Position type: Project officer_Announcement

Project Officer to support Association of Albanian Municipalities in the implementation of projects SusTown and MD.net – Interreg MED
Position type: Project officer
Location: Tirana, Albania
The Association of Albanian Municipalities is a non-political, non-religious and non-profit association. The Albanian Association of Municipalities is a voluntary and independent union of the municipalities of Albania. AAM was founded on October 12, 1993. Its ongoing efforts aimed at sensitizing the structures and institutions of the central government to accelerate the process of decentralization and consolidate the role of municipalities in the exercise of their governing role, while delivering concrete results. The role and contribution of the association today is highly appreciated and recognized not only by its members but also by institutions in the central government, donors, international associations of local authorities.
AAM is currently implementing two projects under the Interreg MED and is looking to hire a project officer to assist in the implementation of activities.
SusTown: The overall objective is to increase the local tourist vocation, generating opportunities and economic benefits for operators, through structured and co-designed tourism policies. In particular, the will of the partners is to test tools that allow the Med small towns to develop local policies that sustain the tourist flows, while respecting the characteristics of the historical cultural and social heritage.
Project result:
1. An enhanced governance built on the participation of civil society, local communities and local institutions in setting up tourism strategies.
2. “Total Quality Management” to implement cooperative sustainable strategies in tourism.
3. Proximity Marketing: The creation of a proximity marketing platform aimed at increasing the loyalty of the acquired customers and encouraging new ones, through the integrated use of low-cost communication systems.
Duration: 2020 – 2022
M.D.net project challenges the problems of currently neglected and undeveloped opportunities of Mediterranean Diet (MD). MD is integral part of the Mediterranean identity, inscribed in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The MD involves a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions concerning cultures, landscape, lifestyle, ways to work (crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, sharing and consumption of food products) characterizing a powerful industry.
MD.net main objective is to strengthen exploration of the MD according the UNESCO Med Diet Convention, blending comprehensive MD concepts with innovative tools.
The project will use both traditional and creative measures (as sharing economy) starting cooperation of quadruple helix stakeholders in order to lift the MD economy to new quality levels.
Duration: 2020 – 2022
Specific assignment
Under the general guidance of the Executive Director, the project officer, is accountable for implementing the specified work packages from both projects.
1. SusTown – WP3 – Testing
The WP3 aims at defining an effective participatory approach for tourist strategies and policy making based on existing tools, in order to tackle the tourism demand decline modelled by the TALC and promote the sustainable management of time-sustained tourist flows, providing guidelines and practice-based models for dissemination and capitalization at local as well as at regional and national levels. The approach will be built upon the lessons and tools produced by the partners in other EU-funded projects and own experiences mentioned.
The Total Quality Management (TQM) entails criteria, tools and processes for improving competitiveness and quality of tourism. The TQM is well consolidated in the private sector as well as it is being increasingly experimented as an innovative approach for policy making in the public sector. The TQM is the most suitable approach to address the internal-external and global-local challenges of the fascinating small towns facing a plausible decline.
Therefore, the WP3 responsible will collect among the partners the tourism policy making and quality promotion practices and will capitalize them into a common methodology to apply the TQM approach for the sustainable tourism management and governance in fascinating small towns. Such methodology will be tested by each partner in pilot municipalities from islands and low density rural areas, by creating the local governance tools for the promotion of sustainable tourism (local focus groups). Such groups will be supported by each partner to elaborate local tourism action plans as well as to define and promote concrete tourism packages/itineraries/services based on quality standards to prevent/address the tourism decline. The methodology will be improved according to the results of the pilots for the project dissemination and replication in other municipalities. The pilot tourism policies will be used for improving regional and national tourism policies.
2. MD.net – WP3 – Studying
The “knowledge-based economy” is an expression coined to describe trends in the most advanced economies towards greater dependence on knowledge, information and high skill levels, and an increasing need for ready access to all of these. Knowledge in all its forms plays a crucial role in MD economic growth. Nevertheless, MD is a specific field where the knowledge relates to traditional values together with innovation and creation. A shared knowledge plays a strategic role to improve the MD market. Even though Mediterranean diet is inscribed in UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage, there is hard to find its expertise and knowledge gathered in one place. This lack of communication between MD communities also hinders their capacity of innovation and creativity, as these are mostly related to the exchange of information and savoir faire. The proposed activities will build up knowledge database on the one side and implement a number of opportunities to share analysis on the other, in order to:
1.) Increase available knowledge on MD and key stakeholders.
2.) Transnationally compare knowledge, approaches, best practices and policies.
3.) Point out economic, health, environmental and social benefits of MD.
Gathered knowledge will be used in the knowledge and cluster cooperation platform as well as for easier implementation of the pilot-testing WP. Currently there are big gaps in the MD knowledge existing and MD knowledge gathered in one place. The clustering platform will on one side enable MD stakeholders to meet and cooperate in one place, but on the other side, it will serve as a common place, where MD knowledge will be gathered and publicly accessible. Lastly the WP package will also build a solid basis for transferring and capitalization activities. Through the Studying activities, MD Brand will be created, regional and transnational quadruple helixes established, and co-creation guidelines prepared.
3. MD.net – WP4 – Testing
Testing applies the joint results of the WP3, identified analyzing data, previous projects and experiences selected during the WP3 common work. On that basis, the partners will be supported by the Associated partners to select and implement pilot activities among those identified through the groundwork in WP3, experimenting the application of the more appropriate model (Living Labs, co-creation workshops, Community Led Local Development, Integrated Territorial Investments) to give solution to their specific context, users and territories.
Three main pilot activities are carried out during this phase:
(1) MD-BRAIN, a training activity (national & transnational) for intergenerational stakeholders aiming at improving innovation and creativity in SMEs through co-working training courses.
(2) MD Brand – implementation of MD brand, testing and strengthening the MD branding through shared activities in local communities participating in the project and transnational levels.
(3) MD-INC – Innovation and Creativity – development and testing of new MD local initiatives, especially focused on strategies and services to increase competitiveness, economic growth and attractiveness of MD products and locations for tourist destinations.
Activities include, but are not necessarily limited to the following tasks:
• Ensure quality implementation of all planned activities for the three work packages as described in the approved application forms;
• Maintain close and active cooperation with all project partners and key stakeholders with the aim to timely capture project related updates;
• Active monitoring, including field visits, of project implementation process by all Albanian stakeholders;
• Closely communicate and follow-up with the Project manager; keep contact with other project partners with regard to exchange of knowledge, the organization of activities, also involving relevant technical counterparts, CSOs and other implementing partners, at both national and local levels.
• Follow up the deliverables and timeline of three work packages.
Reporting requirements
The Project officer will contribute to progress reports prepared for the Managing Authority every six months for both projects. He/She will also report on regularly basis to Project Manager. The report will be prepared in English and shall include clear information about the activities performed and results achieved against the initially planned deliverables.
Requirements to be met by the candidates:
• Minimum of five (5) years of practical experience in project implementation, preferably in local development or any similar domain;
• University degree in Law, Social Studies, Journalism or similar domain;
• Proven successful records in developing and implementing communication strategies and campaigns;
• Experience in working with local stakeholders in areas of tourism, etc;
• Ability to develop high quality written materials in Albanian and English;
• Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work closely with national and international actors with tight deadlines and to coordinate a communication strategy and campaign;
• Excellent analytical capacities; excellent ability to synthesize information and relate action to results;
• Fluency in both, spoken and written English and Albanian;
• Good command of relevant computer skills.
The applicants must submit:
• An updated CV;
• Letter of Interest specifying the relevant experience with similar type of assignments (max 300 words);
• Copies of diplomas;
• List of three references.
Deadline: 26 June 2020
Please send your applications to aam@albmail.com.