Established in 1994 as the Women’s Center, Gender Alliance for Development Centre is a non-partisan non-profit organization with over 20 years of experience in research, public education, capacity development assistance, monitoring, and advocacy. GADC promotes democratic development and good governance with special focus on gender equity and social inclusion.
GADC is a leading CSO in Albania and in South East Europe recognized for its role in introducing crucial issues regarding women’s rights and social inclusion. We address key issues such as gender-based violence and human trafficking, or economic empowerment of vulnerable groups, and advocate for key legislation and policies, such as the Law “On Violence in Family Relations” and the introduction of gender budgeting at the local and central government level. Our work has brought about significant improvement in addressing gender inequality and social exclusion of vulnerable groups in the country. Since its beginnings, GADC has implemented more than 100 projects that have affected the lives of thousands of beneficiaries throughout Albania.
GADC has a track record of successful collaboration with various stakeholders, including a wide range of Albanian CSOs and CSO networks, public institutions at the central and local level, regional and international organizations and networks, the private sector, the media, and the academia. Some of GADC’s key partners over the years include: a large number of NGOs operating in Albania and abroad, different donors and international bodies, public and private institutions such various municipalities, ministries, different institutions, American Chamber of Commerce, Trade Unions, businesses, media outlets etc. GADC draws its strength also from its large network of experts and trainers from universities, government institutions, and CSOs in Tirana and other regions.
GADC has provided extensive capacity development assistance and training to national and local CSOs with a view to strengthen and improve their impact at the local and national level. The wide network of CSOs with which GADC works has made it a transformative force and a platform for sharing experiences and transferring knowledge to counterparts all over the country.
For more than 20 year GADC given the contribution to many directions summarized below:
Strengthening capacities of civil society. GADC provided support to many local CSOs in monitoring and influencing local agendas and policies. GADC has proudly supported tens of CSOs to get established, set up management systems, develop constituencies, network, fundraise, and advocate. This includes CSOs that are now at the forefront of efforts to advance gender equity, free and fair elections, and vulnerable groups empowerment, such as the center “Vatra” in Vlora, “Women in Puka” association, Albanian Women Empowerment Network, and the Coalition for Free and Fair Election and for Sustainable Democracy. For the last two organizations, GADC served as an incubator for the first two years of their life. When the new law on NGOs entered into force, GADC assisted CSOs to understand and implement it in everyday life. On another instance, GADC assisted grassroots CSOs and media to promote and facilitate public demand on women economic rights, especially targeting vulnerable and marginalized communities in rural, informal, and urban areas. This included providing training to build capacities of local and small CSOs to influence local and national policy agendas. GADC has also offered networking opportunities to these organizations with their peers in other cities and countries, in order to extend their networking opportunities, experience sharing and lessons learned. During 2000 – 2004 GADC, with support by ILO, trained 300 women all over Albania to start up businesses and improve their managing skill.
Advancing human rights, antidiscrimination, and gender equity. Since its beginnings, GADC has served as a defender and promoter of human political, economic, and social rights of Albanian women and girls, and has supported advocacy initiatives benefiting other socially excluded groups such as the poor, Roma, the disabled, and LGBTI persons. This includes public support and contribution to the activities of the PRO LGBT organization and the Alliance against the Discrimination of LGBT Persons. GADC serves as an important actor and partner within Albania and in the wider region in initiatives to fight gender based violence, promote economic rights of women and men in the Albanian society, stands for gender equality and equity, respect of diversity and antidiscrimination in public service delivery, and encourage good governance.
Ensuring broad civic engagement in democratic development. GADC has expanded its work to entail citizen participation in ensuring free and fair elections and good governance, including improving public service delivery. In 2013, GADC set up the Coalition for Free and Fair Election and for Sustainable Democracy. 350 citizens monitored the 2013 elections, while in 2014, 550 observers monitored health services delivery in 12 regions of Albania and provided recommendations for improving these services. The Coalition also monitored the local elections in June 21, 2015, with 1000 monitors distributed randomly allover Albania. Currently, GADC is working in 10 municipalities to engage citizens and CSO representatives in assessing local governance performance.
Managing mid-size and large donor-funded programs. GADC has managed capacity development, advocacy, and public education programs funded by nearly all donors that support civil society development, democratic development, and good governance in Albania. For example, during 2007 - 2011, GADC implemented the ADA-funded project “Equity in Governance”, while in 2005 - 2008, GADC implemented the Institutional Capacity Building Project supported by the Open Society Foundation for Albania (Soros Foundation). GADC has received very good evaluation from CSOs beneficiaries and donors that have supported GADC work. To name one, Ms. Zineb Toumi Benjollun, former United Nations Resident Coordinator in Albania said: “GADC is a leading civil society organization in Albania that stands for human rights and for democracy.”