Resilience Strengthening in Albania – RESEAL

UNDP Albania

Resilience Strengthening in Albania – RESEAL

Summary

RESEAL project intends to support the efforts of the Government of Albania for improving the disaster risk management (DRM) system in the country. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen, Albania’s DRM system and support country’s efforts in becoming a fully-fledged member of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The project is also in line with promoting the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and is developed based on the Albania earthquake PDNA recommendations. Also, in light of the severe and acute public health emergency due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, measures related to risk preparedness and risk mitigation of biological hazards will be provided.

In anticipation of the RESEAL project, with the aim of laying the grounds and facilitating the project start up, UNDP launched in February 2020 two pilot interventions: a central level pilot on DRM System Capacity Development in Albania, and a local level pilot on: Municipal DRR Framework in Lezha Municipality. RESEAL project officially started its implementation in July 2020, following the bilateral signing of the project document by the Ministry of Defense and UNDP on 16 July 2020. The RESEAL project has two major interlinked pillars:

  1. strengthening the DRM strategic and operational framework and capacities at central level, and
  2. support the development of local (municipal) DRR framework and local response capacities in harmonization with the national DRR system and legal framework in place.

RESEAL project has been developed as a comprehensive response to the needs for strengthening the DRM systems at all levels in the country. As such, in its entirety, the project contains a multi-level set of priorities around three components:

  1. strengthening the DRR framework and capacities at the central level,
  2. building DRR local level knowledge, planning and organizational capacities for prevention and response to disasters, and
  3. supporting critical needs for DRR infrastructure.

The project has put in motion the entire civil protection system and particularly the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) at all levels in the country.

Inter-institutional political working group meeting on preparation of national Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategic and planning documents in Albania

Inter-institutional political working group meeting on preparation of national Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategic and planning documents in Albania

Photo Credits: UNDP Albania

Background

In the aftermath of the November 2019 earthquake and in line with the PDNA 2020 recommendations, UNDP Albania started, in early 2020, to prepare its engagement in the longer-term capacity building for the DRR sector. Initially, UNDP embarked on two pilot interventions at the central and local level, which shortly were integrated under a broader intervention framework, UNDP's RESEAL project (Resilience Strengthening in Albania), which became operational from 1st July 2020.

The above objective will be attained through supporting the enhancement of and improvement of institutional coordination and cooperation in DRM system by further developing the DRR framework, providing direct support to key DRM institutions with a particular focus on the National Agency for Civil Protection, and delivering capacity building for strengthening preparedness and response capacities of the national, prefecture and municipal bodies.

The project has in parallel, initiate the Capacity Development Process for the Disaster Risk Management System in Albania, which is indispensable for risk-informed development effectiveness and the achievement of nationally and internationally agreed development targets, and assist prefecture and municipal levels through supporting institutional building as per the legal requirements and the exercises of local risk assessment, local DRR strategies and Emergency Plans. The above two initiatives are already being piloted by UNDP at central level and in the municipality of Lezha.

One key ingredient of the DRR legal framework and essential element for building-back-better (BBB) during recovery is the update of the Building Codes, an area within the focus of the present project.  Considering the importance of regional cooperation in complementing national efforts for reducing risk, the project will support, during its entire duration, opportunities for capacity building and regional exchanges, contributing to Albania’s aspiration to meet the criteria for joining the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

The central level pilot, preceding RESEAL, intended to support a national DRR Capacity Assessment, the findings of which facilitated the process of strengthening DRM policy framework and subsequently leading to the drafting of the new National DRR Strategy and its Action Plan. Furthermore, at the institutional level, the project supports the institutional strengthening of and closely interacts with the National Civil Protection Agency (NCPA) to create an enabling framework for DRR and substantiate the Civil Protection & DRR legal framework.

The local level pilot consisted of developing the local DRR framework in Lezha municipality. The pilot in Lezha supported a participatory process for developing an integrated municipal Risk Assessment, the local DRR Strategy, and the Local Civil Emergency Plan, as well as the roadmap for tackling these processes in any other municipality. The pilot was developed with the intention and potential to replicate Lezha`s model in other municipalities.

In line with the goals and targets of the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDP supports actionable risk information; strengthens disaster and climate risk governance through policy, legal and institutional arrangements that foster integrated solutions. Based on the Capacity Assessment exercise that is being conducted under the pilot the capacity gaps related to disaster risk reduction, are assessed through stakeholder mapping and systems thinking approach. Results of the DRR capacity assessment will contribute to the development of strong national components such as the DRR strategy and Action Plan, the National Platform on DRR and the National Civil Emergency Plan.

Major achievements

  • NACP supported in shaping organizational model, scope and capacity building
  • Capacity Assessment of DRR institutions carried out including the ones related to biological hazards (public health)
  • Establishment of National Platform for DRR supported
  • National Risk Assessment Document; National DRR Strategy and Action Plan;  National Civil Emergency Plan prepared
  • 3 local DRR strategic/planning documents for Lezha Municipality prepared and approved by Municipality Council
  • Preparation of 3 local DRR strategic/planning documents for all 6 municipalities within Fieri Prefecture prepared and approved by respective Municipality Councils
  • Assistance and support to Albanian Seismographic Network (ASN), managed by IGJEO`s Seismic department  on increasing seismic data collection and processing of strong motion broadband (BB) stations
  • New building codes according to Eurocode & national annexes prepared
  • Cooperation with EUCPM and regional networking strengthened and sustained
  • Education and awareness campaigns including drills/stimulations on DRR organized and conducted in cooperation with national and local institutions
  • Introductory meetings with NACP`s department of education and training and Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth on preparation of a detailed educational annual programme including drills to be regularly organized.

 

Project Outcome

 

Component 1:      Strengthening DRM institutional, policy and legal framework in Albania

Component 2:      Strengthening disaster preparedness capacities at all levels

Component 3:      Sustain Albanian’s Regional & International Cooperation

RESEAL

Impact

START DATE

July 2020

END DATE

April 2024

STATUS

Ongoing

PROJECT OFFICE

Albania

IMPLEMENTING PARTNER

United Nations Development Programme

DONORS

GOVERNMENT OF PORTUGAL

SWEDISH INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION (SIDA)

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS

$2,486,095

DELIVERY IN PREVIOUS YEARS

2020$0

2021$65,135

2022$335,253

Full Project information