Mid-term evaluation of the project for the conservation of Protected Areas in Albania
Project A.C.A.P. Azione Comunitaria per la Conservazione delle Aree Protette dell’Albania
Duration 2019 – 2020
Funding Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (AICS)
Albania is a country rich in biodiversity but there are significant difficulties in managing and protecting its natural heritage. In recent years, following international pressure and the growing attention to environmental issues, numerous interventions have been carried out, including the implementation of the Natura 2000 Network to align Albanian and European protection policies.
The project, A.C.A.P. aims to contribute to the protection of the Protected Areas of Albania as defined by the NAPA – National Agency of Protected Areas in the 2015-2020 Short and Medium-Term Strategic Program. In particular, it aims to strengthen the management and conservation measures of the Llogara National Park (Municipality of Vlora), of the Protected Landscape of Vjosa-Narta (Vlora Municipality), of the National Park of Monte Tomorri (Municipality of Berat, Skrapar, Poliçan ), of the Bredhi National Park I Hotoves-Dangelli (Municipality of Permet and Kelcyre), and of the surrounding areas. The project also aims to improve the governance of Protected Areas; increase the infrastructural, managerial and technical capacities of the RAPA – Local Agencies of the Protected Areas; to reduce the impact of local communities residing in Protected Areas and neighboring areas and to raise awareness among the local population of environmental issues through awareness-raising activities in schools, on the territory (with information panels) and through information campaigns.
The mid-term evaluation of the A.C.A.P. project, carried out by ARCO Researchers, intends to investigate what has been achieved in the first 18 months of the project in terms of expected results and specific objectives, as well as recognizing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relating to the project as a whole. Finally it aims at formulating the necessary recommendations to improve future effectiveness of the intervention.
What have we done?
The degree of complexity and heterogeneity of the project actions made it necessary to design an evaluation methodology that could be able to understand the changes that main stakeholders and beneficiaries experienced. Thus, ARCO Researchers favoured a participatory and qualitative methodology, combined with desk analysis of documents produced in the context of of the project and field visits, to understand and verify what has been achieved.
Researchers conducted a field mission of about two weeks during which they were able to interview and meet multiple stakeholders including project and activity coordinators, partners, local authorities, and a sample of beneficiaries.
The mid-term evaluation focused on three methodological components:
- The analysis of the achievement of output and result indicators with respect to the targets
- The use of qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis
- The participatory approach and the direct involvement of stakeholders.