Rural Watch – Improving CSOs Role in Supporting Transparency and Accountability of Public Authorities and Business in the Rural Areas

Rural Watch – Improving CSOs Role in Supporting Transparency and Accountability of Public Authorities and Business in the Rural Areas


Project Value 184,434.00 €
Project Status Finished
Implementing Partners

Eco Partners for Sustainable Development

EU Contribution
184,434.00 €
Project Timeline
April 2018 - November 2020

Overall Objective

This project has three overall main objectives:
• Improved environmental performances of EEI in Albanian rural areas
• Increased transparency and accountability of public authorities and businesses related to EEI in rural areas
• Rural communities (women and men) more informed and empowered to monitor and control the energy and extractive industry in rural areas


Summary of the Project

The project addressed some of the most pressing issues of rural development in Albania, related to the quality of life and the standards for a clean and safe environment. Increasing pressure and the intensity of economic development in the targeted project areas through the Energy and Extracting Industry (EEI) (specifically in Bulqiza – chromium industry; Bulqiza – hydroenergy on Mat River; Prrenjas/Librazhd – hydroenergy on Shkumbini River in Shebenik Jabllanice National Park; Fier/Patos – oil extraction in Patos Marinez; Selenice – hydroenerhy on Shushica tributary to Vjosa River) brings more than ever a need of strong civil society organisations (CSOs) on the ground which are able to keep competent public authorities and businesses accountable when it comes to the environmental, health and safety standards and regulations.



  • Analysis and mapping of the CSOs’ capacities, needs and opportunities (with focus on those in rural areas) for monitoring and controlling of EEI using legal and media means
  • Development and organisation of training programmes on monitoring and controlling EEI for CSO activists, public interest lawyers and journalists
  • Establishment of an expert group of CSOs, public interest lawyers and journalists for monitoring and control of EEI
  • Two public forums on the application of EU and global sustainability rules and standards in the local context (e.g. on mining and hydropower)
  • Preparing and implementing the Rural Watch media platform and communication outreach activities
  • Two visibility actions, posters, TV programs, TV spot
  • Organising the final conference to promote the best cooperation cases with CSOs and industry and relevant public authorities
  • Selection of the pilot regions where there are EEI business with non-compliance practices and identification of the stakeholders for each area
  • Assisting the CSOs in the monitoring process of 5 extractive and energy industries for better transparency and accountability of EEI (based on their environmental monitoring reports and other information)
  • Legal support provided to CSOs/ community

Expected Results

  • Raised capacities of 60 CSO`s and 6 media representatives to act as a watchdog and enforce monitoring standards, promote transparency and accountability of public authorities and businesses involved in the use of the natural resources in extractive and energy industry sectors
  • Around 400 other stakeholders from extractive and energy industry hotspots involved and active in the cooperation
  • 12 Rural communities are more informed and empowered to monitor and control EEI in rural areas through the Rural Watch platform and CSO outreach
  • 10 articles published on the Rural Watch platform and in national and international media outlets and one publication on the results of the project
  • Increased monitoring of the 5 targeted extractive and energy industrial projects in Albania made through monitoring actions of the CSO and the media
  • Improvements proposed by the CSOs and the media in response to the performance of the EEI businesses and public authorities related to policies or technologies regarding sustainability standards
  • Environmental justice through legal services provided to interest groups affected by misuse of natural resources in the extractive and energy industry
  • Improved legal support for access to information, access to consultations  on environmental issues during administrative procedures and access to justice for the local CSOs and communities in targeted areas
  • Legal support to CSOs and local communities available
EUD contact point

Edvin Pacara

Project Reference Number 2018/395-604