Local Government in Albania: A Status Report for 2023

The Institute for Municipalities of Albania is a civil society organization, with an interest in contributing to local, regional, and national progress and development for good governance and decentralization through assistance, research, studies, and professional training, using legal and democratic means.

A recently published report on Local Government in Albania prepared by the Institute for Municipalities for Albania emphasized the vital role of local developments in the growth of local communities and history. The annual status report serves as a model of transparency, encouraging accountability and integrity among municipal employees. It evaluates national-scale results, compares municipalities, and promotes local leadership in areas such as service quality, budget expenditures, tax collection, investments, and social well-being.

The paper is crucial for municipal administrators, interest groups, and citizens to trust and evaluate the municipality’s leadership and policies, based on research from public institutions. It enhances dialogue, debate, and interaction between the government and the public on shared objectives and challenges, fostering engagement.

The report is divided into five parts:

  • The first part discusses the Major Developments of 2023, focusing on the “Europe Closer to Citizens” policy objective in the 2021-2027 cohesion framework. This objective aims to address challenges encountered by different types of territories and to establish integrated territorial and local development strategies that offer a clear outlook for the future, despite the associated difficulties.
  • The second part examines Transparency and the Relationship with the Central Government. The collaboration between the central and local governments is mainly driven by the political agenda of the central government.
  • The third part analyzes the effectiveness of the Municipal Functions, which is crucial for community well-being. Municipalities provide essential services like water supply, waste collection, education, and infrastructure, improving residents’ quality of life. Additionally, initiatives like post-earthquake reconstruction, social services, and economic development projects show a commitment to supporting and rebuilding communities in times of need
  • The fourth part underlined the Budgetary Performance of Municipalities. Local government units’ 2023 budget performance showed positive budget performance driven by domestic demand, private consumption, investment, and service exports, particularly tourism.
  • Finally, the Number of Employees in 61 municipalities is highlighted in the fifth part. Municipalities can enhance productivity and efficiency in delivering services by prioritizing the well-being and professional development of their employees.

The publication is a record of progress, a tool for engagement, and a roadmap for the future. It documents local developments, highlighting challenges, triumphs, and hopes for a better life for citizens, strong institutions, and accountable administrators.

Read the full article (Open Access): Local Government in Albania, Institute for Municipalities of Albania. Author: Agron Haxhimali. Collaborators: Aida Cacaj, Margarita Buxhaku, Blerina Xhani.