Marking a Decade of Collaborative Success in Territorial and Administrative Reform in Albania

UNDP Albania

June 25, 2024
Marking a Decade of Collaborative Success in Territorial and Administrative Reform in Albania

25 June 2024: Tirana, Albania – The Minister of State for Local Government, mayors and other representatives of local governments, and international development partners came together in Tirana to celebrate a decade of collaborative success in Territorial and Administrative Reform in Albania, which stands as evidence to collective efforts and shared vision.

Over the past decade, the Support to Territorial and Administrative Reform in Albania (STAR) project, a partnership involving the European Union, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, USAID, the Government of Albania, and UNDP, has played a pivotal role in reshaping the administrative landscape of Albania, ushering in an era of transformation and opportunity.

STAR began in 2013, guided by a vision of transformational reform. The Government of Albania, in collaboration with national and international stakeholders, embarked on a bold endeavor to revitalize the country’s administrative and territorial structures. The primary goal: to create efficient local governments to better serve the citizens of Albania.

The initial phase, STAR, saw significant milestones, including a national conference where the Government of Albania presented its vision for reorganizing the territorial division of the country. STAR1’s impact resonated across Albania through comprehensive public consultations, bringing together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to shape the future of local governance. 

From identifying core criteria for territorial consolidation to preparing reorganization options, STAR laid the groundwork for substantive change.

The culmination of 1st STAR was marked by its contribution to the formulation of the Law delineating new territorial and administrative divisions for local governments in Albania. This phase was succeeded by STAR2, which supported the further consolidation of the newly established municipalities. Between 2016 and 2020, these municipalities saw improvements in services, democracy, and capacities, paving the way for more effective, responsible, and inclusive local governance.

STAR2's main achievements included the development and implementation of standardized operational procedures, the proliferation of One Stop Offices, and the strengthening of local government transparency and accountability mechanisms. These milestones laid the foundation for inclusive, citizen-centered local governance.
In 2020, STAR3 was launched, building on the successes of its predecessors. This phase focused on strengthening integrity, meaningful participatory practices, local governance and decentralization policymaking, and the consolidation of services to align Albania's local governance with EU standards. STAR3 supported Albania’s vision embracing the digital age, contributing with a digital readiness assessment and a roadmap for the digital transformation of local government.

The STAR project's footprints remain fundamental in Albania's journey towards further development, leaving a strong foundation for the continued strengthening of local government. Empowering Albania step by step, the STAR project represents a decade of historic support and strategic partnership for development, progress, and transformation.

For further information, please contact:
Nora Kushti:

About STAR Project:

The STAR project is a collaborative initiative aimed at supporting territorial and administrative reform in Albania. Over the past decade, it has brought together international partners and the Government of Albania to enhance local governance, improve public services, and empower citizens through comprehensive reform and innovation. International development partners supporting STAR are: The European Union, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, USAID, the Government of Albania, and UNDP.