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April 2-3 2009: Tirana, Albania: Conference on Donor Coordination in Balkans and Turkey

The conference to discuss “Donor Coordination in Western Balkans and Turkey”—was an important event jointly organized by the Directorate General for Enlargement of the European Commission, the government of Albania and the Department for Strategy and Donor Coordination. All EU members and other donors in the area, including the World Bank contributed also to the success of this event.

The Conference was opened by Mr. Sali Berisha, Albania’s Prime Minister and Mrs. Marketa Fialkova the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Albania and the Mr. Michael Leigh the Director General for Enlargement.

Around 200 stakeholders (representatives of the countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey, of Aid agencies and financial institutions) discussed Aid efficiency, effectiveness, anti corruption, potential improvements as well as deficiencies to empower the Aid Coordination in the region.

The government of Albania, host of the conference, has achieved a lot over the last 2-3 years in aid coordination in Western Balkans and Turkey. In addition, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, B&H, FYROM and Turkey presented their achievements in aid coordination.

Spiros Voyadzis, as the Resident head of the Development Gateway Foundation International (DGF) in Brussels presented the Aid Management Platform, a Web-based information system created by DGF for governments and their development partners that helps track, report, and coordinate international aid flows. Spiros Voyadzis highlighted the activities and work achieved by Development Gateway Foundation, DGMarket and especially the work on AMPs, their goals and what DGF has learned by all implementations so far.

The international nonprofit organization is expecting to reach some 20 implementations by the end of year 2009 with mostly successes and “1 or 2 failures”.

Several country donors expressed their interest in the AMPs such as Kosovo, Serbia and B&H, particularly Albania. In addition, the European Commission is very much interested to support AMPs in the area.

The conference aims to discuss and make recommendations for three-key sectors in socioeconomic development in the Western Balkans and Turkey region: education, environment and transport.

Note that DGF was the only non country or donor delegation attending the two-day conference.