Albania: Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development
The joint programme was designed to strengthen the capacities of Albania in the area of culture and development, and to boost the role of Albania’s cultural identity and heritage in the promotion of the country’s image abroad. In doing so, the joint programme made an important contribution to Albania’s national priority of accession to the European Union.
The programme utilized a participatory approach at the policy, state and local intervention levels, supporting the development of cultural policies and improving Albania's capacities for the protection, promotion and management of cultural assets, as well as the safeguarding of the most valuable cultural heritage monuments and sites. It also strengthened the cultural industries sector so as to contribute to Albania's socio-economic development and its achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Law on Intangible Heritage was amended with support from the joint programme, which also assisted in the renovation or development of several museums and heritage sites, including the National History Museum and the archaeological Museum of Apollonia, which reopened after 20 years. It also created two tourism information centres to facilitate access to Albanian cultural heritage.
A successful business incubator was established in Gjirokaster, Albania, aimed at empowering artisans, mostly women, to enrich their scope of activities, better promote their works and increase their income. More than 250 artisans in Gjirokaster and surrounding areas directly benefited from the centre, and more than 500 micro- and small entrepreneurs participated in or attended the annual artisan fair, which was enhanced with support from the joint programme.
The joint programme also supported a new Cultural and Resource Management Master’s course under the aegis of the University of Tirana and fully accredited within the public higher education system. The course provides both bachelor students and existing cultural employees (including public sector staff) with an opportunity for skill development at home, rather than abroad. Visiting professors and a scholarship programme for non-resident Albanian students also contributed to the reputation and visibility of this initiative.
Click here for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Albania.
The Joint Programme in action
JOINT PROGRAMME QUICK FACTS
- Joint programme has contributed to the amendment of the Law on Intangible Heritage, the government’s strategy on culture, policies for the Archaeological Park Systems and National History Museum, and risk mitigation plans for the two JP pilot national archaeological parks Antigonea and Apollonia. Four key policy documents have been developed, and ideas shared on conservation and protection of cultural monuments.
- Visitor information and facilities have been improved with the completion of the cultural heritage signage project in the historic centre of Gjirokastra and the publication of a series of map guides for Antigonea in Albanian.
- Cultural Resources Management MA-level program established. Capacity building in the area of cultural diplomacy has increased awareness of Albania internationally.