Funded by: National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) in USA
Start date: December 2003 Completion date: June 2004
This project sought to increase the Elbasan’s local government’s capacity to collect information on current state of affairs in the municipality, existing public perception of the decentralization process, and everyday problems with performance. This information provided local government leaders with a better understanding of the current situation in Elbasan. Currently, the Municipality of Elbasan was in the process of developing its strategic plan and the result from this study could not have come at a better time for the municipal officials to be able to incorporate its recommendations in the strategic plan.
Questions addressed by the study include among others the followings:
How do local governments in Albania understand their new role in a decentralized structure?
What capacity exists at the local government levels to enable them to assume the new responsibilities? What are the gaps?
How do citizens perceive the quality and quantity of public services provided by local governments?
What are training needs that local governments have? Are these needs the same in each local government or are they different?
This study utilized both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The target population was the households in the City of Elbasan and the employee of the Municipality of Elbasan. A randomly selected sample of 400 households participated in the survey which was administered by 31 students from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Elbasan.
In addition to household surveys, there were also conducted interviews with municipal employees. These employees were purposively selected based on the departments they represented and their positions within their respective departments.
The data from the household survey was analyzed by SPSS. The Florida A&M University team member developed the coding scheme and the data entry template which was sent to the University of Elbasan faculty to use in entering the data. The data template was then sent to Florida A&M University for analysis. The qualitative data from the face-to-face interviews was categorized and analyzed based on Miles and Hubermans’s (1999) criteria of analyzing qualitative data.
The findings of this study were shared with Elbasan’s municipal officials, including the Mayor and City Council members through a one-day workshop conducted at City Hall in Elbasan.