In 2013, Albania undertook a Territorial and Administrative Reform aiming to transform the quality of local governance by enabling local public institutions to operate with greater human and financial resources in larger territories that allow for efficiency and economies of scale. The territorial reform was intended as a basis for further administrative and fiscal decentralization and the modernization of public administration in general.

A new Law on the Organization and Functioning of Local Government (Organic Law), was adopted in December 2015. The Organic Law provides the new framework for local government operations, in line with the government strategic vision for furthering decentralization and within the new context of the post administrative and territorial reform. The Law introduces several novelties regarding the definition of local government functions, decentralization of new competencies to the local level, the roles and competencies of the elected and executive levels in the new municipal structures, new requirements on service provision and the necessity to apply service standards. Within the above framework, since June 2015, the local government in Albania is composed of 61 municipalities and 373 administrative units.

In April 2015, the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2015-2020 and the Strategy for Anti-Corruption 2015-2020 were adopted. The PAR Strategy identifies several key challenges in reforming the public administration, which relate to sustainability and de-politicization, effective control mechanisms, strict implementation of the Civil Service Law and transparent recruitment procedures, enhancement of the quality of services delivered to citizens, use of information technology in service delivery, and fight against corruption. The Strategy calls for capacity building through in-depth and continuous training of civil servants of local public administrations, especially in improving managerial and leadership skills, establishment of performance management and monitoring systems for local governments, and the adoption of ICT for delivering administrative services at the local level also through the introduction of the concept of “one-stop-shops”.

The Anticorruption Strategy 2015-2020 gives special considerations to the implementation of the strategy at local level with an emphasis on increasing the adoption of systems that discourage corrupt practices and promote transparence (easing service provision procedures and establishment of one-stop-shop facilities, publishing of financial data, improved financial management and reporting and establishment of service delivery and monitoring mechanisms).

The Crosscutting Strategy on Decentralization and Local Governance 2015-2020 was adopted in July 2015, and represents the government's vision for strengthening local governance and local democracy through (i) improve the overall efficiency of local government structures, (ii) strengthen local fiscal capacities, (iii) foster sustainable local development, and (iv) deepen good governance and local democracy through participation, civic engagement and the creation of community structures for dialogue and consultation in decision-making.

The above reforms have led to increasing engagement of the international community and the development of several programs of assistance to provide support along the reform cycles from design to implementation. For instance, USAID has been leading in the policy area the formulation of the national Strategy on Decentralization and Local Governance and the new Organic Law on Local Government, following the structural changes brought about by the territorial and administrative reform. USAID is also the most active international player in the area of fiscal decentralization, in support to the Government commitment to reforming this sector. Swiss SDC has been supporting LGUs in northern Albania since 2006 with a focus on strategic planning and budgeting, public finance management, improvement of public services with a focus on urban waste management, and e-governance (one-stop-shops). The Italian Cooperation is active in promoting partnerships between LGUs and Italian civil society organizations through grant schemes for community development infrastructures.  

The EU is supporting the Regional Local Democracy Programme (ReLOaD), a regional initiative implemented by UNDP is six Western Balkans countries including Albania, aiming to strengthen participatory democracies and the EU integration process in the Western Balkans by empowering civil society to actively take part in decision making and by stimulating an enabling legal and financial environment for civil society and pluralistic media. Its specific objective is to strengthen partnerships between local governments and civil society in the WB by scaling up a successful model of transparent and project-based funding of CSOs from local government budgets toward greater civic engagement in decision making and improvement of local service delivery.

The Swiss Development Cooperation is supporting the Strong Municipalities project, aiming to strengthen local governments’ capacities in delivering their key functions and making their governance systems more efficient, effective, responsive and accountable to citizens. The project will target all 61 Municipalities and is expected to achieve the following three main outcomes: (1) improved municipal data collection and analysis and development of a municipal statistical system in accordance with Eurostat standards, through collaboration between INSTAT and Swiss Federal Statistics Office, (2) support municipal councils to strengthen their representation and oversight function over local administrations and fulfil their role as key institutions of local democracy, and (3) improved municipal services and citizens’ participation in public decision making processes for service provision.

The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), is working on a new project formulation to address some of the identified weaknesses PEFA (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability) assessments completed in March 2017 aiming to improve PFM at municipal level.

However, along their individual programs, key international partners joined in a pooled fund in support to the government territorial and administrative reform. The pooled fund was structured as a UNDP project known as STAR (Support to Territorial-Administrative Reform). It commenced in late 2013, almost simultaneously with the official launch of the reform.

STAR2 was developed as a collaborative effort of international partners - EU, Italy/Italian Cooperation, Sweden/SIDA, Switzerland/SDC, US/USAID and UNDP - under national leadership, to provide coherent support to the implementation of the reforms at the local level and thus assist in the further consolidation of the local governance system. Through STAR2, UNDP offers project management and implementation and help manage donor contributions for joint action within the various relevant reforms’ framework.

The project is designed to provide assistance at two levels:

-          at the local level for systematic and inclusive capacity building for all local government administrations, and for organization of public service delivery systems for a more integrated, innovative, transparent, and accountable ways to the benefit of men, women and marginalized; and,

-          operational and organizational support to the Ministry in charge of local governance

Following the general elections of June 2017, a re-organization of ministries and central agencies has taken place, including a shift of institutional responsibility for local governance to the Ministry of Interior. The Decision of the Council of Ministers (DCM) no. 502, dated 13.09.2017, “On defining the state responsibilities of the Ministry of Interior”, abolished the DCM no. 1012, dated 22.11.2013, "On defining the state responsibility of the Minister of State for Local Issues”. According to the DCM 502/2017, the Ministry of Interior is the responsible body for the implementation of the policy on internal affairs in the Republic of Albania.  Regarding local governance, a Deputy Minister is in charge and oversees inter-alia a Directorate of Local Issues and Delegated Functions.

STAR2 supports and closely cooperates with the Agency for the Support of Local Governance (ASLG). The Executive Director of ASLG is the Project Director for STAR2.

At the strategic level, the project is governed and guided by a Steering Committee (SC), which composition includes the following stakeholders:  

-          The Deputy Minister of Interior in charge of local government matters as main direct beneficiary and SC Chair;

-          The Agency for Support of Local Governance;

-          The European Union Delegation in Albania, development cooperation offices of Sweden, Italy and Switzerland and USAID as SC members;

-          The United Nations Development Programme in Albania, as implementing agency.

Through a national coverage, STAR2 project provides support to all 61 LGUs and engages in activities along the following three main components:

Component 1 – Strengthened Institutional and Administrative Capacities of Local Administrations 

Build Capacities for Administrative Management

o   Capacity building on Code of Administrative Procedures (CAP) implementation

o   Capacity building on adopting LG Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Improve leadership behavior of municipal leaders

o   Develop and deliver training on leadership development 

Assist municipalities in improving local revenues and assets management

o   Support improvement of local level tax collection and enforcement

o   Develop local revenue management action plans for small and medium municipalities 

o   Capacity building on asset and land management to relevant local government departments 

o   Compliance with requirements of Supreme State Audit (SSA) 

Component 2 -    Increased local service delivery efficiency, quality, coverage, accessibility and inclusiveness  

Implement activities to increase the capacities of Municipal Service Providers to: 

o   Improve the way services are planned, organized, managed and delivered

o   Address challenges and capacity building for a full takeover of new delegated functions

o   Assist in re-organization of selected services in terms of efficiency and standards 

Establish a national benchmarking system on local administrative and public services as a tool to enable comparison and informed decision making 

·         Develop a one stop -shop and scale it up nationwide

·         Develop a unique system of local government archiving and adopt it nationwide  

  Component 3 - Enhanced local democracy through fostering citizen oriented governance and participatory decision -making, leveraging the roles of women as actors of change making

Assess Local Governance in 61 LGUs from citizens’ perspective  

o   Conduct a Local Governance Mapping

Strengthen local democracy  

o   Build institutional capacity for public engagement and consultation, inclusive of vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially women, persons with disabilities, Roma and Egyptian communities 

o   Introduce practices to strengthen local officials’ accountability – promote Programs of Transparency

o   Support development and application of systems allowing publication of municipal acts and regulations

o   Develop standard municipal websites or improve them and increase capacities of PR staff

Increase Municipal Ethics and Integrity  

o   Increase local government public ethics and integrity 

o   Adopt municipal integrity plans 

To date, the progress is evident in the three pillars:

1. Strengthened institutional and administrative capacities of local administrations

-Upon completion of the situational assessment on the level of knowledge on CAP and on the existing SOPs in 61 Municipalities (Feb 2018), the second part of the assistance is also designed and currently under implementation

-The project has engaged in informative and/or consultative sessions with cluster municipalities across the country on local assets management and SSAI recommendations

2. Increased local service delivery efficiency, quality, coverage, accessibility and inclusiveness

-New approach to service delivery and management designed and launched for tendering

-OSSIS model and workflows for 60 services developed

-OSIS Baseline Services Catalogue

-Local Archiving Help Desk Users Guide developed and Online Help Desk Operational

-430 archives and protocol employees are trained /347 are certified (68% women)

-The procurement of the OSS Central Hardware launched with a deadline of 3 July 2018

3. Enhanced local democracy through fostering citizen-oriented governance and participatory decision-making

-An additional 18 municipalities publish online their Municipal Council Decisions

-4 informative and/or consultative sessions with cluster municipalities have been organized across the country on Municipal Programs of Transparency and Transparency Measurement System

-A capacity building package to assist municipalities put in place a municipal integrity management system including a Standard Code of Conduct and Integrity Risk Assessment methodology is launched in June

-An Assessment Report on “Challenges and opportunities for Effective Transparency and Accountability at local level in Albania” published

For more information on the project content and progress, please refer to the latest progress reports (below links):

Progress report jan -jun 2018

Progress report 2016-2017

In order to cope with the increasing challenges and pressure of implementation, also taking into account the approaching of the local elections, UNDP is seeking to engage additional technical and managerial expertise in the form of an International Project Implementation Advisor with the main following expectations:

  • A strengthened and more structured management and coordination of all aspects of implementation
  • Help kickoff the last activities of STAR2 that are still under development
  • An improved and imaginative PR that tells the project stories in an impactful way for the partners as well as with a good outreach to project beneficiaries
  • An improved coordination, synergy and dialogue with the other ongoing programs of assistance in the sector
  • A forward-looking perspective that will lead us to project ideas and assistance beyond STAR2, which has to be shaped and finalized early within the remaining timeline of the current STAR2

Duties and Responsibilities

The International Project Implementation Advisor will work alongside the Project Management Team and advice on the implementation of tasks. He/she will report to the National Project Director and UNDP Governance and Rule of Law Programme Officer and with support from the Project Management Team, will perform the following duties:

Project management

  • Advise on day-to-day project implementation and coordination of activities
  • Coordinate the three project components in close collaboration with the team leaders
  • Ensure teams work in synergy and activities/initiatives are not only undertaken as part of the implementation plan, but also embed due social, gender and environmental considerations
  • Ensure each team identifies and/or develops relevant data sets for both progress monitoring as well as for guaranteeing an evidence based and contextual response to development issues
  • Identify and cultivate partnering relationships and promote an environment for synergies
  • Ensure project provides timely and appropriate delivery of services, meeting client satisfaction and being consistent with plans, objectives, rules, and regulations
  • Monitor the progress of implementation of project activities and key event schedules observing the work-plans and set deadlines including monitoring of the financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports
  • Ensure adherence of project activities to the existing financial, procurement and administrative processes that are in line with prevailing UNDP rules and regulations 
  • Track the project in ATLAS in accordance with UNDP procedures
  • §  Monitor the project risks initially identified and update the project risks’ status for consideration by the project Steering Committee and decision on possible actions if required
  • Capture lessons learned during project implementation – and maintain a- lessons learned log
  • Facilitate the proceedings of Project Steering Committee meetings by preparing regular progress reporting and serving as secretariat to the PSC
  • Coordinate the transfer of project deliverables to national beneficiaries and other project stakeholders


  • Advise on proper implementation of all activities to achieve project objectives as envisaged in the project document
  • Ensure that a proper monitoring system is in place with regular reporting and control mechanisms
  • Guide and facilitate the team work at both central and local levels while ensuring that processes, frameworks, policies, plans, inventories and records are well and systematically captured.
  • Assure that all contractual obligations are adhered to and ensure that implementation meets project targets

Technical inputs

  • Provide oversight and technical guidance to the main three project sub-teams in undertaking related project activities
  • Identify opportunities for deepening the cooperation and recommending adequate approaches to dealing with different stakeholders based on information on all relevant stakeholders gathered during projects implementation
  • Supervise the production of research and analytical studies, advocacy material, training modules, best practices and lessons learnt from previous applied policies and interventions, and exercise first level quality assurance of project deliverables   

People management

  • Act as a focal person on behalf of the UNDP during the implementation of the project in coordinating short term consultant as and when on board
  • Collaborate with UNDP in developing terms of reference for consultants, when required, and oversee their work including the provision of substantive feedback on their deliverables to feed into the quality assurance exercised by UNDP
  • Provide input to performance appraisals of staff assigned to the project, determine staffing needs and organize work assignments.


  • Prepare and submit regular progress reports (Monthly Quarterly, Annual, Interim, etc.) to NPD, UNDP and the Steering Committee.
  • Submit required analytical progress or technical reports as required


  • Develop close working relationships with all project participants and stakeholders at national and sub national levels to establish a shared vision of the project and achieve objectives
  • Establish and maintain good working relations with relevant government ministries and agencies as well as higher-level stakeholder groups
  • Ensure stakeholder coordination within the project as well as within the project areas is established and functioning and feeds back to project decision-making levels
  • Establish and maintain a close technical level working relationship with project partners with particular attention dedicated to information and knowledge sharing across different project teams for increasing synergies and harmonization of technical assistance
  • Ensure maintenance of an updated information in the project webpage and make sure all relevant project deliverables, studies, reports are timely made available to the public

Ensure gender and vulnerability mainstreaming within the project:

  • Ensure that gender is effectively mainstreamed throughout the activities of the projects, work plans, budgets, reports, researchers and where specifically relevant analyzed in detail
  • Ensure that gender equality and needs of vulnerable groups are mainstreamed throughout team, consultant and staff management activities
  • Other duties as necessary 

The International Project Implementation Advisor is expected to work 15 days per month in the country.

Main deliverables, upon which monthly payments shall be executed are:

  • Monthly project progress reports (technical and financial)
  • Quarterly project progress reports (technical and financial)
  • Lead the organization of Steering Committee Meetings on quarterly basis, followed by drafting of minutes and follow up action plans
  • Final project progress report (technical and financial)


Core competencies:

Leadership – ability to persuade others to follow

-Inclusive in decision making

-Seeks and recognizes individual contributions

-Encourages dialogue and acts in accordance with team inputs

-Anticipates and resolves conflict

-Embraces differing opinions seeing them as opportunities for improvement

-Gives credit to others

-Determines appropriate resources, methods, partners, information and solutions

Technical Expertise:

-Has sound knowledge of project management tools and utilizes these regulatory in work and assignments

-Has strong knowledge of project area and keeps abreast with new developments in areas of professional discipline and seeks to develop her/himself professionally

-Has proven track record of thematic knowledge and practical experience of managing projects of similar nature and complexity pertinent to local development and decentralization

-Possess ability to work with and influence stakeholders in government, multi-lateral and bilateral partners

Delivery – ability to get things done

-Makes new ideas work

-Critically assesses value and relevance of existing thinking and policy

-Embraces difficult obstacles that interfere with getting work done

-Anticipates constraints and identifies solutions

-Strives to improve team reputation with clients

-Expands capacity of team to deliver on time and on target

-Accountable for project implementation and / or team deliverables

Innovation – ability to make new and useful ideas work

-Adapts deliverables to meet client needs

-Interprets policy within context and applies with judgment

-Anticipates obstacles and applies practical solutions

-Embraces new methods

-Continually seeks improvement

-Collaborates to improve methods and delivery

Communication – ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

-Advocates, able to change mind of self, peers and partners

-Persuades others to embrace new ideas, even when controversial

-Represents team in formal settings

-Expands expertise of team through sharing expertise

Client orientation

-Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with beneficiaries and partners

-Pro-active approach in identifying beneficiaries and partners needs and identifying appropriate solutions

Corporate Competencies  

-Integrity: Demonstrates commitment to UNDPs mission, vision and values

-Respect of diversity, treats all people fairly without favoritism

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master Degree in Local Governance, Public Administration, Public Policy, Local Economic Development, Law, Social Sciences or any other relevant field

Professional Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience in local government development projects
  • A minimum of 10 years in project management and coordination, preferably with development projects at local level
  • Solid experience with projects focusing on decentralization processes, fiscal decentralization and similar capacity development issues
  • Reasonable knowledge of Albanian policies and institutional frameworks relevant to the local development and decentralization processes, service delivery, inter-municipal cooperation etc.
  • Demonstrated experience in liaising and cooperating with government officials, municipal authorities, academic institutions CSOs and the private sector
  • Excellent communications, report writing and analytical skills

Language requirements

  • Language proficiency in both written and oral English
  •  Any knowledge of Albanian would be an asset


UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that would take into account both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their financial proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer:

  • Is deemed technically responsive / compliant / acceptable (only technically responsive applications / candidates will be considered for the financial evaluation)
  • And has obtained the highest combined technical and financial scores.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max points: 70

Criteria A: A minimum of 10 years in project management and coordination, preferably with development projects at local level– max  points: 25

Criteria B: Educational background, Master Degree in Local Governance, Public Administration, Public Policy, Local Economic Development, Law, Social Sciences or any other relevant field – max points: 10

Criteria C:Demonstrated experience in liaising and cooperating with government officials, municipal authorities, academic institutions CSOs and the private sector and solid experience with projects focusing on decentralization processes, fiscal decentralization and similar capacity development issues   – max points: 35

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max points: 30

Application Procedure

Interested applicants are advised to carefully study all sections of this ToRs and ensure that they meet the general requirements as well as specific qualifications described. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.

The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • Completed and signed UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SC) and Individual Contracts (IC) – Blank form Download here.
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability - please complete the attached form...
  • Financial Proposal  - specifying a total lump sum amount(working days, travel, per diems, and any other possible costs) for the tasks specified in this announcement. Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. fee, health insurance, vaccination and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of service, etc.).
  • Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport.

* Kindly note that Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal are two separate documents and should both be part of your application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

How to Submit the Application:

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:

  • Download and complete the UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs);
  • Merge your UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs), Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded;
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement);
  • Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;”
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above);
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Due to a large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.