Rural Parliament remains a European project…
Promoted as a European model and project three years ago, the National Rural Parliament in Albania remains a project focusing on both good governance and inclusive and participatory democracy. The work from the first Parliament in September 2017 to these days features constant and sustainable efforts to create and consolidate an identity that is both representative and legitimate of the Albanian Network for Rural Development to help advocate for evidence- based policymaking and decision-making as well as the interests and priorities of rural communities.
ANRD is progressively taking its place as a representative of the interests of the private sector, civil society, and local government to address the country’s challenges in sustainable rural development. Its public attitude to issues of sector governance have been very important in this respect. Over the past three years, ANRD is present across the entire country representing some 28 member organizations in its activity and consulting, in most cases, up to 400 representatives of both the public and private sectors.
The Albanian Network for Rural Development’s significance is increasingly valued taking into account that it is holding this national forum ensuring inclusiveness under pandemic conditions as well. It is the active membership of ANRD that guarantees the success of this Parliament, bringing together online over 500 participants from all municipalities of the country, central government institutions, CSOs, representatives of international institutions, members of the Balkan Network and several European Rural Development Networks.
In five years of running its activities, ANRD has established decent collaborative relationships with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Agricultural and Rural Development Agency (ARDA), the Managing Authority, and other stakeholders at both central and local levels. And yet, regardless of its persistent efforts for an active role of the Parliament of Albania, ANRD has not achieved any kind of cooperation with the Parliamentary Committee of Production Activities, Trade and Environment. Additional efforts in these directions will become key objectives of our work in the future.
What differentiates the Albanian Network for Rural Development from other organizations is the identity it has created in the system of governance of the rural sector through hard work to improve the capacity of the sector in Albania and to establish and consolidate the instruments of public consultation on issues of rural development, monitoring, and drafting policy documents on better governance of agricultural and rural development, on awareness and advocacy. An umbrella of civil society organizations, ANRD stands firm for the
promotion of the LEADER approach across the country.
ANRD can claim merit in two complementary initiatives, such as the development of two consecutive editions of the “Pro Rural Woman” event in the municipalities of Tirana and Roskovec in an effort to make an annual
tradition out of it. In addition, inspiring is the construction of the Rural Youth Hub to run on a specific and long-term work program aiming to bring together young men and women engaged in these directions. Work in this track is expected to advance further in the future.
ANRD has always received genuine support from the leaders of the Agricultural University of Tirana and its academic staff in all aspects of its work, including activities of the Rural Parliament. We very much hope in the perspective of this cooperation in the long run.
Also, special thanks go to the leaders of Epoka University, who supported the realization of the Parliament in an unusual format by making available the digital infrastructure in its premises.
Last but not least, these achievements would not have been possible without the support of the European Union, which has been the main funder of ANRD in its path of development and consolidation. We also thank the
German Cooperation that, through GIZ assistance, gave its contribution in this important national event for the sector.
Thank you for your support and welcome to the second National Rural Parliament!
Chairman of the Board,
The Albanian Network for Rural Development
2nd ALBANIAN RURAL PARLIAMENT 2021
EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE OF RURAL ALBANIA
4 -5 March 2021
Albanian Rural Parliament (ARP) is an initiative of the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD) and represents a platform of advocacy, capacity building and networking dedicated to rural development. Following the Albanian Rural Parliament (September 2017) and, in response to the current challenges of agricultural and rural development in Albania, the ANRD in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Tirana (AUT) and EPOKA University organized the second Albanian Rural Parliament on March 4 – 5 2021.
Please find below the video recordings for each of the days of the Second Albanian Rural Parliament, together with the Press Conference. Click on the name of each category and then press the PLAY button in the video to listen to the respective recording!
GENERAL AND LOGISTIC INFORMATION ON THE SECOND ALBANIAN RURAL PARLIAMENT
→ The 2nd ARP – a joint effort by ANRD consisting of twenty eight local CSOs, in coordination with Agriculture University of Tirana and Epoka University – brought together, both physically and remotely, more than 600 people from rural areas as well as important actors of agricultural and rural development to discuss the challenges and actions which they can take to serve the well-being of rural people.
→ ARP 2 was organized in a hybrid format combining physical presence with remote one, in compliance with anti-COVID 19 measures. This form of combined participation was implemented through the use of Hy-Flex technology (for physical participation in the premises of Epoka University, and for the virtual one through the zoom platform, in the access link that the organizers sent by email).
→ The organization of the ARP2 in a hybrid format was enabled by Epoka University. The deployment of Hy-Flex infrastructure as a need to address communication challenges in the face of pandemic and social distancing highlights Epoka University as an epitome of the digitalization in Albania.
→ The connection of local stakeholders – farmers, youth, women, producer groups, administrative units, community groups, civil society organizations as well as any rural resident, etc. – mainly from areas with limited internet access and poor technological equipment – with the event of the second Albanian Rural Parliament was carried out through the Local Community Cells.
→ Local Community Cells are enabling units for virtual participation in ARP2. They are a meeting place for a small number of local actors up to 10 people who follow ARP2 remotely together and are an active part of ARP 2’s two-day discussions and program. The Local Community Cell were facilitated and managed by the Local Coordinator.
→ ARP 2 was conducted in accordance with the rules of the anti Covid-19 protocol. For this reason, all guests, physically present participants and online participants, with particular emphasis on those in community cells are requested to observe anti-Covid-19 safeguards including wearing a mask, securing distances, adhering to the schedule of curfew and keeping the allowed number of participants in the same environment. These safety rules should not be violated for any reason.
→ The thematic workshops planned in the program of the Albanian Rural Parliament II used the Rural Café method, which is an adaptation of the well-known World Café method. Eight thematic workshops were planned included under the Rural Talks session which took place in two rounds. Each round lasted 60 minutes. All eight workshops were held in parallel at the same time.
→ With the exception of Rural Talks (thematic workshops), simultaneous English translation was provided throughout the rest of the program.
→ Please use #RuralAlbania when posting on social networks
→ For more information contact: [email protected]
REGIONAL RURAL FORUMS
Within the 2nd Albanian Rural Parliament (March 3-5 2021), the Albanian Rural Development Network (ANRD) will organize four Regional Rural Forums during March-August. The four forums are organized successively in order to generate momentum for the second Albanian Rural Parliament on March 2021, which will conclude the stakeholders’ advocacy efforts at all levels.
The four Regional Rural Forums aim to bring together representatives of public institutions, civil society, farmers and productive associations, women’s and rural youth groups, active citizens, and others interested in influencing the national rural agenda. These forums will help different actors to reflect the needs, priorities, and interests of local actors and rural communities by country regions.
Calendar and other forum details:
1. The Drini Regional Rural Forum (Shkodra, Lezha, Kukës) was organized in the city of Lezha (at Junik premises) on Friday, 6 March 2020.
2. The Arbër Regional Rural Forum (Tirana, Durrës, Elbasan) was held online (ZOOM meeting) on Wednesday & Thursday, June 17 and 18, 2020.
3. Vjosa Regional Rural Forum (Vlora, Fier, Gjirokastra) was held online (ZOOM meeting) on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
4. Egnatia Regional Rural Forum (Korça, Elbasan, Berat) was held online (ZOOM meeting) on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.