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Evaluation of Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptians - a booster for social inclusion project
Commissioning Unit: Albania
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 05/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Albania
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
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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