EU4Schools Programme: When Transparency Becomes the Cornerstone of Sustainable Development

UNDP Albania

June 26, 2023
The newly built #EU4Schools “Luledielli” Kindergarten in Kamza

The newly built #EU4Schools “Luledielli” Kindergarten in Kamza

UNDP Albania

In the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Albania in 2019, the European Union-funded EU4Schools programme came to life, providing crucial aid in the recovery of the country's educational institutions. 

Currently, the programme is working on rebuilding and rehabilitating 64 education facilities, with 43 already completed and welcoming back more than 10,000 students/children and 760 teachers, while the rest are well underway.

Among the programme’s numerous innovations, one stands out as a game-changer: the ground-breaking transparency portal that has revolutionized the approach to reconstruction efforts.

By offering real-time information on all education facilities slated for reconstruction or repair, this initiative takes the commitment to transparency by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to an unprecedented level in Albania. Recognizing the power of transparency in fostering trust and accountability, the EU4Schools programme has fully embraced the potential of the transparency portal.

The introduction of this portal marks a significant shift in post-disaster reconstruction, allowing stakeholders, including concerned citizens, government officials, media, and international development partners, to access up-to-date information on the progress of each facility's rehabilitation. With just a few clicks, users can track the transformation of educational infrastructure while receiving a full panorama of each education institution.

Diola Sula, the Quality Assurance and Data Management Officer for the EU4Schools Programme, emphasizes the remarkable attention garnered by the portal since its inception. It has attracted a substantial number of visitors who navigate its pages, averaging 23 clicks per visit, which demonstrates a high level of interest and involvement. 

One of the most popular subpages is the "Progress Update" section, accounting for 48.5% of total page views. This section provides real-time updates on the progress of each education facility.

The portal serves as a comprehensive resource, offering information on all education facilities, including details about reconstruction or repair work, estimated timelines for completion, funding, and progress updates. It also showcases before-and-after photos that highlight the remarkable transformation occurring in each education facility.

Additionally, the portal provides insights into the active involvement of local communities by highlighting their participation in decision-making processes. It showcases the collective efforts of these communities in rebuilding a stronger and more resilient educational system.

This innovative and useful transparency tool has caught the attention of other UNDP country offices operating in regions grappling with similar challenges. Inspired by the EU4Schools programme’s success, UNDP Pakistan and UNDP Uzbekistan have embraced this innovative approach in their own reconstruction efforts.

The adoption of this transparency-driven approach represents a significant leap forward in post-disasters reconstruction and their approach to the public and beneficiaries. By openly sharing knowledge and best practices, the EU4Schools programme has sparked a movement towards greater transparency and participatory decision-making. The impact extends beyond physical school rebuilding; it empowers communities, fosters collaboration, and nurtures a sense of ownership over the recovery process.

As the EU4Schools programme continues its remarkable progress in revitalizing education infrastructure, its innovative transparency portal stands as an outstanding example of the transformative potential of openness and accountability. 

By embracing this approach, the European Union and UNDP are not only rebuilding schools but also introducing a new standard of transparency, underlining the need for transparency to become the cornerstone of sustainable development.

Interested to get a complete panorama of the EU4Schools programme, explore the Transparency Portal.