Programme design for Swedish Support to Community Policing in Albania

01/06/2010 - 20/04/2011

Target country


SIDA, the Swedish Development Agency, has requested DCAF/ISSAT assistance to design a three-year programme in support of community policing in Albania. The target audience of the programme consists of: the State Police, the Ministry of Interior, civil society and communities, and, where relevant, local government structures. This mandate relates to the programme Swedish Support to Community Policing in Albania.

(Note - All mandate documents are available under the documents tab. Additional information such as lessons identified and feedback are also attached as documents under the documents tab, rather than filled in on line, due to the fact that this mandate took place before the on line options were available).

Team members were Victoria Walker, Ana Kantor, Everett Summerfield, Sabine Ymeri and Besnik Ahmetaj. 

Mandating organisation / agency / department / ministry

Target organisation type(s)

Mandate outputs / products

  • Narrative report on activities and outputs
  • Programme document, including risk management matrix

Outcome objectives of mandate

Improved Community Policing

Start date


End date



Specific Lessons Identified


The one area that proved problematic in the programme design was procurement. Each mandator and country context will have different regulations and therefore it would be unreasonable for ISSAT to develop knowledge about the separate processes; however, the applicable procurement regulations play a critical role in determining the architecture for programme implementation. 


- The team had an excellent fixer with very extensive networks across the country, and prior experience of working with two of the team. His role, commitment and judgement proved invaluable.

- The speed with which ISSAT turned around payments to external members of the team should be praised. This is key to creating a relationship of trust between ISSAT and external consultants or ISSAT roster members and creates a positive impression of professionalism. However, charges for international bank transfers should be absorbed by DCAF as a default. 


- Laws and regulations on procurement (national or donor) have a strong influence on programme design. Include discussions on this up front in order to identify the relevant parameters. Guidance would be useful on how to approach this.

- Consider the impact to the schedule and existing commitments of national team members: they may not be given ‘time off’ to work on the project.

- Nationally owned processes take longer, especially if they involve producing options for national partners to select from. In addition, be realistic in the turnaround time for decisions from Ministries etc. whilst maintaining momentum in the process.

- Lay out roles and expectations with regard to managing the political process early on in the process.

- The politics of local NGOs are as important to consider as State agencies, especially when widening participation in the process outside of traditional partners. 

- The use of mobile phones is prevalent in Albania and local SIM cards are a must. Phone calls from new telephone numbers should be preceded by an SMS to alert the official who is trying to contact them, as otherwise they will tend to ignore the call. Personal email addresses were often more reliable than official ones.

- Build up trust with the fixer as an integral member of the team through regular communication from the start.

- Be aware that the fixer does not represent all of society and access to people can be skewed.

- Timely payment of team members for services delivered is vital for developing trust and a professional atmosphere.



- All reports were circulated through the line ministry. However, it was felt that its role in circulating information within the State administration could have been much more proactive. The ASP were much more enthusiastic in sharing their views, but were hampered by protocol as they needed to wait for the official version of the documents to be sent to them by the ministry.

- The final programme document specified the desired outcomes and impact of the programme, and activities, outputs and outcomes of the component activities. It did not, however, specify how those activities should be carried out.


- The briefings from an anthropologist specialising on Albania were considered to be very worthwhile, as it gave insight on more sensitive subjects (Inter-agency relationships).

- Care was taken to ensure that as many groups as possible were involved in the design project, as it started the process to build relationships and partnerships, which is an integral part of Community Policing.

- Arranging meetings was througha combination of formal and informal approaches. At times formal approaches were needed, although the arrangements had already been made through informal channels.

- All of the workshops were run in Albanian. Translation was used where necessary for the plenary activities, but all the working groups were facilitated by Albanian members of the team

- When circulated, the official version of the reports were Albanian, with the English version provided as an addition.


- Assessments should not just be considered as extracting information, but can also provide a capacity-building experience, for example where stakeholders meet, discuss and learn from each other.

- Care must be taken to prevent potential implementing parties from influencing the final version of the programme proposal so that it fits with what they can deliver. Turning a demand-driven process into a supply-driven process at the last minute undermines the integrity of design, national ownership and efforts to meet the genuine needs of the population.

-ToRs for programme design must set out clear parameters and milestones, but at the same time remain flexible to allow the team to develop a process that takes into account how information is being processed, analysed and decided upon, in order to take into account contextual developments.

- Enhance awareness of the local context and culture through engaging an anthropologist during the process.

- Consider the process used to develop the programme as both capacity building and an opportunity to build partnerships.

- Wherever possible, produce documents supporting the design process in the local language in order to allow the national decision-makers to take the lead in selecting options etc. Factor in the need for translation services into the planning and budget.

- The programme document must specify clear results required, and detail supporting activities. Potential implementers are responsible for determining how the activities would be carried out; hence principles of implementation must be included (e.g. wide participation, national ownership/partnership, monitoring and reporting, etc.). 



- The Assessment OGNs were very useful during the initial planning phase of the mission. However, it would have been beneficial to have examples of programme design maps that give examples of processes and highlight the topics and subheadings that should be considered when writing a programme document. 



- The openness of the project raised expectations of contracts among some potential implementing parties, who became more proactive in their engagement. In future, this could be mitigated by including a short outline of the process to select implementing parties, including no-earlier-than timelines and the selection framework. 


- The idea of an Albanian Project Leader was formalised within the MoU.

- The process was totally transparent from the outset, this widened the Albanian ownership of the design process and initiated momentum and support for the project among stakeholders.


- Teams should take the role of  ‘facilitators’ or ‘translators of needs’, rather than experts or consultants, and steer the process rather than lead it.

- Nominated representatives from national ministries must be selected appropriately. Over and above having the relevant skills (these can be developed during the process), the person(s) must have sufficient time in their schedule to contribute and influence.

- Factor in as many ways as possible to capture and incorporate the views of citizens and recognise that some methods may not be appropriate to all audiences.

- Aim for total transparency throughout the process, but be aware that this will increase the time needed and you may need to manage expectations among potential local implementing parties more proactively and limit undue influence.



- The inclusion of a member of the Albanian State Police on the team was important for several reasons. Firstly, it ensured that the design of the programme received a reality check. Secondly, the ASP representative ensured that key persons within the ASP were kept informed of developments throughout the process, thus maintaining support and enthusiasm for the design project. Thirdly, the ASP representative will now take on a general coordination role between the ASP and the programme implementation team, which means that there will be continuity throughout the process.

- The fixer took on the additional role of interpreter between the ASP representative and the rest of the team – both during missions and during the interim planning phases. This was crucial to creating the conditions for the team to benefit fully from the contributions of the ASP representative. 

- The national consultant brought expertise to the team and her knowledge and networks in the area of local government were invaluable.In addition, the national consultant was able to provide an insight into cultural and contextual issues from outside of the State institutions. This provided a useful balance to other opinions held within the team.

- The team had very close coordination with the key international actors active in the police sector and related areas. This was, in part, due to previous relationships, but the level of cooperation was enhanced by the timely sharing of information and the level of transparency maintained throughout the process. 


- If possible, include representatives from the State and Non-State sectors in the team. In addition to technical knowledge, awareness of process (in general and specific to the local context) is very important.

- Proactive sharing of information with other donors and international organisations is key to building cooperation. 



- Ensuring a balanced representation in the workshops was problematic.


- The team carried out informal street interviews with women prior to the workshops. It was clear from the responses that the ideas voiced during the workshops were not representative of the views of all society (this exercise was also repeated to ensure general citizen views were taken into account during the validation workshop phase outside of the capital, as although citizens were invited to the workshops, they felt uncomfortable attending an event with senior police officers and therefore did not enter the meeting room).


- Be explicit in planning how to capture views from different groups and do not assume this will be taken into account by those planning the meetings (whether on the team or national partners).


  • application/pdf

    Narrative report phase 1: Assessment

    This narrative report presents the findings and initial analyses made by an ISSAT team representing SIDA, following the first in-country mission, which took place over the period 22nd – 27th August 2010. The team consisted of three members of the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), one national consultant expert in the area of local government and budgeting, and a representative from the Albanian State Police (ASP) who has been instrumental in the area of Community Policing within that organisation.

    The report covers the initial process of SIDA support to Albanian authorities in designing a programme in the area of Community Policing.

    It should be read in conjunction with the second narrative report, which refines some of the content following feedback workshops with stakeholders.

  • application/pdf

    Narrative report phase 2

    This provides an overview of activities under the second deployment, as well as corrections to the initial assessment and next steps.

  • application/pdf

    Programmatic Options Paper

    This paper sets out a series of possible areas where Sida and the Albanian Ministry of Interior could consider supporting Community Policing in Albania. It brings together suggestions raised throughout the first two phases of the programme design process, combined with additional ideas based on the experience and research of the team.

  • application/pdf

    Sida/MoI Final Community Policing Programme Document

    This document provides details on the MoI / Sida programme to support the implementation of Community Policing in Albania in three specific areas: Performance Management, Police Partnerships (with a special focus on Youth and Partnerships), and tackling Domestic Violence.

  • application/pdf

    Lessons Identified – Albania Community Policing Design Project

    This document sets out the main lessons that were identified during the ISSAT mandate to support Sida/the Albanian MoI and State Police to design a programme to support community policing in Albania

  • application/pdf

    Albania PESTLES analysis July 2010

    This is the original PESTLES analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Legal, Environment, Security) carried out by the team as part of the pre-deployment desk work.