Project Coordinator for “Expanding Free Legal Aid Services to Women and Men in Albania"
Governance reforms are at the heart of the European Union (EU) accession process and have been prioritized as key to addressing Albania’s socio-economic challenges. Major investments have therefore been made by the Government of Albania (GoA) in reforming the public administration and judiciary, and in efforts to reduce corruption, strengthen the rule of law, and rationalize relations between central and sub-national state bodies. Delivery of quality and inclusive public services, including at local level, is one of the many important interventions the GoA is intensively working on.
The adoption of a set of constitutional amendments paved the way for comprehensive and thorough justice reform in Albania which represents a key requirement for EU accession. Moreover, a set of organic laws, identified by the Albanian legislator as priority for the implementation of justice reform, were adopted. Organic laws that regulated service provision to citizens, including free legal aid law, were reviewed. A comprehensive Free Legal Aid (FLA) law was developed with the technical support of UNDP in partnership with EURALIUS project, which entered into force in mid-2018 and requires adequate implementation by responsible bodies. The law provides for the establishment of a new department, within the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), to organize and oversee a broadened set of primary and secondary FLA providers, including a new branch of the civil service and major involvement of NGO providers and the Bar membership. The new structure will need substantial assistance in its setting up, inter alia, a solid regulatory scheme and a quality control programme.
The challenge for the Albanian Government is momentous and will require significant outside support to succeed. This is, in part, because the current FLA system is barely functional and lacking in almost every component. According to a 2017 comprehensive Access to Justice Survey by UNDP-Albania, almost half of the population has had legal problems in the last five years and nearly three-quarters of Albanians believe the national justice system does not protect their rights adequately. The FLA scheme covers only a fraction of the needs of low-income and other disadvantaged groups. In addition, three key factors – low levels of legal literacy, dubious attitudes on what is just, and a lack of trust in the justice system – contribute to a fragile framework for access to justice in Albania.
On the positive side, the Government is committed to effectively implement the recent improved FLA Law as per the commitments articulated in the Justice Inter-Sector Strategy. MoJ with UNDP support drafted and finalized a complete set of by-laws as per the FLA law requirements, adopted by Council of Ministers and MoJ. Two other by-laws are expected to be approved during 2019. As per the approved Prime minister’s Order on the structure and organigram of the FLA Unit/Directorate at the MoJ, the latter has started setting up the new structure and started job recruitment procedures for 25 staff. FLA Directory is expected to be fully staffed by end of 2019.
To support MoJ with establishing FLA services at local level, during 2017 till at present, UNDP Albania has contributed to establish the foundations of a functional legal aid system in Albania through piloting 6 FLA Centers in close partnerships with District Courts in Fier, Durres, Tirana, Lezha, Shkodra and Dibra and specialized NGOs, offering primary and secondary FLA services to the most vulnerable people at local communities. Currently, only two of these FLA Centers are functioning, namely in Peshkopi and Shkodra.
Considering the highly demanded FLA services from the most marginalized citizens and building upon the results of ongoing Access to Justice (A2J) project implemented by UNDP Albania in close collaboration with the MoJ and all relevant stakeholders, this project will be essential to move to the next stage of consolidating the pilot FLA centers and the implementation of the new free legal system.
Duties and Responsibilities
The coordinator supporting project “Expanding Free Legal Aid Services to Women and Men in Albania” (hereafter “the project”) will be expected to:
- Ensure successful implementation of the project in accordance with the stated outcomes and performance indicators summarized in the project’s logframe matrix and within the planned schedule and budget.
- Draft project working plans and budgets necessary for the implementation of the project.
- Draft narrative reports, including donor reports, highlighting the process, major outcomes and lessons learned from the interventions undertaken.
- Provide technical guidance and resources to contracted consultants and/or organizations as well as monitor their activities with a view to assure quality deliverables.
- Ensure and contribute to preparation and implementation of the Project communications and plan. Ensure visibility of the donor and the UNDP in the project areas; ensure effective dissemination of and access to information on project activities and results.
- Be responsible for regular updates in the project results and resources framework under his/her responsibility and related reporting tools by complying to UNDP rules and regulations.
- Interact with government counterparts, CSOs and other relevant stakeholders in the framework of this project and foster partnerships for the project implementation.
- Organize project steering committee meetings as envisaged in the project document.
- Ensure that gender is mainstreamed in all project activities and support Gender Focal point and Gender Programme Managers in addressing gender issues in the overall country programme implementation.
- Ensure overall quality control on the preparation of documents for submission to UNDP country office in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
- Ensure that all agreements and contracts with designated programme’s implementing partners are duly prepared and signed.
- Be responsible for regular updates in the project results and resources framework under his/her responsibility and related reporting tools by complying to UNDP rules and regulation as specified in the Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP).
- Coordinate UNDP project activities with those of the other UN agencies working in this area and provide support whenever required.
- Other tasks as assigned by the Programme Manager and Programme Specialist.
The incumbent will be responsible to complete his/her tasks, in consultation and cooperation with the Project team and the UNDP Country Office and have a dual reporting line to the Programme Specialist and the Programme Manager.
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism
- Leadership, integrity, advocacy, proactive, diplomatic, open-minded, public speaking and training skills
- Technical knowledge in the designing, monitoring and evaluation of gender-based violence policies and programmes.
- Analytical skills, initiative, sound judgment, results-oriented and efficiency in a multi- tasking environment
- Good inter-personal and teamwork skills, networking attitude, ability to work in multi- cultural environment
- Political and cultural sensitivity and commitment to UNDP’s development objectives in the country.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced advance university degree (master's degree or equivalent) in law, human rights, or closely related field of studies.
- At least 7 years of project experience in the field of human rights, access to justice with a keen focus on vulnerable individuals;
- Knowledge in the field of human rights and access to justice including the legal and institutional frameworks;
- Demonstrated coordination and organizational capacities including experience of coordinating experts/involved CSOs;
- Demonstrated analytical and writing skills;
- Prior professional experience in human rights and/or access to justice related projects is desirable;
- Previous experience/familiarity with UNDP is desirable;
- Excellent communication skills in English and Albanian.