USAID Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Kucova Citizen Advisory Panel

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
During celebrations for the 20th anniversary of Kucova’s Citizen Advisory Panel, USAID coached children from the youth center to design and present to the mayor a project idea of their ideal city.
Erald Lamja, Planning and Local Governance Project

KUCOVA, ALBANIA     On May 22, the Municipality of Kucova and USAID celebrated the 20th anniversary of Kucova Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP). Established with USAID support in 1998, Kuçova’s CAP was the first
voluntary-based group to operate in post-communist Albania. It  continues to be a successful, active, and effective panel in conveying citizens’ needs and concerns to the local government with regard to local participatory budgeting, infrastructure investment planning, and local development. In her remarks, USAID Representative, Dr. Catherine Johnson, stated  this panel represents a bottom up mechanism for democracy in action and a legacy of USAID’s work in Albania.

The Municipality of Kuçova is characterized by a strong legacy of community solidarity and participation in local organizations. During communism, Kuçova was the center of the oil industry in the country. Given the high importance that the oil industry had for the socialist regime, the government took several measures to strengthen the capacity of the workforce and encouraged the development of scientific knowledge. The workforce of Kuçova was highly educated, lived a life filled with social and political events, and enjoyed a standard of living that was higher than the country average. These interventions shaped the qualities of the workforce – solidarity and interest in local organizations – that were carried over after the fall of communism.


The Municipality of Kuçova is one many Albanian LGUs that has directly benefited from various USAID programs since 1997. USAID technical assistance included: territorial planning, participatory budgeting, strategic planning, capital investment planning, etc., processes which required broad participation and involvement of the community.

This led to the creation of the Kuçova Citizen Advisory Panel in May 1998, established two years prior to the Law No. 8652, 31.07.2000 on Local Governance (required for Albanian LGUs to increase accountability, communication and interaction with their citizens through various mechanisms).

Since 1998 the Municipality of Kuçova (even without donor support) has established a tradition of regularly consulting the Citizen Advisory Panel on key issues and developments including: annual budget, fiscal package, strategic planning, territorial planning, public services, annual Municipal Council meeting on municipal performance, and priority setting and recommendations.

Kuçova is one of 15 partner municipalities of USAID's Planning and Local Governance Project. Through the process of establishing Citizen Advisory Panels (CAPs) in each LGU, Kuçova’s CAP has served as a national model and best practice to be replicated. USAID’s contribution to the previously established Kuçova CAP was to formalize the group through a Municipal Council decision in 2012 and to restructure the CAP with new representatives that were more inclusive of all target groups in Kuçova (age, gender, minorities, professions, etc.).

Last updated: July 12, 2021

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