Evaluation of Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptians - a booster for social inclusion project

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Albania
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
04/2019
Completion Date:
05/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Evaluation of Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptians - a booster for social inclusion project
Atlas Project Number: 00086605
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Albania
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2019
Planned End Date: 04/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG Target
  • 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: Project Budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 13,248
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Rea Nepravishta Evaluation Specialist
Thomas Vasseur Evaluation Specialist
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth
Countries: ALBANIA
Lessons
Findings
1.

RELEVANCE

ESERE - both in its conception and implementation – is highly relevant answer to relevant policy priorities; vertically (from the local municipal level up to the national, Western Balkan and EU level) and horizontally (addressing all concerned sectors and stakeholders). (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.1.)

1.The relevance of ESERE is strong and wide. It is strong as the project answers the most acute situation of social exclusion, given the height of social inclusion obstacles and depth of needs experienced by the Roma and Egyptians – especially the Roma (see several indicators including Regional Roma Survey). It is wide as ESERE is directly aligned with policy priorities at the local level in the context of the decentralization reform where municipalities are handed over more social inclusion competences, including the integration of Roma and Egyptians.


Tag: Relevance Human rights Local Governance Strategic Positioning Social cohesion Social Protection Agenda 2030 Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

2.

ESERE has used its direct access to targeted communities, extensive consultation and knowledge from previous interventions to identify deep-rooted needs and answer top priorities of the targeted communities with accuracy. The review of the project implementation has confirmed ESERE’s response has been highly relevant. (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.2.) 

ESERE has provided a highly relevant response to the needs to its target groups but also to the way to address inclusion challenges in a sustainable manner. The exclusion of Roma and Egyptian is multi-faceted and incredibly acute as it is not most but all of the dimensions of their human development that are endangered: literacy, higher education, health, livelihood, housing, domestic stability, acceptance by majority community, interaction with State Institutions. The experience of previous endeavors has taught practitioners that socioeconomic inclusion will fail if only some of the obstacles are tackled separately. The most recent regional Roma survey conducted by the World Bank provides an exhaustive illustration of the nature and multiplicity of the gaps and inclusion indicators reaching far below national averages, the field of education, labour market access, health, housing or documentation


Tag: Relevance Civic Engagement Local Governance Knowledge management Promotion of dialogue Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Youth

3.

Owing to a presence at the community level and regular interaction with key municipal and central stakeholders, ESERE has been strongly positioned to react rapidly to specific field situation as well as to adapt to policy-level and concrete changes occurred in the field of Roma and Egyptian social inclusion. (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.3.)

ESERE’s close and constant interaction at grassroot, local and central level has given the project a close grasp with its context, placed it in a central position to adjust to changes in the sector. In actual fact, the present reports explain in further details how ESERE has been a strong factor of change in the sector during the 42 months of its implementation. More concretely, there are two crucial events related to R&E communities that required the adaptation of the project to upcoming changes in the context. The first is related to the eviction of the Roma families living in Bregu i Lumit in Tirana in June 2016. Since the first moment, ESERE purposefully lobbied with the Municipality to stop evictions. Indeed, the staff put pressure to the institution stressing the fact that persons could not be evicted without offering them an alternative for housing. An instrument used in this occasion was also the provision of guidelines on evictions “Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-Based Evictions and Displacement”. As a result of the advocacy efforts leveraged also at EU level, the eviction process was prevented and the relevant actors’ joint efforts to find an alternative solution for the families.


Tag: National Local Governance Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection Coordination

4.

ESERE’s design is very appropriate both in the needs and challenges it addresses but, equally importantly, in the holistic way it supports the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities. (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.4.)

 ESERE has been responding effectively to the needs of its targeted populations blending the following fundamental elements in the design of the intervention: • Targeted assistance to the identified community needs and priorities: from education to employability; • Simultaneous and coordinated coverage of all needs mentioned above; • Appropriate architecture of implementation design: involving participation at Micro, Meso and Macro level, enhancing interaction among key stakeholder categories (citizens/users of services, local and central governments, the civil society); • A vision holding the above-mentioned architecture guided by the intention of building a durable solution for the inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities; • Employing the “right profile” showing the relevant blend a background, experience, and community belonging. With approximately 50% of staff from Roma and Egyptian communities, ESERE employees have established the absolutely necessary relation between communities and institutions


Tag: Civic Engagement Local Governance Programme/Project Design Social cohesion Education Inclusive economic growth Coordination

5.

ESERE had identified potential synergies with other complementary donor-funded projects during its conception and has coherently used the potential of those synergies. (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.5.)

There has been a good level of synergy with other donor-funded project, though the several new practices introduced by projects to Municipalities could have been conducted in a more harmonized manner. Effective linkages have been established with other projects implemented in Albania, including UN’s Joint Programme “Leave No One Behind for Social Inclusion” with which ESERE has achieved three interlinked outcomes5 and Roma Education Fund’s activities6 .


Tag: Local Governance Donor relations Joint UN Programme Programme Synergy Education Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building

6.

The model promoted by ESERE is based on a highly participatory “social partnership” of relevant stakeholders and its implementation has demonstrated relevant actors have been involved to a high degree. (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.6.)

All relevant stakeholders have been involved in the design and implementation of ESERE and for a period of time stretching back even before the project for most actors. UNDP previous projects – including SSIREC–have involved close collaborations with Roma and Egyptian communities, the civil society and Albanian institutions. Several of the same actors have been consulted in the design of ESERE while additional civil society organisations have been given significant roles in key activities of ESERE. The UNDP as an agency and the ESERE project have indeed maintained partnerships with the key actors in inclusion in Albania already several years before the project started. ESERE in its conception7 and realization is multi-stakeholder by nature and its success relies on institutions, communities, civil society organisations playing a pro-active role in the social integration process. ESERE, by launching competitive calls for CSO to implement community initiatives or for local institutions to participate to Community Counselling Forums, is very much stimulating, more than just participating to the implementation of its activities


Tag: Civic Engagement Implementation Modality Partnership Coordination

7.

UNDP’s long-standing commitment and direct field-level involvement with the targeted communities have provided a unique access to understanding communities’ issues and needs. The project achievements have confirmed the real priorities of the target populations has been properly assessed. (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.7.)

The availability of relevant data and UNDP previous and related on-going interventions have ensured a highly informed, thorough analysis and deep understanding of Roma and Egyptians living conditions and integration obstacles. UNDP Albania’s long-standing involvement in the integration effort of both communities and the agency’s concrete level of collaboration with essential actors in Albania, from the community to the central government level made ESERE benefit from a close and directly access to beneficiary issues and needs as well as from an updated awareness of the changing legal, political and social context. UNDP has learned lessons from its previous interventions and UNDP’s previous SSIREC project experience has largely fed an understanding on the shortcomings of the previous overall Roma and Egyptians existing integration setup in Albania.


Tag: Knowledge management Programme/Project Design Strategic Positioning Jobs and Livelihoods Vulnerable

8.

ESERE has been more than relevant and supportive of NAPIRE 2015-2020 implementation; it has made a significant contribution to its implementation. (Answer to Evaluation Question 1.8.)

The contribution of ESERE to the advancement of the NAPIRE is indisputable. In terms of quantitative achievements, most interviewed stakeholders agree on the fact that the results of NAPIRE are mostly the results of the ESERE project. But, beyond the numbers, ESERE has given a major impetus and energy to advance the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania.


Tag: Relevance National Social cohesion Social Protection

9.

.EFFICIENCY

The project means have been utilized in an optimal manner, using proven and efficient implementation mechanisms. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.1)

ESERE resources have been utilized in an efficient manner when considering the results achieved and strong progress toward the higher objective of making Roma and Egyptian inclusion work thanks to a system designed to be sustainable. At the time of the evaluation, most of the project funds have been exhausted while most outputs have been delivered and several key target results have already been exceeded – or are well under the way to be reached.


Tag: Efficiency Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Service delivery Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection

10.

All project activities have been delivered timely. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.2)

Overall, ESERE activities have been delivered as per the project plan and the extended implementation period is expected to attain, and in several instances, exceed the expected results. The evaluation has found that most activities had already been delivered by the end of December 12.2018, with several activities – under the Work Package 1 – having already exceeded its targets, in terms of the number of employment solutions provided. The exchanges with the ESERE team and implementing partners are all indicating that all activities will be completed by the end of June 2019. Only a few activities related to infrastructure works had been postponed but are also planned to be completed by the project’s end.


Tag: Project and Programme management Service delivery

11.

With results exceeding objectives both qualitatively and quantitatively, ESERE has optimized the conversion of resources into results. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.3.)

ESERE’s cost analysis should not be reduced to the cost-per-beneficiary ratio (Cost/beneficiary is not an indicator of cost effectiveness). If comparing to project with limited sustainability (short-term employment, inclusion, Roma assistance), ESERE boasts higher cost/benefits ratio. Measuring the cost effectiveness of ESERE requires to understanding that the project is about establishing and testing a model. These are the preliminary phases to developing an effective process and for this model to reaching a functional stage has required making a social investment. Thus, the cost effectiveness of ESERE can be measured by the cost of building the model (over several project phases) and its return of investment (i.e. the social inclusion model appropriate, context-tailored, functioning, delivering – lasting – results and replicable (to other regions and other social groups).


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Local Governance Rule of law Business Model Human and Financial resources Social cohesion Social Protection

12.

The three pillars of ESERE’ s efficient have been (1) proximity and supportive management, (2) outstanding human resource quality and dedication, (3), pro-active coordination. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.4.)

The crucial role of physical field presence backed by a management of proximity also active at the central level have been key factors of efficiency. ESERE is a complex project to manage in that it operates numerous activities – 19 across 4 components –, through different modalities (competitive call for proposal, contracting, counselling, field work…), with multiple partners, in four different geographical locations, at various level, including the regional and central government level. The evaluation has found ESERE management has efficiently handled the demanding management task through a well-adjusted project steering committee structure but at least, equally importantly, the level of dedication and the high relevance of staff profile and personalities are to be accounted for the strong impact the project has made in the field.


Tag: Efficiency National Regional Human and Financial resources Partnership Project and Programme management Strategic Positioning Coordination

13.

ESERE will have exhausted all resources by the end of implementation, producing higher results than originally targeted. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.5.)

87% (plus an additional 6% committed) of ESERE’s budget had been disbursed by the end of December 2018 and the activity plan for the remaining period, i.e., until June 2019 is indicating that the entire budget – including the UNDP financial contribution will be exhausted. The use of resources has allowed to reach ESERE targets for all activities and exceed foreseen results in the number of beneficiaries from the first project component on employment opportunities and professional skills upgrade. ESERE resources have also triggered additional investments from the targeted municipalities with the financing of salaries of dozens of additional staff employed in the renovated or constructed community centers from its municipal budgets.


Tag: Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Project and Programme management

14.

ESERE has promoted stakeholder ownership at municipal and national levels, formulating clear roles, responsibilities and expectations of key stakeholders. Stakeholder involvement has been strong, especially at the municipal level. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.6.)

ESERE has been designed in such a way that activities are converted into effective results only if the key project parties played an active role in its design and implementation. Interviews feedback has clearly confirmed reports that the various project interventions have been a multi-stakeholder decision and the result of a consultative process. This seems to have been the case across the four components: Small business owners have chosen the professional activities for which ESERE has provided support; graduated interns have been selected based on their skills. At the community level, Roma and Egyptian representatives have been the spokespersons of their peers to voice their priorities to municipal representatives in order to decide on priority Community Upgrading Projects. Social services employees have been trained and involved in the practices of concrete case management situation. Staff from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection have been coached and trained to implement and monitor the NAPIRE.


Tag: Effectiveness National Civic Engagement Local Governance Health Sector Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection

15.

The project has produced comprehensive and timely reporting while maintain an open communication with its partners. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.7.)

The evaluation has found the level of reporting on ESERE activities satisfactory, combining regular internal reporting and detailed as well as comprehensive accounts on implementation progress in the ESERE annual reports. The project steering committee meetings have been regular enough to take actions when necessary. But, most importantly, the daily interaction within the ESERE team and the active and open communication maintained with project partners have helped feeding reports while keeping key stakeholders up to date, including through the several communication events organized by the project


Tag: Communication Partnership

16.

ESERE has delivered more activities and results than originally planned, while mobilizing some municipal contributions. (Answer to Evaluation Question 2.8.)

ESERE has delivered activities as per the plan but in higher numbers and with higher results in terms of beneficiaries of the employment work package. From an elevated perspective, ESERE has shaped the contours of an effective model for Roma and Egyptian inclusion. Indeed, besides the positive outcome of assisting more beneficiaries than initially targeted, ESERE has demonstrated the validity of its approach, changing the paradigm of Roma and Egyptian exclusion as a fatality to inclusion as a reality. The project has delivered a series of activities that were additional to what was initially foreseen, but two components can be taken as crucial good examples in this regards: the full support of the ESERE project in the situation of the Roma eviction families in Tirana in June 2019 and the conceptualization of the Transitory Programme for Roma and Egyptians Recyclers in collaboration with Tirana Municipality and Eco Tirana which was additional to what initially foreseen.


Tag: Efficiency Resource mobilization Local Governance Partnership Awareness raising

17.

EFFECTIVENESS

Based on activity reports and accounts from interviews, all activities will have been achieved by the end of the (extended) project timeframe. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.1.)

At the time of evaluation, the majority of ESERE activities had already been completed with the remaining period until the end of June 2019, estimated to provide sufficient time to complete all of the planned actions in a timely manner. A six-month no-cost extension had been granted at the end of 2018 in order to provide sufficient time for some infrastructure activities to be completed.


Tag: Effectiveness National Communication Project and Programme management Service delivery Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening

18.

Outreach to communities and to institutions has been the driving force of ESERE and the targeted communities have enjoyed an unprecedented access to inclusion services. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.3.)

It is difficult to envisage a more direct access to communities than the channels ESERE has opened for the communities and with a wide panel of stakeholders. With 50% of its staff from the Roma and Egyptian communities, the project has showed a clear intention of getting a direct role in bridging the divide between communities and public services. ESERE personnel have taken social service staff to the field to address community issues. Municipal, employment office and other employees have been invited to roundtable to solve community priorities. Community center have been physically established close to where Roma and Egyptian families reside. Community NGOs have been invited to help community consult about and voice their concerns to the relevant institutions, access to project services, outreach to communities and bringing user and services providers to interact directly. The issue of the public perception of Community Centers in relation to the specific population groups these centers are serving, has been evoked during a field visit.


Tag: Effectiveness Local Governance Partnership Risk Management Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection Vulnerable

19.

ESERE has adjusted timely to the multi-dimensional changes of social inclusion context and has also been a factor of positive change. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.4.)

ESERE has been active on multiple frontlines; those of the daily difficulties faced by communities, those of municipal policies and actions in favour of inclusion, as well as the policy and ministerial decisions. As such, any change during the life of the project has been directly received by ESERE, its team and partners. Thanks to this direct contact with the various dimensions the social inclusion context, the project has demonstrated a capacity to capture and react promptly to changes. Actually, more than just adjusting to changes, ESERE has also been a factor of changes. The project team has done so by multiplying negotiations and lobbying actions with ministries or municipalities to get more commitment, with, for instance, getting social or employment civil servants paying field household visits more frequently in the Roma and Egyptian communities. Thus, the presence of ESERE of the several fronts of social inclusion has actually led the project to become an actor, rather than just a follower of change.


Tag: Challenges Local Governance Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection

20.

Direct beneficiary interviews have indicated a strong level of satisfaction about the services rendered by ESERE but also about how their situations have been addressed. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.5.) 

Over 80 Roma and Egyptian male and female individual ESERE beneficiaries - most of them from the Work Package 1 and 2 (Professional skills, small grants, vocational training etc.) - have been interviewed. Community centers but also schools and CSO premises busy various adult literacy classes or other activities have been visited by the team of evaluators. All have firmly expressed great satisfaction about the drastic changes in their lives as a result of the project intervention. But they have largely acknowledged that the ESERE project team has contributed to changing the attitude employees of social services or employment offices have towards Roma and Egyptian communities. Indeed, ESERE has initiated a change of paradigm, both in the way institution consider their role and approach towards Roma and Egyptian communities, but also on the perception of those communities towards institutions. However, the needs of Roma and Egyptian remains high and the change of institutional performance must be sustained.


Tag: Effectiveness Local Governance Monitoring and Evaluation Education Jobs and Livelihoods Youth

21.

ESERE activities will have been fully implemented by the project’s end and all objectives will have been achieved. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.6.)

As explained in previous sections, most activities have been completed and there are no foreseen obstacles to the completion of all activities by the project’s end.

ESERE is the most significant contribution to Roma and Egyptians social inclusion…as well as to the contribution of the realization of NAPIRE’s objectives. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.7.)

The National Action Plan for the integration of Roma and Egyptians is the central effort of the Government of Albania to improve the living conditions of these communities and support their integration. Comparing NAPIRE and ESERE achievements gives an idea of the extent of the project’s contribution to the national effort’s objectives. All stakeholders interviewed has praised ESERE’s results as well as the change the project has induced in how the integration effort of Roma and Egyptian is now addressed in Albania.


Tag: Challenges National Local Governance Security Social cohesion Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection

22.

No major factor has hindered ESERE’s implementation besides the challenges clearly identified in the project design. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.8.)

ESERE has not experienced any major capacitive or hindering factors during implementation, obviously besides the psychological barrier, requiring a patient, daily effort of awareness raising and mentality change. Another obstacle, as high as it is beyond the project’s influence is the slow, ineffective (fiscal) decentralization and slow involvement of central government in the implementation of Roma and Egyptian inclusion which has limited opportunities for a stronger multiplier-effect in terms of mobilizing public funds.


Tag: Resource mobilization Implementation Modality Social cohesion Awareness raising

23.

ESERE has been more than a contribution to the implementation of NAPIRE, it has also built a model. (Answer to Evaluation Question 3.9.)

The high share of ESERE indirectly conveys a message that the pro-active role and financial investment of the central government is yet to impress. Municipalities have demonstrated a strong willingness than an active involvement to ESERE’s activities and concrete commitment through budget allocations but without substantial ministerial support, it is insufficient to address all the challenges in the field, especially in terms of better housing for the targeted communities.


Tag: National Implementation Modality Programme/Project Design

24.

IMPACT

ESERE has produced multiple direct and indirect impacts, all positive. (Answer to Evaluation Question 4.1.)

 The direct impacts on the communities are numerous. If taking the example of following the life cycle of a Roma or Egyptian child, the range of ESERE impacts could be summarized like this. 

? Infant age: Better nutrition at the community center. Birth registration. Protection from potential domestic violence thanks to social workers monitoring. Better health through medical checks at the community center. ? Young age: Early educational exclusion owing to CSO/Community Centres close follow-up and attending pre-school classes. Prevention of language-based exclusion thanks to an early practice of the Albanian language. ? Teenage: Prevention of exploitation and trafficking thanks to joint ESERE staff, civil society and social services individual case management. Prevention of drop out from school. Early detection of future professional failure, thanks to counselling and orientation between higher studies or chosen vocational training. ? Adult age: For women: Prevention of domestic violence through social worker counselling. Prevention of extreme exclusion through adult literacy classes, strengthening of self-confidence through participation to various cultural and professional activities. Civil status registration, health card issuance bringing inclusion to the health care system. Reduction of poverty through professional upgrading schemes. Prevention of re-exclusion through complementary support services such as child guardianship. ? Elder age: Prevention of health deterioration through medical follow-up and prevention from isolation through socializing activities.

The above is a very brief summary of the impacts and does not include the myriad of situations of further exclusion avoided through an increased social care of the Roma and Egyptian communities.


Tag: Impact Access to Medicines Health Sector Education Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

25.

ESERE has also produced a strong impact that could be situated between a direct and indirect results of the intervention: A change of minds and a change of paradigm.

The other key impact – besides improving the lives of assisted Roma and Egyptian communities – is the change of minds of “all involved parties”. ? Roma and Egyptian communities have a different stand towards public institutions and a faith in the social inclusion system. Communities have witnessed the concrete actions of municipal authorities and public civil servants, but they have also captured the willingness to support from actors they would previously felt ignored by. A very strong illustration of this change is summarized by the following situation. A Roma woman who is now a regular user of the local community center and who occasionally visit the remote employment office in Durrës has admitted that before ESERE, she did not even know where the office was located”. ? Municipal authorities have become pro-active in solving the multiple integration obstacles of the communities. The four municipalities engaged have supported financial several activities from their budgets but have also hired staff permanently in the social services section to assist Roma and Egyptian population. Most importantly, local governments have understood their responsibilities and are asking for more capacity to assist social inclusion. ? The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Education have demonstrated a genuine intention and strong commitment to support the inclusion process at its level. The allocation of adequate funds is yet awaited.


Tag: Local Governance Communication Social cohesion Social Protection Awareness raising Institutional Strengthening

26.

ESERE’s results have produced essentially positive and promising impacts, including changes in key stakeholders’ attitudes, behaviors and delivery of services. (Answer to Evaluation Question 4.2.)

As explained in the previous paragraphs, ESERE has produced multiple impacts; often invisible but invaluable effects (municipal investment, communities and public services mind changes…).

ESERE has produced an effective model for the social inclusion Roma and Egyptian communities…. replicable in other municipalities, possibly extendable to other Western Balkans countries…and ultimately relevant to social inclusion at large. (Answer to Evaluation Question 4.3.)

ESERE has produced an effective, successful model of social inclusion for Roma and Egyptian communities and…potentially a mainstream social inclusiveness as a model of all marginalized communities. (Integrated, 3D approach). The ESERE model is potentially both “upscale-able” across Albania and replicable in other Western Balkan Countries


Tag: Impact Local Governance Programme/Project Design Service delivery Social cohesion Social Protection Policy Advisory

27.

ESERE is synonym to effective, tangible, durable changes… that however requires further and continued consolidation. (Answer to Evaluation Question 4.4.)

As explained into more details across the impact section of this report, the results of ESERE are strong, tangible, and multi-dimensional. However, ESERE has been and remains the central effort supporting the integration of Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania. When ESERE ends, the project dynamic, its team and unique competences, its resources are not yet likely to be fully taken over the by the institutions. Institutions are not yet prepared to play their role in the R&E inclusion and a follow-up targeted project seems necessary.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Social Protection Institutional Strengthening

28.

ESERE’s main change has been realised through modelling social inclusion involving a transformation of stakeholder’s understanding, attitudes and practices in service delivery: an effective change of paradigm. (Answer to Evaluation Question 4.5.)

As highlighted in several instances of this report, ESERE has changed Municipalities and public services minds, consideration of Roma and Egyptian communities and an increase awareness what its role and duties. Municipalities have now become institutional advocates of Roma and Egyptian social inclusion. ESERE has also empowered Roma and Egyptian communities, with the involvement of CSOs to advocate for their rights. The evaluation has found the level of awareness and empowerment has brought new capacities within the communities and its civil society. However, the current situation remains fragile, mainly because of the lack of resources and alternatives yet for CSO to mobilize funding beside ESERE.


Tag: Impact Local Governance Social cohesion Social Protection Awareness raising

29.

UNDP’s added-value is multiple: Mandate, Expertise, Grassroot level practice, Strongly appropriate project staff and trust from stakeholders. (Answer to Evaluation Question 4.6.)

UNDP’s first added-value to ESERE is its staff who gathers a rare combination of personal life experience (from the assisted communities), long-term grassroot commitment, unique exposure to and understanding of the field realities, both institutional and social. The agency has accumulated a long and unique experience and understanding of Roma and Egyptian inclusion stakes because of its central role, combining grassroot intervention, policy support and institutional empowerment of local governments. UNDP is a legitimate, expert actor: it’s a long-term government interlocutor and has been involved in connected efforts (employment, sustainable development, support to policy reforms...). UNDP is positioned as a unique Agency able to interconnect policy level with the community level, producing more impact due to sound and efficient management of large funds that no other entities could similarly handle. In addition, the position and legacy of UNDP allows a high level of interaction with the government which pushes forward largescale repercussions and long term/sustainable impact.


Tag: Local Governance Human and Financial resources Partnership Strategic Positioning Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Institutional Strengthening

30.

SUSTAINABILITY Most beneficiaries from the professional activities are likely to continue their commitment/activities. (Answer to Evaluation Question 5.1.)

The results of the first Work Package aiming at increasing employment and skills development opportunities have produced strong results and substantial sustainability perspectives with variations among the various employment package activities. The professional profiling of Roma and Egyptian women and men has indicated a genuine intention of tailoring employability service on the basis of assessed individual capacities, situations and intentions. Overall, all the beneficiaries under this project component have performed very well. All of the visited small businesses run by beneficiaries – if not the great majority of ESERE beneficiaries according to reports have been performing strongly and have established stable activities. The job placements have provided opportunities for young Roma and Egyptian to build valuable professional skills. One young Roma employed at a marketing small company has come a long way from getting to respect working hours to build skills and earn additional responsibilities. This young male is now hired full time in the company and envisions in the longer-term to establish his own business.


Tag: Sustainability Education Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Capacity Building

31.

ESERE has already achieved a strong degree of institutionalisation and the model can be made sustainable with further consolidation support. (Answer to Evaluation Question 5.2.)

Most of the practices introduced by ESERE have been adopted as regular practices of public services, including social services and employment offices. The project has produced a series of structural results which will remain in place after the project termination. Most of these results are at policy level including institutional orders and decisions that have re-shaped the Albanian system in their spheres of action. More concretely, one of the most important lasting results has been the issuance of Order no .576, dated 16.12.2017 of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection for the referral system and free primary public health services. ESERE and UNDP staff have strongly lobbied for the inclusion of all the categories of people in need in access to health system. In substance, the Order released the burden of being registered as unemployed person for having access to primary health services. In this way, categories in need are not necessarily obliged to be registered as unemployed at the respective employment offices for them to have free access to the health system. This is considered by the interviewees a major achievement of the project that will continue to have an indefinite impact in the future. Furthermore, another important development triggered by the project is the Order no 276. dated 30.12.2016 of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection on the functioning of the ROMALB system. This order makes official the ROMALB tool within the Albanian institutional system.


Tag: Sustainability Local Governance Rule of law Health Sector Social Protection Advocacy Institutional Strengthening Vulnerable Youth

32.

Municipal authorities have the will to continue to use established mechanisms though they lack the resources. (Answer to Evaluation Question 5.3.)

The new Law on Social Protection has been recently approved with subsequent by-laws that make it viable legislation. The social services that are to be delivered and executed at local level are basically foreseen in the by-laws. The services delivered at Municipal level in the framework of the ESERE project have prepared terrain for the implementation of the law, tested and put in practice a model of social services that the Municipalities should themselves take over. This setting of mechanism by practice seems an example of sustainability that will remain beyond the project implementation. In additional cases, Municipalities have contributed with staff paid by their own budget for the Community Centres. The capacity of municipalities to continuation deliver services is altered by the poor implementation of several sectoral reforms by the central government, especially the allocations of funds that are expected to accompany the transfer of wider responsibilities over enlarged territorial responsibilities.


Tag: Sustainability Local Governance Rule of law Institutional Strengthening

33.

ESERE has put the appropriate social inclusion mechanisms in place, sustainable in design and practice but in need of further accompaniment and additional resources. (Answer to Evaluation Question 5.4.)

With ESERE, UNDP has helped establish a model which mechanisms are ensuring the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities and that is likely to become a sustainable process in Albania. However, if sustainability has been achieved in the design, the consolidation of the ESERE model is a pre-requisite and continued EU funding support for a future consolidation phase is a priority. In the meantime, the ESERE model as it is today is in need of consolidation. The new practices in public service delivery, in multi-stakeholders devised solutions have convinced the community and the key stakeholders and most of these practices have already been institutionalized. However, the promoted approach is still relatively new, especially to institutions, and the project cycle format is a short period in comparison to the longer-term nature of the changes sought. Social services and employment office employees need more practice and more expert mentorship from ERESE staff to become fully effective in their new roles. Getting the central government to further fulfil its responsibilities towards Roma and Egyptian integration, especially via an effective budgetary decentralization is the next number one challenge for the consolidation of a sustainable institutional social inclusion setup.


Tag: Sustainability Human and Financial resources Programme/Project Design Service delivery Jobs and Livelihoods

34.

ESERE has produced multiple best practices, all driven by a more coherent social inclusion set-up and resulting in improved service delivery. (Answer to Evaluation Question 5.5.)

A number of best practices have emerged from ESERE implementation; especially since the project has promoted the development of a model. The practices related to this model are described under the section 5.2 Best Practices. ESERE has an exit strategy, however, the model introduced needs to be consolidated before exiting of a project-based intervention. (Answer to Evaluation Question 5.6.) ESERE has developed a vision, along with an exit strategy. However, the insufficient engagement of the central government renders existing a risky and premature move.


Tag: Programme/Project Design Risk Management Service delivery Country Government Social cohesion Social Protection

35.

GENDER EQUALITY Gender has been effectively integrated in the design and addressed as a priority during implementation. (Answer to Evaluation Question 6.1.).

The social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian cannot be achieved without addressing gender equality. The evaluation has found ESERE has directly contributed to advancing the situations of female beneficiaries through a wide spectrum of integrated and complementary activities, ranging from literacy courses, inclusive education, vocational training or professional upgrading solutions. ESERE’s project document is making clear references to gender equality in its principles but also in the proposed activities. ESERE directly supports the implementation of NAPIRE, which itself have established specific targets related to gender equality within the targeted communities. ESERE also indirectly supports the objectives of the National Action Plan for Gender Equality (2016-2020) of Albania. In terms of implementation, ESERE has drafted a list of activities associated with specific results for Roma and Egyptian girls and women. In terms of monitoring, the project has developed gender disaggregated targets allowing to monitor progress and measure the realization of defined targets. All gender-specific targets have been reached. The gender-specific activities have been tailored based on the social inclusion obstacles and challenges girls and women are experiencing. This ranges from addressing mother guardianship services provided to women to giving specific attention to female applicants to small business grants.


Tag: Gender Equality National Programme/Project Design Financial Inclusion Jobs and Livelihoods Social Protection Women and gilrs

36.

ESERE is aligned to key national, European and global gender equality principles as well as relevant strategies and programmes. (Answer to Evaluation Question 6.2.)

ESERE features clear references to universal gender equality principles in its project document. ESERE is aligned to key national, European and global gender equality principles as well as relevant strategies and programmes. (Answer to Evaluation Question 6.2.) ESERE features clear references to universal gender equality principles in its project document.


Tag: Gender Equality National

37.

ESERE provides multiple benefits to women and girls as it has addressed social inclusion challenges that are specific to these target sub-groups. (Answer to Evaluation Question 6.3.)

The project has established specific targets for the proportion of women beneficiaries from ESERE services as well specific activities contributing to gender equality. The thresholds established as equitable with 50% of women in most activities and realistic (closer to 30%) taking into consideration the conservative mentalities and the sociologic reality of the communities, (for instance, the target for youth activism initiatives led by young women has been set at 30%, reflecting the education level or the difficult access of women to such independent activities).


Tag: Gender Equality Social cohesion Education Women and gilrs Youth

38.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The human right dimension is concretely addressed through each of the project components. (Answer to Evaluation Question 7.1.)

The project’s integration of the human rights dimension has been coherent with the way ESERE has applied gender equality principles and implemented activities targeted at tacking the profound issue of discrimination against Roma and Egyptians in the country. The project entirely mainstreams a human rights-based approach that struggles to eradicate discrimination and bring dignity and entitlement to excluded communities. This mindset is also important because it sets the path for State institutions to see the R&E problems also under the loop of human rights entitlement.


Tag: Gender Equality Human rights Implementation Modality Programme/Project Design Education Jobs and Livelihoods Institutional Strengthening

39.

The ESERE team and project partners have experienced human-rights related challenges, however, all being anticipated in principle, owing to the nature of the intervention. (Answer to Evaluation Question 7.3.)

By addressing concrete cases of social exclusion, the project team and its partners have been confronted with regular situations of concerns affecting the human rights of the assisted communities. This has included a great variety of situations, from collaboration with institutions to support the integration of young children and their parents to literacy classes at school or counselling women victims of domestic violence. Such situations are unfortunate examples of human rights concerns; however, these issues belong to situations often faced by the Roma and Egyptian communities and had been clearly anticipated adequately and addressed by ESERE. The grassroot level intervention of the project has shed light on, but also provided concrete responses to human rights offences faced by the communities in focus at various levels.


Tag: Challenges Human rights Social cohesion Women and gilrs Youth

Recommendations
1

Develop a project proposal for a next ESERE phase and actively mobilize funds (with the EU).

Pursue to targeted effort of R&E inclusion: Fund Roma targeted project: Achieving Roma integration is much longer process than social inclusion. Because the Roma integration challenge is the highest, of ESERE has built a strong Social Inclusion model, but in practice the Roma integration model is not yet sufficiently anchored with municipalities & institutions, needs to scale up results, lobby more local and national governments so they fully take over their roles in implementation.

Specific recommendation 1.1: Organise a workshop to take stock of all best practices and formulate a field experience-based model describing the complete mechanism of social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities. This will help capitalize on ESERE experience and also propose a “key-in-hands” product for more municipalities to engage in the social inclusion of those population groups.

Specific recommendation 1.2: Include Roma and Egyptian communities from other municipalities with a view to replicate the model, while keeping as targeted locations the 4 existing Municipalities in order to bring the model at a more advanced stage and secure sustainability of results. More specifically, it is recommended to: ? Include new municipalities (limited number ranging from 2 to 4 depending on available resources) characterized by specific areas of acute Roma and Egyptian social exclusion with a focus on so-called “ghetto” and elevated poverty areas in the recommended following phase. ? Continue supporting ESERE in the current (4) targeted municipalities with a focus on mentorship of all actors (especially public services, civil society and the private sector) and on the specific aspects of social inclusion assessed as in priority need of support (accompaniment, grants to CSO…). Involved those 4 municipalities in the transfer of experience and knowledge (exchange visits, mentorship…) to newly targeted municipalities.

2

Strengthen the Roma and Egyptian inclusion model and use this opportunity to provide a tested and strong model for mainstreamed social inclusion in Albania

Use and extend the ESERE effective intervention to develop a model of inclusion that is not just relevant to Roma and Egyptian communities but also applicable to address inclusion of all excluded or marginalized communities in Albania (unique opportunity and practice, gives more sense to the social investment made by the EU).

Specific recommendation 2.1: Set the conditionality of recommended ESERE next phase social inclusion activities to the release of central government matching (social funds) contribution10: Lobbying and conditionality to central government for further commitment to next phase (systematic contribution with social funds): Recognizing the heavy financial cost of Roma and Egyptian integration process to be borne by Municipalities – even more so with extended territorial responsibilities–and having identified the weak decentralization of (social) funds dedicated to this purpose, lobbying local and central government to implement fully their obligation is becoming an increasingly urgent task. By getting further municipal commitment towards inclusion, ESERE has demonstrated that international projects also provide a strong leverage to get more government commitment. Following this observation, the evaluation recommends that a next ESERE phase factors an increased level of conditionality where, for instance, each project-funded intervention is conditioned to the line ministries and targeted municipalities release (social) funds that are commensurate to the needs. In order to secure institutional commitment, an agreement on the conditionality should be settled prior to the commencement of the project. This recommendation is relevant to the various ministries implementing related action plans (youth employment, social enterprise, inclusive education…). Consider analyzing the situation on financial decentralization to Municipalities.

3

Advocate with the government to take over the implementation of the NAPIRE, instead of just accompanying it in the implementation.

4

Introduce an Inclusive Social Housing Model in Albania with facilitating criteria for the most vulnerable categories.

5

Further strengthen the employment component. Consider grant schemes to Support the Social Enterprise model with high growth potential (Educated Roma) employed mixed communities. Lobby for the Government of Albania to provide incentives specifically for Social Enterprises integrating Roma and Egyptians (livelihood component).

6

Provide perspective of institutionalized employment to ESERE Community Mediators, and other involved ESERE staff so as to preserve the relationship between the municipality and community.

7

Prioritize settlements with the attribute of ghettos as those are priority locations in terms of social exclusion and need for assistance.

8

Use ROMALB data for policy/Programme formulation & Advocacy (GoA accountability).

9

Involve higher level managers of public institutions so as to get more understanding, support and buy-in so employees receive stronger support from their hierarchy in their work.

10

Specific recommendation 2.2: Strengthen implementation practice:

More field practice of unified case management is needed: until a Roma is durably integrated, if not accompanied, it is a risk of being excluded again, at any time in the integration process. Roma community clearly needs further accompaniment in their process of gaining progressive independence and being self-sustained. The process of integration can suffer no disruption.

11

Specific recommendation 2.4:

Build and promote stories of successful integration: Provide “Quality Job” solutions to qualified/educated R&E with potentials and make an impact on the public through promotion campaigns of such cases. Build successful model of integration to showcase role model and promotion. If model is successful with Roma and Egyptian, it will be successful as a sectoral model for all socially excluded.

12

Specific recommendation 2.5: “Break the ghetto”

Apply a more targeted approach by prioritizing support to the most excluded Roma and Egyptian communities, i.e., settlements physically isolated from urban centers (and characterized by poor housing).

1. Recommendation:

Develop a project proposal for a next ESERE phase and actively mobilize funds (with the EU).

Pursue to targeted effort of R&E inclusion: Fund Roma targeted project: Achieving Roma integration is much longer process than social inclusion. Because the Roma integration challenge is the highest, of ESERE has built a strong Social Inclusion model, but in practice the Roma integration model is not yet sufficiently anchored with municipalities & institutions, needs to scale up results, lobby more local and national governments so they fully take over their roles in implementation.

Specific recommendation 1.1: Organise a workshop to take stock of all best practices and formulate a field experience-based model describing the complete mechanism of social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities. This will help capitalize on ESERE experience and also propose a “key-in-hands” product for more municipalities to engage in the social inclusion of those population groups.

Specific recommendation 1.2: Include Roma and Egyptian communities from other municipalities with a view to replicate the model, while keeping as targeted locations the 4 existing Municipalities in order to bring the model at a more advanced stage and secure sustainability of results. More specifically, it is recommended to: ? Include new municipalities (limited number ranging from 2 to 4 depending on available resources) characterized by specific areas of acute Roma and Egyptian social exclusion with a focus on so-called “ghetto” and elevated poverty areas in the recommended following phase. ? Continue supporting ESERE in the current (4) targeted municipalities with a focus on mentorship of all actors (especially public services, civil society and the private sector) and on the specific aspects of social inclusion assessed as in priority need of support (accompaniment, grants to CSO…). Involved those 4 municipalities in the transfer of experience and knowledge (exchange visits, mentorship…) to newly targeted municipalities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

UNDP County Office in Albania will continue to advocate and mobilize partners for new project interventions in the area of Roma inclusion. Achieving Roma/ Egyptian’s integration is a long process. ESERE has built a strong social inclusion model, but in practice the Roma integration model is not yet sufficiently anchored with municipalities and institutions, needs to scale up results, lobby more with local and national governments so they fully take over their roles in implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize a workshop to take stock of all best practices and formulate a field experience-based model describing the complete mechanism of social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities.
[Added: 2019/08/06]
UNDP CO 2020/12 Overdue-Initiated History
Develop a new project proposal that builds on ESERE experience and lessons learned and submit for funding.
[Added: 2019/08/06]
UNDP CO 2020/12 Overdue-Initiated
2. Recommendation:

Strengthen the Roma and Egyptian inclusion model and use this opportunity to provide a tested and strong model for mainstreamed social inclusion in Albania

Use and extend the ESERE effective intervention to develop a model of inclusion that is not just relevant to Roma and Egyptian communities but also applicable to address inclusion of all excluded or marginalized communities in Albania (unique opportunity and practice, gives more sense to the social investment made by the EU).

Specific recommendation 2.1: Set the conditionality of recommended ESERE next phase social inclusion activities to the release of central government matching (social funds) contribution10: Lobbying and conditionality to central government for further commitment to next phase (systematic contribution with social funds): Recognizing the heavy financial cost of Roma and Egyptian integration process to be borne by Municipalities – even more so with extended territorial responsibilities–and having identified the weak decentralization of (social) funds dedicated to this purpose, lobbying local and central government to implement fully their obligation is becoming an increasingly urgent task. By getting further municipal commitment towards inclusion, ESERE has demonstrated that international projects also provide a strong leverage to get more government commitment. Following this observation, the evaluation recommends that a next ESERE phase factors an increased level of conditionality where, for instance, each project-funded intervention is conditioned to the line ministries and targeted municipalities release (social) funds that are commensurate to the needs. In order to secure institutional commitment, an agreement on the conditionality should be settled prior to the commencement of the project. This recommendation is relevant to the various ministries implementing related action plans (youth employment, social enterprise, inclusive education…). Consider analyzing the situation on financial decentralization to Municipalities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

UNDP Country Office will use and extend ESERE effective intervention to develop a model of inclusion that is not just relevant to Roma and Egyptian communities but also applicable to address inclusion of all excluded or marginalized communities in Albania (unique opportunity and practice, gives more sense to the social investment made by the EU).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize consultative meetings with Ministry of Health and Social Protection and advocate for including integrated services model developed by ESERE in the new government funding allocations though the social fund.
[Added: 2019/08/06]
UNDP CO 2019/07 Completed
Organize a workshop to take stock of all best practices and formulate a field experience-based model describing the complete mechanism of social inclusion.
[Added: 2019/08/06] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO 2020/07 No Longer Applicable [Justification: this action is the same as action 1 of recommendation 1. update will be provided under 1.1 ]
History
3. Recommendation:

Advocate with the government to take over the implementation of the NAPIRE, instead of just accompanying it in the implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

In order to increase synergies and support to Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the capacities of the ministries staff to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the National Action Plan on Roma and Egyptian Integration 2016-2020 will be increased continuously. Advocacy will be extended so that the social care plans are implemented through the social fund at the local level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions with the MoHSP on areas of support for the monitoring and evaluation of the National Action Plan on Roma and Egyptian Integration, 2016-2020.
[Added: 2019/08/06] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO 2019/12 Completed Discussion and consultation completed in June 2010. Annual monitoring report of Action Plan on Roma and Egyptian Integration, 2016-2020 developed with UNDP support. process of consultations for new Action Plan 2021-2023 has been initiated. History
4. Recommendation:

Introduce an Inclusive Social Housing Model in Albania with facilitating criteria for the most vulnerable categories.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

Over the last years, UNDP has employed a holistic approach to its support to Roma housing by enhancing the focus of its work from analysis and research to policy and legislation improvement to local level interventions. In 2015, UNDP supported the then-Ministry of Urban Development to formulate the Social Housing Strategy 2015 -2025 and in 2016-2017 it supported the formulation of Law 22 “on Social Housing”. The new law is in line with the international standards for the observance of the fundamental human right to housing and attempts to provide with solutions to the issues identified such as gaps in housing, forced eviction and the housing adequacy. The law guarantees inclusive social housing programmes, increased protection from forced eviction, introducing novel concepts such as adequate housing and homelessness, etc. Immediately after approval of Law 22 by the Parliament in May 2018, UNDP, through the Leave No One Behind Programme, continued support to the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) in drafting secondary legislation necessary for the implementation of this law. Out of around 40 pieces of legal acts / by-laws that are being drafted, at least 33 of them are Decisions of the Council of Ministers (DCMs) while the rest are various ordinances and guidelines, desk studies, analyses, etc. As of this day, about 20 new DCMs have been finalized, 8 of them fully consulted including with representatives from the beneficiaries whereas 6 of them are approved and issued by the CoM.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions with Ministry of Finance and Economy and MoHSP on areas of support to monitoring of implementation of the Social Housing Strategy 2015 -2025
[Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO and LNB Joint Programme 2019/12 Completed Ministry of Finance and Economy has been supported by Leave No one Behind programme to develop local level plans and monitoring mechanisms starting from three Municipalities. History
5. Recommendation:

Further strengthen the employment component. Consider grant schemes to Support the Social Enterprise model with high growth potential (Educated Roma) employed mixed communities. Lobby for the Government of Albania to provide incentives specifically for Social Enterprises integrating Roma and Egyptians (livelihood component).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

UNDP will further strengthen and replicate the employment component of ESERE project in other on-going and new projects. The Integrated case management approach used by ESERE is shared and piloted with the government as an innovative practice which served men, women and youth, including the most vulnerable with all available resources from both the labour market and the social policy system, and even beyond. The office will continue its efforts in the following directions: (i) support the national and regional employment services to develop sustainable approaches for the most vulnerable, as well as expand into rural employment; (ii) explore possible collaboration with the private sector for sustainable job creation, via impact investment schemes, establishment of private sector platforms, and support to social enterprises; (iii) skills development for vulnerable groups -the ambition is to systematize the practice to train teachers, so to respond to specific educational and quality needs; (iv) support social enterprises.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Enhance cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, MoHSP and municipalities to advance and accelerate – where possible – integration of ESERE project outputs, including the operational specifications of the employment schemes piloted by the project. These outputs feed in the restructuring of the national employment agency and establishment of the employment fund
[Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO and SD4E project 2019/12 Completed New employment promotion measures launched by Ministry of Finance and Economy in early September have integrated recommendations coming from ESERE on employment of vulnerable groups History
6. Recommendation:

Provide perspective of institutionalized employment to ESERE Community Mediators, and other involved ESERE staff so as to preserve the relationship between the municipality and community.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

Following the pilot model implementation of the Roma and Egyptian employment mediators placed at the National Employment Service, supported by ESERE Project and other project staff involved, UNDP CO will continue its efforts to ensure that the model is taken over, financed and scaled up/ disseminated by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Albania and where possible by municipalities. Dedication to a vulnerable group, such as R/E, has increased the number of R/E beneficiaries of employment office services because they are able to conduct a full and proper jobseeker profile and match it with the job offer. Also, the availability of the mediator for field visits and ability to conduct cases management, is believed to have contributed to a more stable and lasting employment for the mediated R/E.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue support for the Ministry of Finance and Economy throughout the process of restructuring the national employment agency and establishment of the employment fund- transfer and integrate in the new structure and procedures ESERE project outputs and methodology, including the employment of mediators.
[Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO and SD4E project 2019/12 Completed SD4E project has been providing support to MoFE on employment fund and structural review of the agency. support is ongoing. History
7. Recommendation:

Prioritize settlements with the attribute of ghettos as those are priority locations in terms of social exclusion and need for assistance.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

UNDP CO will continue and strengthen its efforts at the local level, while supporting the decentralization reform by building the capacity of municipalities to deliver inclusive services for their constituencies and to effectively address the needs of vulnerable populations and those at risk, in line with social care plans. This efforts in parallel to the monitoring of implementation of the Social Housing Strategy 2015 -2025, will contribute with emphasises on fighting the ghetto phenomenon and segregation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support will be provided to Ministry of Finance and Economy and in developing Social Housing Law secondary legislation which will also address issues of segregation
[Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO 2019/12 Completed secondary legislation of housing law has been fully developed though UNDP support by Leave None One behind project. 15 secondary legislation acts has been approved which 17 others have been developed and their approval is under process. Issues of segregation have been fully addressed in the drafted secondary legislation. History
8. Recommendation:

Use ROMALB data for policy/Programme formulation & Advocacy (GoA accountability).

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

Despite the considerable effort which has been made over the last 15 years to improve data availability, still there are no sustainable systems of data collection at the national level which would allow analysis of disaggregated results on the impact of policies on Roma and non-Roma populations. UNDP Country Office will continue lobbying with the government so that ROMALB web-based electronic system used by the government of Albania to collect administrative desegregated data, to be further strengthened technically as a useful tool to feed the policy making and to ensure the impact assessment of Roma national strategies and action plans, programme formulation and advocacy.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue discussion and advocacy with Ministry of Health and Social Protection to handover ROMALB to Albanian Government Agency on Information Technology.
[Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO Management 2019/12 Completed Ministry of Health and Social protection has started discussions with the Agency on Information Technology on how to administer ROMALB system while communicating regularly with national and local institutions for their update and date inputs. History
9. Recommendation:

Involve higher level managers of public institutions so as to get more understanding, support and buy-in so employees receive stronger support from their hierarchy in their work.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2021/01/29]

UNDP has drawn important lessons from the implementation of ESERE project, with the main recommendations pointing to the need for both strengthening of policy capacities, as well as for concrete integrated actions at the local level for boosting skills, employment, social integration and social protection. National partners have also drawn important lessons from the implementation of this project, with the main recommendations pointing to the need for further strengthening of policy capacities, inter-institutional coordination, as well as for concrete integrated actions at the local level for boosting employability and social protection for vulnerable groups.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue discussion and advocacy with high level managers of public institutions to ensure more inclusive policy making and stronger support for Roma inclusion agenda.
[Added: 2019/08/16] [Last Updated: 2020/09/11]
UNDP CO Management 2019/12 Completed This has been a continuous process for UNDP and remains on of the important advocacy and policy support topics raised in various meetings with central government senior officials working in the area of health, education, employment, housing,public administration,etc. UNDP continues to advocate on Roma inclusion as a priority in the social inclusion agenda also with international organizations and donor community (IPMG discussions) and has managed to include the topic on all discussions of countries development priorities including the development of UN Albania COVID 19 Socio-economic recovery and response plan. History
10. Recommendation:

Specific recommendation 2.2: Strengthen implementation practice:

More field practice of unified case management is needed: until a Roma is durably integrated, if not accompanied, it is a risk of being excluded again, at any time in the integration process. Roma community clearly needs further accompaniment in their process of gaining progressive independence and being self-sustained. The process of integration can suffer no disruption.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/29]

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Specific recommendation 2.4:

Build and promote stories of successful integration: Provide “Quality Job” solutions to qualified/educated R&E with potentials and make an impact on the public through promotion campaigns of such cases. Build successful model of integration to showcase role model and promotion. If model is successful with Roma and Egyptian, it will be successful as a sectoral model for all socially excluded.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/29]

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Specific recommendation 2.5: “Break the ghetto”

Apply a more targeted approach by prioritizing support to the most excluded Roma and Egyptian communities, i.e., settlements physically isolated from urban centers (and characterized by poor housing).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/29]

Key Actions:

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