Annual Update 2021 VNG International


Facilitated Working Sessions: design phase of the pilot projects, with the support of the Dutch Ambassador in Albania, Ms. Guusje Korthals Altes



‘Safety and security now has become a completely different concept for us. We do not look upon it now, in just black or white, as only implemented by the police. We all contribute to the Public space. It is multi-dimensional.’

Ms. Afize Skendo,

Municipal Focal Point Berat


‘The objectives of this training increased my awareness as a citizen and I recognised the duties of our community’.

Participant of leadership training

for communities




‘It was a new experience to involve more directly the children and their mothers to choose the equipment.

In earlier participative budgeting process, we consulted them on needs, in this project we practised co-decision.’

Ms. Eva Tafa,

Municipal Focal Point Roscovec



Involving Citizens in Decision Making by strengthening democratic local government

Featured Project

Albania, Effective and Responsive Safety and Security Policies at Local Level


In 2014 the Albanian governance structure was reformed into 61 new municipalities and in 2015 the Albanian Parliament approved the Law on Local Self-Government including the decentralisation of public safety and security functions. The MATRA project on Local Safety and Security in Albania that started in 2017, aimed to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of local public safety and security policies in Albania. The project supported local security actors in five municipalities (Berat, Cërrik, Devoll, Mat and Roskovec) in involving citizens in the development and implementation of these policies.


The newly formed municipalities faced the challenge how to understand their new competencies and roles in the local security domain, and how to execute them in a way that put people central in their policies. This project supported the five partner municipalities in this, by targeting: (1) municipal public safety and security actors (municipal staff, police, fire brigade); (2) citizens and their representative actors (community councils/liaisons); and (3) Local Government Associations and high-level officials from the national government.



Results achieved:


  • Effective and responsive municipal safety and security policies have been developed by all five pilot municipalities. The key priorities in these policies were the basis of five pilot projects, for instance improving school children’s safety through safe crossings. Within this process the focus has been on inter-institutional cooperation and community participation.
  • Community Focal Points have been established in each municipality, as a node that brings community’s perceptive in local policy. Local Action Groups have been set up in each municipality involving the municipal police, as a cross-institutional cooperation mechanism, reflecting the Dutch Experience of the so-called ‘security triangle’.
  • Experiences and lessons-learned have been disseminated nation-wide through Regional Conferences, chaired by the Associations of Municipalities.
  • A Professional Forum on Safety and Security was set up as part of the Association of Local Autonomy. This workgroup formulated a set of recommendations to serve as a lobbying agenda for more effective local safety and security implementation.
  • A Local Crisis Management Mechanism has been established to set-up volunteer structures to support the overburdened municipal staff in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for the citizens.
  • For dissemination and documentation purposes, the following products were developed:


  • Guideline on Participatory Local Safety and Security: brings together tools, approaches and examples from the project.
  • Interactive brochure on local safety structures: informs on how local safety and security is organised from the national to the local level in the Netherlands (as a replacement of the study visit to the Netherlands). Click here for more information
  • Voluntarism manual: manual on the involvement of volunteers in Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Pilot project videos: prepared in cooperation with the local media and transmitted via the local media and the Netherlands Embassy social media channels.
  • Policy recommendations: A Professional Forum on Local Safety and Security produced a set of recommendations for both national and local level on improving and implementing local safety and security policies in Albania.