“Support to Improve Citizen – Centric Public Service Delivery in Albania” the European Union – funded project, with “The Agency for the Delivery of Integrated Services Albania” (ADISA), as a beneficiary institution, organized on Wednesday, 28 February, in Hotel Tirana International, the roundtable on “Barrier-Free Services” with Civil Society Organizations representing marginalized groups with different abilities. In terms of inclusion, the IPSD project implemented by a consortium of companies, among which IDRA Ltd has an important role in the implementation of project components, aims to support the public services provided by ADISA and to guarantee quality and accessible services for all groups with different abilities.

In her speech, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Mrs. Senida Mesi underlined the ambitious expansion plan of the ADISA’ network by 2020 with 15 unique centers, as well as the cooperation with the Albanian Post to extend integrated and standardized service in every corner of the country. “The standard does not only cover the provision of administrative services, but also the “Barrier-Free Services”, which the Albanian government has already set out in some strategies to meet the needs of people with different abilities. In this context, Deputy Prime Minister Mesi stated out that this meeting serves to communicate and understand the needs of people with different abilities in terms of public services and responding efficiently to them.

General Director of ADISA, Mrs. Anisa Gjika, thanking the participants for their contribution in addressing the needs, offering expertise and supporting the improvement public services towards people with different abilities, stated out that ADISA’ commitment is providing all its capabilities in terms of crashing barriers and the creation of a new standard in public services. During the presentation of “Barrier-Free Services” project, Mrs. Gjika said that: “ADISA has structured its work on 3 main pillars: 1. Establishment of Integrated Centers where citizens can access a range of services in one place; 2. Ensuring the Standards on ADISA Centers; 3. Establish a monitoring system regarding the manner and quality of public service delivery by public institutions“. In terms of the right infrastructure, Mrs. Gjika stressed the existence of appropriate ramps and facilities at ADISA centers for people with disabilities, and invited the participants to express their opinions and the possibility of cooperation for establishing appropriate indicators in the monitoring framework for public services.

During his speech, Mr. Stephen Stork, Head of the Department of Justice and Home Affairs and PAR at the European Union Delegation in Tirana, said that the EU would support marginalized groups by assisted the Albanian Government and Civil Society with special projects that provide concrete results in order to improve the conditions for these individuals. “Your role in this process is crucial, by giving voice to Albanian citizens, regardless of who represents them in public institutions, with the aim of reflecting these discussions in decisions and governing politics that determine everyday life. This is the way we see the work and functioning of active democracy”, stressed Mr. Stork. Furthermore, the Head of the Department of Justice and Home Affairs and PAR at the EUD in Tirana, added that it is essential that public services increase their commitment to citizens by carrying out concrete actions towards open politics, listening and being open to what civil society has to say at the national and more in local level.

The IPSD project manager, Mrs. Daina Beliçka stressed the objectives of the project in improving administrative operational procedures and public service delivery channels, designing a business model for the effectiveness of public services. In this context, the facilitation of information-gathering procedures, such as the inventory of all services provided by the state, and the accessibility design aim to assist marginalized groups and people with special needs.

Representatives of Civil Society, thanking the EU, the IPSD project for support, and ADISA for such a concrete undertaking plan, among the first of its kind, to set a new standard in terms of improving the conditions for these marginalized groups. Representatives of these groups addressed various needs, requiring the expansion of services, the right infrastructure, increasing the provisioning capacities for people with intellectual disabilities, blind people and people who do not listen through the provision of dedicated services. This first meeting will be followed by several other meetings aimed establishing a platform cooperation between ADISA and Civil Society. The topics discussed for the next meetings are: 1) training’ curricula, 2) inventory of services for persons with disabilities, and 3) A person dedicated to assisting these individuals in each ADISA integrated centers