Albania: Economic governance, regulatory reform, public participation, and pro-poor development in Albania
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 programme assisted in the development of a model water contract to regulate the relationship between consumers and Albania's 56 water utility companies and eventually improve the quality of water and sewerage services. This model contract will impact the lives of over three million people.
- A consumer complaints management system was established to receive and manage consumer complaints. A public web site for the Consumer Protection Commission was also developed.
- 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 for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Albania.