors, who are asked to commit in implementing development projects. identifying and starting up development projects. The Local Economic Development Agency of In line with this methodology, the active Vlora (AULEDA) was established by ART participation of all territorial actors was fostered GOLD in 2003 and later became a recipient of throughout the strategic planning process and of empowerment policies carried on by both realized by arranging face-to-face meetings with ART GOLD 2 and ILS LEDA. significant actors as well as organising public AULEDA played a crucial role in the consultation events. The participation steps management of the participatory processes were characterised by a growing interaction and, supported by SP experts, developed its level starting from a mere presentation of the capacities to bring together territorial actors, strategic planning initiative (the Kick-Off event), moderate public discussions, etc. to thematic workshops, a public debate on the Strategy, and lastly to Focus Groups in which The results of the participatory process were all territorial actors worked together on projects taken into account, processed, organised and definition. included in the SP. Hence all the SP contents can be considered as shared and agreed upon Meetings with significant stakeholders were by the entire regional community. held throughout the process, conjointly with the STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 13

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