Remarks by Mr. Ervin Nina, DPR of Albania - CEPA Annual Meetings in New York- 21 April 2016

Thank you Madame Chair,

First, allow me congratulate with you for convening this meeting and for the work done for publishing of the “Final Report on illustrative work to pilot governance in the context of the SDGs”.

To begin, I would like to make a short introduction, why Albania decided to be a pilot Country for the Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong and Accountable Institutions and inclusive societies.

As mentioned in the Report, the decision of the Albanian Government to participate in the pilot work could be seen as an extension of an effort to implement a special 9th MDG goal on establishing and strengthening good governance. The country’s decision to develop and test governance targets and indicators as part of the UN SDGs framework, was aimed at integrating good governance performance measures and indicators into the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020.

Second, as many of you may know, Albania is embarking into a transformative judicial reform, a vital process that will bring the state and the citizen closer, as well as that will give justice its true meaning and will deeply and positively impact the way the country will move ahead in the coming years, especially on its path toward EU Integration.

The Government of Albania has pointed out clearly that - without a truly transformative judicial reform the country won’t be able to achieve sustainable goals, as well as we can not succeed into the irreversible European Integration Process that, includes and affects everything we do, especially in being more demanding in having more peacefull and inclusive societies, in building strong institutions and offering equal opportunities for all, by erasing the corruption and developing a healthy society and responsive institutions.

Basically, Goal 16 is one of the most challenging priorities of the Government of Albania and society and the result of the three-pronged process to align indicators in its NSDI 2015-2020 with priorities outlined for accession into the European Union (EU), and some of the targets of Goal 16.

Indicators that were identified as part of the EU integration process was automatically included as part of the NSDI 2015-2020.

Three of these were related to anti-corruption under Target 1 of Albania’s measurement framework, which aims to ensure the country approaches EU standards by 2030. These national indicators have been, in turn, included as part of the pilot initiative.

The process itself was led by the Strategic Planning and Development Unit at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

After a detailed analysis of national sectoral strategies, as well as national, regional and international data sets, a master list of some 120 potential governance targets and indicators was identified. These 120 proposed indicators were then assessed according to their relative fit or support to the government’s six strategic priorities,14 and to the main target areas prioritised by the national government.

Thereafter, the full list of indicators chosen for tracking was condensed down to a shortlist of 21 cutting across such governance dimensions as accountability, transparency, participation and predictability. They were grouped based on the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020 chapters.

A validation assessment confirmed the sources of data, the “producer” of the data (i.e. institution or organisation responsible for producing the data), the systems used to produce the data and for those indicators that required systems work, a quick assessment of time/resources needed to develop/implement supporting measurement/reporting systems.

The second phase of the pilot initiative in Albania was mainly characterized by technical assistance to monitor governance in the National Strategy for Development and Integration, and the sector strategies, amending the set of the selected indicators, as well as by the finalization of a case study on governance to share at the global level the progress achieved, the commitment towards governance as a strategic priority, and the Government’s intent to institutionalize the measuring of progress in this area.

The work performed involved revising and gaining agreement on an amended set of governance indicators, validating these through confirming the sources of data for the selected indicators, and assessing current systems to produce the data. A focus was placed on mainstreaming the relevant indicators and targets into the mid-term strategic document, the NSDI 2015-2020.

Concerning the indicators to monitor the implementation of NSDI 2015-2020 targets, Albania chose to assess and include data from Transparency International in their indicators list, as well as information from regional sources such as the European Commission’s (EC) Indicative Strategy Paper (2014-2020), the EU – World Bank Study on West Balkans Sector Indicators, and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, among others.

Among the lessons learned from this almost two years process, I would have highlight:

- The importance of data analysis for better guidance on how to implement the SDGs;
- Participatory processes are important for Goal 16
- Incorporate the SDG 16 targets in national plans or strategies to ensure their implementation;
- Need to exploit as much as possible all the monitoring systems, which are important for the implementation of Goal 16;
- The need for strong leadership and political will for Goal 16 is a necessity.

I thank you Madame Chair.

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