Albania: Economic governance, regulatory reform, public participation, and pro-poor development in Albania
While Albania's access to safe water has considerably improved in recent years, poor service is a persistent issue: the water pipes are old, the quality of water is low and there are frequent water cuts. The Joint Programme helped to put legal and institutional mechanisms in place and to build the capacities of Government, utility regulators and consumer associations for better service delivery as part of Albania's preparation for accession to the European Union.
The sustainable supply of safe, sufficient and quality water is a priority for the government of Albania. While access to water has improved considerably in recent years, poor service is a persistent issue: the water pipes are old, the quality of water is low and there are frequent water cuts. The decentralization and commercialization of water supply services have pushed water prices up, but improvements in service are lagging behind.
The Joint Programme was designed to build the capacities of Government, utility regulators and consumer associations to effectively manage, regulate and monitor key public utility sectors such as electricity and water, and to strengthen the voice of consumers to promote and protect their rights and encourage accessible and affordable services. As such, it assisted Albania in its efforts to reduce regional disparities, promote social inclusion, meet its Millennium Development Goals targets and prepare for accession to the European Union.
The Joint Programme supported the drafting of a methodology for prioritizing rural investments as well as the development of business plans for the electricity supplier (KESH) and the transmitter (OST).
It also established mechanisms for participatory debate and decision-making as a way to improve access to electricity and water services, and thus to reduce poverty.
Click here for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Albania.
The Joint Programme in action
JOINT PROGRAMME QUICK FACTS
- The joint programme produced a report to help regulatory bodies better monitor the provision and efficiency of public utilities.
- A model water contract between water utilities and consumers developed by the joint programme is being introduced by all 56 Albanian water utility companies, which will regulate the relationship between the parties and eventually improve the quality of water and sewerage services.
- A consumer complaints management system was established and a web-based National Consumer Complaints Management System launched. To support pro-poor utility policies, a study on the effectiveness of support to the poor was drafted; a survey was conducted on willingness to pay, which is being used to guide price increases.