Waging Peace: Albania
The government of Albania expressed interest in working with The Carter Center on a national development strategy in 1998. In 2000, the Albanian government and the World Bank asked the Center's Global Development Initiative to help promote public participation in formulating a national poverty strategy required by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for Albania to continue receiving low-interest loans and grants. Albania's poverty strategy, which looked three to five years into the future, was known locally as the National Strategy for Socioeconomic Development.
The Global Development Initiative facilitated unprecedented collaboration between government, nongovernmental organizations, and citizens in the NSSED process by disseminating information about the process, supporting public access to research, strengthening nongovernmental organizations' capacity to analyze policy, organizing "town hall" meetings throughout the country, and bringing government officials and nongovernmental organizations together in working groups to develop strategies and policy options.
As the government implemented the NSSED starting in 2002, GDI worked with civil society to create a regional network of focal points for monitoring the NSSED's implementation. This partnership with Albania's Civil Society Development Centers included training on monitoring and evaluation; outreach work with local communities; public forums with civil society, public officials, members of Parliament, and the business community; production and submission of policy position papers to government reflecting local views and analysis; and citizen mobilization to promote policy change. GDI played a supportive role to the CSDC managers who led this effort and worked with the government to facilitate constructive engagement.
Albanian government, opposition, and civil society representatives participated in GDI's third and fourth Development Cooperation Forums.