Resilience Strengthening in Albania – RESEAL

UNDP Albania

Resilience Strengthening in Albania – RESEAL

Summary

RESEAL project supports the efforts of the Government of Albania to improve 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 also promotes the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). It is developed considering the Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted after the November 2019 earthquake that hit Albania. Considering 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.

Ahead of the RESEAL project take off, with the aim of laying the grounds and facilitating the project initiation, 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 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

  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 emerging need to strengthen the DRM systems at all levels in Albania. 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, 

  3. supporting critical needs for DRR infrastructure.

The project partners with the  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 recommendations, in early 2020, UNDP Albania started engaging with the DRR sector with a plan to implement a long-term capacity building programme. Initially, UNDP embarked on two pilot interventions at the central and local level, which were soon integrated under a broader intervention framework- more specifically the Resilience Strengthening in Albania, (RESEAL), project which became operational from 1st July 2020.

The project objective will be attained through a number of interventions: supporting the enhancement of and improvement of institutional coordination and cooperation in the  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 programmes to strengthen preparedness and response capacities of the national, prefecture and municipal bodies.

The project has in parallel, initiated 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. It also supports the prefecture and municipal levels through institutional building as per the legal requirements and the exercises of local risk assessment, local DRR strategies and Emergency Plans. These two initiatives are currently 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, which the project will address. 

Considering the importance of regional cooperation in complementing national efforts to reducing risk, during it entire duration, the project will support 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 in Lezha  developed the local DRR framework in Lezha municipality. Support was also provided to develop the 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- all done in a participatory manner. The pilot was developed with the intention to replicate Lezha`s model in other municipalities.

In line with the SDG goals and associated targets 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 national components such as the DRR strategy and Action Plan, the National Platform on DRR and the National Civil Emergency Plan.

Major achievements

  • The National Civil Protection Agency is supported to shape organizational model, scope, and provided with capacity building interventions.
  • Capacity Assessment of DRR institutions conducted including the ones related to biological hazards 
  • National Platform for DRR established.
  • Three key reports developed: National Risk Assessment Document; National DRR Strategy and Action Plan; National Civil Emergency Plan 
  • Three local DRR strategic/planning documents for Lezha Municipality are prepared and approved by Municipality Council
  • Preparation of three local DRR strategic/planning documents for all six municipalities within Fieri Prefecture are prepared and approved by respective Municipality Councils
  • Preparation of new building codes according to Eurocode & national annexes
  • Cooperation with EU Civil Protection Mechanism and regional networking boosted.
  • Education and awareness campaigns on disaster risk reduction conducted in partnership with national and local institutions
  • Cooperation established between the National Agency for Civil Protection and Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth. A detailed educational annual programme including drills is under preparation.

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$451,242

Full Project information