The new administrative-territorial reform in Albania was undertaken in 2013-2014 and was finalized in matter of law, in 31 July with the Law no. 115/2015. In accordance with this reform, the Albanian territory will be divided in 12 regions (qarqe), 61 municipalities (bashki), and by merging approximately 5-6 towns or communes (komuna). This new territorial division was done in order to increase the efficiency of the available resources of the local governmental units, in the context of the decentralization reform. This could be treated a very important step toward sustainable development. With the previous division in Albania there were 12 regions, 65 municipalities and 308 towns or communes, with the right to administer their own resources and also to gain funds by the public, national budget. By this reform the local government units improve their capacity towards good governance. In addition they can offer qualitative public services. On the other hand, such services can be closer to the citizen’s needs. The old administrative division lacked capacities for development and appropriate level of public services.
The main public services performed by local government are: its own functions, joint functions and delegated ones. The first ones are infrastructure and public services, social, cultural and sports services, local economic development, and public order and civil protection. Joint functions are related to education, health service, social care, public order and civil protection, and environment protection. Delegated functions are related to issues like civil offices and business registration.
Although towns merged to form different functional zones, they continue to offer citizens public services. Actually the center of the region (qark) is the city of Durrës, and encompasses these local government units: Durrës municipality, Shijak and Krujë municipalities.
The teaching material aim is to bring to the attention of students the new territorial reform, which they can analyze. In addition they can explore this reform, in relation to the public services offered and the impact on the sustainable development.
Then, due to research and analysis they will discuss as a group and with important stakeholders about the differences and the improvements that they will identify in the local government units.
Students’ findings of the research and analysis will be integrated in the course syllabus of “Public Policies” and “Public Administration” as a one to two week lectures in the Political Science and Public Administration program studies.