Civil Society Organizations in Albania to serve as watchdogs on gender budgeting


Civil Society Organizations in Albania to serve as watchdogs on gender budgeting
Civil Society Organizations during the training on ‘CSOs watchdog role in monitoring public institutions’, in Pogradec/Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Gjergji Hamiti

For the first time in Albania, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are going to monitor the budget of public institutions through a gender lens, with the aim of helping to ensure they meet the needs of women and men equally. More than 30 representatives from CSOs participated in a three-day workshop organized by UN Women on budget monitoring, with support from the Austrian Development Agency. 

The workshop focused on the area of public administration and aimed at improving participant’s conceptual knowledge and understanding of this context, as well as how CSOs can act as watchdogs when it comes to monitoring the implementation of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB). Participants learned how to understand and analyze the situation and track its progress. 

CSOs representatives emphasized their determination to make public institutions accountable for their obligation towards gender equality in Albania. 

The representative from the Albanian Institute for Social Innovation in Tirana, Zyhrada Kongoli, emphasized the importance of enhancing the GRB implementation monitoring process through the CSOs’ watchdog role. “We will monitor the GRB implementation process in order to prevent any possible risk and speak up against poor policies or actions that might jeopardies the entire process,” said Mrs. Kongoli.   

Representatives from the Act for Society organization and the Women Forum of Elbasan stated their commitment to being powerful watchdogs, helping to ensure the equal and fair allocation of budgets by public institutions at central and local level. 

Youth Centre representative, Marsela Saqellari believes that gender monitoring ensures transparency and accountability for the citizens. “Monitoring the gender budgeting process in the main public institutions of Albania will not only ensure fair gender allocation of resources but will also make sure citizens have free access to information and that decision-makers are accountable,” she said. 

The UN Women Regional Project Manager, Ermira Lubani, highlighted the particular role that the Gender Budgeting Program has in shaping all the state policies toward gender equality. “The most important thing for achieving gender equality in society is the implementation of Gender Responsive Budgeting. Even if the state is committed to the implementation of good gender policies, without budget support these policies may as well not exist,” she said.

By September 2018, the newly trained organizations will release the first watchdog report. This will be the first watchdog report that will reflect on gender budgeting in Albania.