Leave No One Behind Programme – Phase two (LNB2)
"LNB2 - Leave No One Behind (LNB) Phase 2 (2021-2025) is a joint United Nations Programme that aims to bring about systemic change in social protection and social inclusion in Albania. The programme aims to provide quality integrated social services such as social protection, social welfare, health, education, employment, vocational training, and housing to vulnerable people and disadvantaged groups, progressively ensuring the realization of their basic human rights, legal entitlements, well-being, dignity, and livelihoods. This will be accomplished through actions at the macro level (central authorities), meso level (communities and civil society organizations), and micro level, which will actively involve the target groups in the implementation of the programme.
LNB2 contributes to the achievement of the "Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework of the Government of Albania of the United Nations (SDCF) 2022-2026, Outcome A - "By 2026, there will be increased and more equitable investment in people by removing barriers and creating opportunities for those at risk of exclusion."
The LNB2 programme has three primary objectives:
The LNB2 programme has three main objectives:
(a) improving the effectiveness and efficiency of recently established government financing mechanisms for social inclusion and social care services.
(b) strengthening monitoring, evaluation, and quality assurance mechanisms to improve social service delivery.
(c) supporting the development of social care models that emphasize the integration of services and the application of a cross-service approach to social service delivery."
The roll-out of the social protection and social care reform process began in 2016/17, and the full implementation of the reform measures is expected to be achieved by 2023/24. The focus of the LNB2 interventions is on consolidating the reform roll-out (full implementation of the Law on Social Care Services) and strengthening results from Phase 1.
By 2025, the new instruments being deployed will have become firmly anchored in Albania's social protection system and be rapidly replicated nationwide. The programme will directly invest in ensuring that 32 selected municipalities successfully establish a system of integrated social services to cover the needs of the vulnerable population. The programme will also increase municipal level ownership over the provision of community-based integrated social protection services, establish budgeting practices of gender-responsive social protection and inclusion measures centrally and locally, develop and disseminate nationally solid standards of social care services, create a critical mass of social protection practitioners, and most importantly, improve communities' access to integrated social services. Such demonstrations in 32 (out of 61) municipalities will also empower beneficiaries as advocates to demand an increased focus on social services.
Since service delivery occurs mainly at the local level, the program's intervention focuses on empowering beneficiaries in need of social protection measures to access and contribute to their social inclusion (Outcome 1) and capacitating municipalities/regions and service providers to provide services and promote social inclusion (Outcome 2). Outcome 3 reflects the program's concern with anchoring its interventions at the system level, contributing to the development and implementation of policies relevant for social inclusion, building the capacity of ministries and partners to monitor and evaluate policies, and further developing/operationalizing a range of social inclusion funding mechanisms, including scaling up the Social Fund, the key financing mechanism for social care service expansion.
The LNB2 implementation began amid Albanian economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, improvements in areas such as poverty reduction and economic growth are being impacted by global developments and new challenges that threaten economic and poverty prospects. LNB2 key target groups are at risk of being most affected by the current global crisis, making the ongoing social protection reform a priority for the country, and LNB2 interventions remain relevant.
In the first year of implementation, the framework for collaboration with key partners was established and work was successfully started towards the program's objectives.
Under Outcome 1 - Empowering People, the program achieved the following:
- Empowered and increased the participation of 7,500 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in Rrogozhine, Divjake, Patos, Kruje, and Kamez in decision-making processes.
- Reached and informed 7,000 people about assistive devices for persons with disabilities through social media campaigns.
- Provided integrated social services to 1,302 people in Tirane, Durres, Lushnje, and Divjake, with 40% of beneficiaries being Roma and Egyptians.
- Albanian sign language teachers graduated after successfully completing the unified and accredited course for the profession of Albanian sign language instructor.
Under Outcome 2 - Partnering with local level officials to deliver for citizens
- Developed 17 community plans for social housing over five years to address the housing needs of vulnerable groups.
- Conducted a comprehensive report on the challenges and opportunities faced by 61 local authorities in financing social care services. The report provided guidance to municipalities on how to mobilize funds from both local revenues and the state social protection budget.
- The Tirana Municipality developed an action plan for people with disabilities for the period 2022-2024. Additionally, the Korça Municipality developed an action plan for children and youth. Both plans addressed specific needs and promoted inclusion in society.
- Strengthened the capacity of 70 professionals from 15 municipal centers for persons with disabilities to provide integrated services. This effort aimed to improve the quality of care provided to this vulnerable group, especially children with intellectual disabilities.
- Partnered with the Quality Assurance Agency for Pre-University Education (ASCAP) to build the capacity of 250 members of 60 professional networks of assistant teachers in inclusive education for students with disabilities. Additionally, the program identified the needs of 290 teachers and principals in four communities to provide inclusive and quality education to children from disadvantaged communities.
- Promoted partnerships with the universities of Tirana, Shkodra, and Elbasan to improve the professional knowledge, skills, and competencies of pre-service and in-service social sector professionals in the country. This effort aimed to ensure high-quality social services for all Albanians.
Under Outcome 3 - Strengthening capacities of central institutions
- Prepared an annual progress report and began preparations for the development of the new Strategy 2024-2030.
- Developed a new Social Inclusion Policy Document for the period 2023-2027.
- Produced a report with recommendations for addressing gaps in social services funding and implementing the Social Fund in full compliance with the approved legal framework.
- Initiated the amendment process of Law No. 22/2018 on Social Housing and worked towards the full compliance with the approved legal framework for the implementation of the National Exit Program.
- Supported the implementation of the new Action Plan on People with Disabilities for the period 2021-2025 and the National Action Plan on Roma and Egyptian in Albania for the period 2021-2025.
- Conducted an assessment of the capacity of the State Inspectorate of Labor and Social Services, which is responsible for inspecting the delivery of social services on the ground. The findings of this assessment were used to steer the organizational development of the Inspectorate. The program also provided support for the establishment of the Order of Social Workers in Albania.
- Outcome 1: Vulnerable population requests and receives adequate gender responsive social services from local authorities, aimed at increasing their social inclusion and minimizing vulnerability, and holds decision-makers and service providers accountable for policy delivery.
- Outcome 2: Municipalities efficiently and effectively manage and scale up effective models of quality support and integrated community based social services to boost social inclusion that are gender responsive, and rights based and reflect internationally recognized standards.
- Outcome 3: National institutions efficiently and effectively implement their policy framework for ensuring social inclusion and adequately fund gender responsive social services through improved policy monitoring and evaluation systems, updated quality professional standards and empowered citizens and sustainable financing mechanisms.
United Nations Development Programme
MPTF-SDGs Acceleration Fund for Albania
DELIVERY IN PREVIOUS YEARS