Strategic Policy Options for SDG Financing - Joint Programme


Start: 2020-07-01
End: 2023-06-30


Albania is strongly committed to the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at its heart. They have been integrated into the national policy framework and inform its EU integration agenda. To support national efforts for meeting the requirements of sustainable development, Albania has also established strategic decision-making mechanisms – such as the Inter-ministerial Committee and Inter-institutional Working Group on SDGs.

Monitoring of progress in meeting the SDGs has been recorded through a baseline report on SDG mainstreaming (2017) and a Voluntary National Review (2018). At the same time, the national statistical agency, INSTAT, tracks SDG achievement on annual basis.

Yet, despite Albania’s strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda, challenges in meeting sustainable development targets remain. The country still experiences socio-economic disparities among population groups. Unemployment is high while the social protection system is weak, particularly in the provision of social care services, leaving vulnerable groups at great risk of being left behind.

Often, efforts of the Government of Albania to estimate the cost of meeting development goals and to identify financing options have been imperfect. In fact, in the process of its long transition process, well-intending laws and regulations have been approved, only to come to the conclusion that their financial effects were not properly calculated and provided for. Moreover, the consecutive crises of the November 2019 earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic worsened existing vulnerabilities and tightened the country’s fiscal space, making the Sustainable Development Agenda even more urgent.

The UN Joint Programme 'Support to SDG Financing' 

The UN Joint Programme 'Strategic Policy Options for SDG Financing' aims to support SDG financing in Albania. Working in close collaboration with the Government of Albania, the Programme seeks to expand institutional capacities at the national and local level for developing feasible solutions and identifying fiscal space to progressively increase SDG-related spending in Albania and integrate these in the national budgetary framework.

It intends to bring about such change through solid evidence on the costs on non-investment on SDGs, through credible analysis and data on fiscal space, through the creation of tools for financing policies and regularly measuring the impact, and through strengthening the capacities of the SDG financing institutions, enabling a continuous national dialogue on SDG financing in Albania

The implementation of the programme is expected to provide large scale results, reaching the most vulnerable part of the Albanian society, in particular children and women in the poorest locations.

  • At the macro level, this programme will map the full range of financing sources availableto the country – public and private, domestic and international – and assesses themagainst the financing needs for achieving national sustainable development targets.
  • At the policy level, it will assist national partners in integrating the financing considerations into national policy, building upon the on-going UN-wide efforts and aiming at leveraging and mobilizing national resources for increasing investment into national sustainable development priorities.
  • At the capacity-support level, the JP would support a selected range of Albanian institutions to articulate, implement and review budgets that reflect increasing SDG related spending.

The programme is implemented jointly by UNDP, UNICEF, and ILO, in close collaboration with UN Women and UNFPA.

The project is funded by the UN Joint SDG Fund with global contributions from Denmark, European Union, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.


Knowledge Products

SDG-related Budgetary Analysis

  1. SDG-related Analysis of the 2023 draft Public Budget
  2. Budget Analysis of SDG Related Spending in Albania: 2015-2019
  3. Budget Analysis of SDG Related Spending in Albania: 2015-2017
  4. Sectoral Analyses:

Fiscal Space Analysis

  1. Fiscal Space for Social Protection in Albania (2022 update)
  2. Fiscal Space for Financing Social Protection in Albania (2021)
  3. Expenditure and Fiscal Space Analysis for Gender- and Child-Sensitive Budgeting: Report and Op-Ed

Social Protection and Care for Vulnerable Groups

  1. The Economic Assistance Programme in Albania: Challenges and Reform Trends (policy note)
  2. Reform of the Economic Assistance Programme in Albania
  3. Financing a Social Protection Floor for Vulnerable Women, Girls and Children in Albania
  4. Developing a Case for Investing in Free Universal Childcare in Albania: Main Findings and Report
  5. Long-term care for the elderly in Albania: Policy Note and Report
  6. Loneliness and Social Exclusion Among Older People in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia zone (Albania Chapter)

Local Level Services

  1. Legislative Review of Funding of Local Level Mandates (in Albanian only)
  2. Social Care at the Local Level (in Albanian only)
  3. Social Fund Report (in Albanian only)

Publications that the JP has contributed to

  1. Review of Social Protection System in Albania
  2. Assessment of the Social Security Responses to COVID-19
  3. World Social Protection: Report 2020-2022
  4. Translation of Fiscal Space for Social Protection: A Handbook for Assessing Financing Options

Other Publications of Interest

  1. Social Security for All: Building Social Protection Floors and Comprehensive Social Security Systems
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Goals we are supporting through this initiative

Background Documents