Albania Sustainable Development Organization (A.S.D.O) was partner in the project “Strengthening the capacities of Albanian municipalities in the twinning of cities”. Project implemented by the Association of Albanian Municipalities, as its leader from 1 December 2012 to 30 November 2013.
The program European Commission within the Europe funds this project for Citizens. We have organized two days trainings the first one in Tirana city, in University of Kamza 25/04/2013 and 26/04/2013 and the second one in Saranda city, in University of Saranda, filial of University of Tirana (Faculty of Economy) in 23/05/2013 and 24/05/2013. There were approximately 60 participants from different universities and from different background. The expert from ANTTARC Ms. Ariana Haxhiu helped with her expertise in giving trainings for young people. Young people was informed about the EU program, possibilities to be twinned with European institutions, to apply in several scholarships and training programs, to feel more the European identity and to be part of their culture.
Serious preparations were made to design and to implement successfully the training program. The comprehensive participants’ handouts were developed and provided to all participants. To achieve training goal and objectives, various techniques were used during the session: brainstorming, lectures, case studies, small group work and discussions, group presentations, etc.
A participatory and interactive approach was emphasized throughout the training programs. Special emphasis was given to the use of methods that encourage participants to ask questions and express their ideas about various topics. The essential theoretical background was carefully reinforced with practical group works. It allowed developing participants’ skills on various topics that were covered during the training programs. The combination of theoretical background and samples from town twining programs implemented in the European countries, intended to encourage participants to bring different ideas for potential resources which might be used for town twining program.
After finishing the second day of the training all the participants took part voluntary in cleaning their area. The main scope of it was to have care of their environment and to be part of voluntary work. Other activity A.S.D.O has implemented was fulfilling one questionnaire for all the people which were involved in the project. In each of the meeting organized (training, workshops, launching conferences, etc), A.S.D.O has disseminate some questions for them regarding the twinning identity, how Albanian people feel about it, which will be the future impact on the daily life; the twinning initiative, how Albanian people are filling about this approach and which will be the future steps, how sustainable will be this process afterwards. The questionnaire included open questions and we encouraged the respondents to add any information or comments they felt were necessary. All the answers were analyzed and the final conclusions are integrated in this final report.
The questionnaire contained the following questions:
- Have you participated in any twinning projects by the Commission and/or other twinning assessments or reviews? If so, in what way (in working level, twining universities etc.)?
- After the seminar, do you have clear and sufficient knowledge for identifying the applicability of twinning projects and benefits?
- Do you think one proper way to introduce and promote the implementation of twinning projects in Albania?
- What mechanisms promoting twinning in Albania are considered more appropriate to apply and what difficulties are believed to face when applying?
- What questions need clarification regarding the issues raised in these seminars?
- What aspects of these activities should think treat or discuss in future workshops?
- After the seminar, do you have a clear understanding about what is to be understood in TWINNING and Europe for Citizens Program?
- Please identify: a) significant negatives of twinning: b) significant positives of twinning: c) what worked best in twinning: d) the major failures of twinning.