About Co-PLAN

Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development  is a non-profit organization. Since 1995, Co-PLAN has been dedicated to fostering sustainable development, catalyzing transformative change in urban and regional spaces, promoting good governance, addressing pressing environmental issues, cultivating civil society, and influencing local, national, and regional/international policies. With a focus on people and institutions, we aim to drive tangible social transformation and positive change by instilling change-driving knowledge in our society and ensuring through our persistent work that our habitats are smartly managed and resilient. Our work encompasses project-based engagement, research, grant-giving, capacity building, and active community engagement. This comprehensive approach, seamlessly incorporating technology and digital tools that strive towards innovative solutions, ensures a holistic and effective contribution to driving positive change.

Co-PLAN operates upon six main areas of expertise: (i) territorial governance and spatial planning; (ii) environment and climate resilience; (ii) economic development, innovation, and sustainable tourism; (iv) responsible research and citizen science; (v) civil society and policy influencing and (vi) grant management/cascade funding.

We are based in Tirana, Albania, and have developed a solid national, regional, and international project outreach network, including many of the Local Government Units in Albania, several governmental and institutional partners, and numerous organizations in the Western Balkans region, Adriatic-Ionian region, Europe, and beyond.

Key facts:

  • Established partnerships with over 80% of Local Governments across the country and regional and central government actors; consolidated network of partners locally, regionally, and internationally, promoting best values and good governance since 1995;
  • Approximately 200 projects were implemented in Albania, the Western Balkans Region, and internationally, ranging from 10,000 to 5 million euros, all implemented with the same dedication and accountability.
  • Extensive project portfolio in the realm of central and local government reforms (regional development, territorial administrative reform, territorial planning, waste management, etc.), local government service provision, capacity development, development strategies, informal settlements integration, preparation of spatial development plans, environmental assessments, climate change and resilient planning, territorial management, disaster risk reduction plans, tourism development strategies, social housing plans,
  • Extensive research portfolio in the realm of local and public finances, economic development, socioeconomic disparities, territorial and environmental governance, green transition, ecosystem services, citizens’ engagement, etc. Implementer of several Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects focused on science education, research management, innovation actions, etc., taking up partner and leading roles.
  • Top experience in the country related to grant management procedures and cascade funding, proven by several EU-funded projects
  • Several capacity development projects (over half the project portfolio) specifically aim to increase the skills of Central and Local Government Authorities in improved public service provision, strategic planning, and project acquisition.
  • Experience with several donors, including the EU, World Bank, USAID, SDC, ADA, SIDA, Italian Cooperation, Open Society Foundation, Cordaid, Novib, GIZ, etc.
  • Initiator and coordinator of the Territorial Governance Network in the Western Balkans (TG-WeB) (https://tg-web.eu) and active member of international and regional networks such as the River Cities Network (https://www.rivercities.world), Community of Practice for Affordable Housing in the Western Balkans, etc.
  • A team of 20 in-house professional experts, with the majority having acquired post-graduate studies abroad and an additional consolidated pool of varied expertise to tap into as needed.
  • High employee retention rate in the range 90 percent range.
  • Embedded in POLIS University, a strategic partner, having the possibility to tap into the infrastructure (laboratories) and human resources available at the university.

Organizational Values

Co-PLAN is a value-driven organization, reflected in the projects it chooses to work on, the partners it engages with, and how it works. These values are:

  • State-of-the-art know-how and unbiased expertise—Since its establishment, the organization has relied on highly qualified local and international experts to provide qualitative, context-tailored solutions in all core field activities. We are committed to offering reliable, professional, and nonbiased services that transcend the politics of the day, ensuring integrity and credibility despite the challenges posed by Albania’s often-changing political scene.
  • Partnerships—Form a core organizational value and are essential to our work. We believe change can only be positive, accomplished, and sustained if understood and accepted by the stakeholders involved. We partner with local communities, local governments (and central authorities), civil society organizations, and donor agencies and work on building relationships that go beyond a specific project’s lifetime.
  • Participatory—Co-PLAN pioneers participatory planning, ensuring inclusive processes where local stakeholders’ views and interests are central to decision-making, whether in urban planning, regional development, public space design, environmental projects, or neighborhood development.
  • Continuous Personal Development—Besides its values, Co-PLAN’s main strength is its people. Personal development opportunities to further qualifications or enhance particular skills, regular organizational reflection (retreat) practices, and mentoring constitute regular practices for Co-PLAN and contribute to a notably increased and sustained level of expertise and experience among
  • Inclusivity—This is a core value of Co-PLAN, extending beyond external engagements to shape the organization’s internal environment. Within Co-PLAN, inclusivity means fostering a workplace culture where every team member feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences. This entails creating opportunities for open dialogue, actively seeking diverse viewpoints, and ensuring equitable access to resources and opportunities for professional growth.
  • Ethical Conduct—The organization adheres to ethical principles and integrity in all its activities,maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and honesty.
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