Developing Regional Objectives in the four Areas of Regional Development
May - June 2018
In the process of developing the Regional Strategies and Plans, part of the National Framework for Regional Development, a series of Regional Workshops were organized by the four Regional Development Agencies with the support of RDPA, with the participation of Mayors and key local representatives to discuss and consult future policies and sectoral regional objectives.
The workshops were an opportunity to present to the participants the results of the socio – economic analysis of each region including: the physical geographical characteristics, the macro-economic and economic situation; demographic situation and labor market resources; agriculture and rural development; environmental condition; regional investments but also gender and equal opportunities. On the other hand, and most importantly the meetings were an open floor to discuss with regional and local stakeholders concrete needs and the future vision towards a sustainable development of the regions, to be developed into future regional policies and long-term strategies.
In this process, key methodologies and guidelines were prepared and shared by RDPA to support RDA-s in their activities. This includes the preparation of the Regional Profiles, methodological guidance for the preparation of the Regional Diagnosis/Analysis, as well as the methodology of SWOT Analysis & Problem Tree which constitute relevant instruments in the identification and definition of sectorial regional objectives.
The Regional Workshops with the participation of Mayors and key representatives of the municipalities from the four Areas of Regional Development were conducted in each region, starting from Vlora on May 23rd, to follow with Korça, Tirana and Shkodra during June. The main findings of the socio-economic profiles for each region were shared with the participants, in order to discuss specific regional development needs in each Area of Regional Development. In addition, the regional development challenges and future objectives were defined by using the ‘SWOT Analysis’ and ‘Problem Tree’ methodical tools. In this framework the ‘needs analysis’ for the four regions has been accomplished revealing not only the tangible challenges that local communities face, but also identifying the roots of the problem and solutions to address them.
Participants during the discussions had the chance to focus on specific community issues that are prevailing in their locality, emphasizing the causes of the problem and coming up with potential measures for addressing specific issues. The involvement and the role that local partners and related actors will have in the process, were also detailed during the meetings.
The four Regional Workshops conducted in each Region revealed that the four Areas of Regional Development in Albania may attribute similar socio-economic needs and challenges, but nevertheless may represent different complexity and severity from one region to the other. In this context, in the Regional Development Area 2, the inconsistency that exists between the request and the offer in the labor market can be addressed by a better distribution of the Vocational Schools. Furthermore, the development of the supportive infrastructure may cause an increase in the number of tourists visiting the Regional Development Area 3; while the support in the agro-tourism sector with subsidies may prevent the decline of the economy in the Regions 1 and 4.
Discussions also identified that, despite the regional differences, the problems stemming from the fragmented touristic offer and low productivity of the regional economy remain key challenges to be addressed in the future Regional Plans and the National Framework for Regional Development.
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