The project “Capacity Building of the Civil Society for the Implementation of Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Albania” supported by the European Union and implemented in partnership with the World Vision Albania (WVA), Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF), and the Association for the Protection of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (MEDPAK) aims at creating and strengthening the organizational network of civil society, organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as the individuals with disabilities in the regions of Berat, Korça, Lezha and Dibra to enable them to play an active role as the following: (1) observers of the implementation of policies and legal framework at the central and local level; (2) active participants in decision-making processes when policies are drafted and budgets are planned for the disabled persons; (3) lobbyists and protectors of the rights of persons with disabilities when these rights are not guaranteed or when they are affected.

Continuous monitoring of the implementation of the National Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities (2016-2020), as one of the main interventions of this project is an opportunity to evaluate the progress that the institutions at the central and local level are doing as part of achieving the measures, meeting the deadlines and securing the financial resources to meet the objectives as per the specific fields. The data coming out of these monitoring reports will serve the established networks in the four cities as an efficient advocacy tool to hold the institutions at the central and local level, accountable and request transparency, as well as they will serve to establish the missing dialogue between the civil society that represents the interests of the persons with disabilities and these institutions to achieve the obligations set out in the National Disability Action Plan. The monitoring reports will also serve as evidence for the international institutions to evaluate the progress of the Albanian State in complying with the EU membership obligations and the obligations deriving from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities.

This project also offers for the first time an online informative and accessible platform to provide information and knowledge related to the disability issues, services, etc. The project will also strengthen the capacities of the young volunteers to initiate projects that will directly assist individuals with disabilities in these cities.

At the end it is expected that the community of persons with disabilities in these four municipalities, through the advocacy networks to: (1) have a voice in the identification of the needs that need to be met by the responsible institutions; (2) be part of the round tables when policies in the field of disability are discussed and planned; (3) benefit information for the services provided in the field of disability as well as the positive experience related to the services for the persons with disabilities; (4) benefit services from projects initiated by young volunteers who are the actors of this project.