Seventeen women councillors from all across Albania successfully finalized the two-day final module of the OSCE Presence’s Women Municipal Excellence Programme (WoMEP) held in person with strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety rules and protocols from 6 to 7 November 2020. The module aimed at linking capacity-building and local development with gender equality. The programme combined on-the-job advice and direct training. This was the third module of the programme with two previous ones taking place in December 2019 and October 2020.
WoMEP assisted women councillors in identifying challenges and setbacks in their daily work and setting individual targets and advance their performance in the councils. Participants learned to strategically link gender-sensitive policies with municipal budgets as a primary source for funding initiatives with a direct impact on the different needs of women and men at the local level.
The councillors learned how to develop individual projects to be presented to the municipal councils, as part of a practical training exercise to complement theory with proposals that can be used in their day-to-day-work.
“WoMEP helped me get acquainted with how local development works. It helped me bridge the gap between long-term planning and my regular engagement at the council,” said Edlira Kapllanaj from the Vlora Municipal Council. Using skills acquired during the module, Kapllanaj has started a project on tackling violent extremism by establishing contacts with the municipal administration and showcasing the importance of her initiative with the head of the council and council members.
The councillors’ individual proposals seek to address important areas of municipal development, ranging from monitoring post-earthquake relief efforts in Durrës to establishing social grant schemes for women in need in Selenica. There are also projects supporting transparency initiatives, anti-bullying programmes and environmental education in Tirana and initiatives aimed at fundraising for the construction of a new kindergarten in Cërrik.
Over the last weeks, participants worked on preparing their projects and initiatives to be presented to the Municipal Councils to be considered for financial support in the 2021 community budgets.
Following the success of its first Women Municipal Excellence Programme, the OSCE Presence in Albania will launch a call for the second WoMEP generation in mid-November looking for 25 more motivated, creative and proactive women councillors from all over Albania.