Culture and social inclusion
The Social Inclusion Strategy was approved in 2008 by the Council of Ministers. The Inter-sectoral Strategy on Social Inclusion (2007–2013), also referred to as the National Strategy on Social Inclusion (NSSI), is a policy document under the National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI).
The UNDP in Albania has supported projects focussed on the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities as well as Persons with Disabilities, among other development projects. UNDP Albania also works on building capacities of institutions at central and local levels to enhance participation of civil society and citizens as rights holders in the national social inclusion processes. They have supported the development of the “Policy Document for Social Inclusion 2016 – 2020”81 including a set of national indicators on social inclusion based on qualitative analysis on the most vulnerable categories of the population; “National Social Housing Strategy 2016 – 2025”; and “Action Plan on Persons with Disabilities (2016 – 2020)”82. These and other issues are key to EU accession related commitments.
In 2015, The Albanian Government committed to the UN Agenda 2030, and began implementing policies to achieve Millennium Development goals including reducing poverty, improving social inclusion, empowering women and improving education, as part of 140 SDG targets83. A key Millennium Development Goal was to eradicate extreme poverty and reduce the risk of social exclusion. Programmes were implemented to encourage the use of cultural heritage to create jobs for poor communities, strengthen national identity and attract investments and tourism. In 2018, people “At Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion” was estimated at 49.0 %, down from 51.8 % in 2017. The number of those with dependent children was 27.0% compared to 15.2% without dependent children.
In 2017 The HARP Project led by the NGO Ekphrasis Studio, with funding from UNESCO IFCD, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Municipality of Tirana to develop Albania’s first policy recommendations and action plan84 on accessible arts in public spaces, focused on social inclusion and participation in the cultural use and development of public spaces using a bottom-up approach. It was presented in 2019 and made publicly available.
The law Nr. 102/2020 for Regional Development and Cohesion outlines “Cohesion” as the interaction of the economic, environmental, social and cultural levels between and within different regions of development, with a goal to eliminate inequalities between them. It specifically mentions the inclusion of art, culture, creative industries and cultural heritage actors, agencies and institutions in regional development.
The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities to the Council of Europe, pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 2 of 2021, recommends that the Ministry of Culture allocates 5% of grants for individuals who have applied and belong to national minorities in open calls for grants.