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Speeches & Transcripts

Remarks by Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Manager for Albania at Signing Ceremony for Citizen-Centric Service Delivery Project

September 23, 2015

Tahseen Sayed Tirana, Albania

As Prepared for Delivery


Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Manager in Albania 

Excellency Prime Minister, Dear Minister Cani, Dear Minister Harito, Representatives of Ministries of Finance and Public Administration and Innovation, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am delighted to be here with you today at the signing ceremony of the Citizen-Centric Service Delivery Project. This is a special moment that marks the culmination of an intensely engaging and fast track project preparation process. This event also has a special significance as it is the first investment project being signed after the endorsement of the World Bank Group’s new Country Partnership Framework for Albania.  As we all know, the new CPF envisions an unprecedented level of indicative $1.2 billion financing to support the broad spectrum reforms Albania has embarked upon.  While supporting Albania’s aspirations for EU accession, the CPF focuses on supporting Government reforms to restore macroeconomic stability, accelerate private sector growth and strengthen public sector management and service delivery. 

We are grateful to the Honorable Prime Minister for his leadership and personal stewardship on this important project which seeks to transform delivery of public services by bringing about visible improvements in the transparency and governance of services. The World Bank Group’s CPF is well aligned with this and other core Government reform priorities. The CPF also benefited from the findings of the Systematic Country Diagnostics we conducted for Albania which concludes that the major sources of historic inefficiency in service delivery are due to weak governance and fragmented institutional arrangements, as well as very limited use of technology in public administration. It also points to the socio-economic and spatial inequalities in access to services affecting the less well-off and vulnerable population sub-groups, such as rural residents, women, and the Roma.  In light of the existing fiscal constraints, improvements in quality and access to services must come from efficiency gains and better governance.  


A signing ceremony of the Citizen-Centric Service Delivery Project

Good public sector governance stands at the center of reforms the Government is implementing and it cuts across all the sectors such as macro-fiscal, energy, health, or social assistance. It is the responsibility of the public administration to enable a service oriented-environment towards citizens and businesses; in fact, it the most important feature of a well-functioning public administration. This requires a professional body of civil servants and an efficient, well organized public administration that can deliver public services matching the European standard.

During the past 25 years of our partnership, the Bank has been engaged in diverse sectors, including on public sector reforms – this is a challenging area where results tend to come with a significant lag and where sustainability of reform is always a challenge.  The Government’s commitment to create citizens’ trust in public services and transforming the interface between citizens and state is a critical step in the right direction and is at the heart of this project we are signing today.  Results in this area should also strengthen Albania’s path towards EU accession.

The $32 million Citizen Centric Service Delivery project supports improvements in the quality and access to administrative services in Albania. The project will disburse on the basis of results accomplished.  It will support enhancement of back end systems, improving citizens’ interface at the front offices, while building service delivery capacity.

We are happy to join other development partners that have been supporting Government in its “Innovation against Corruption” reform. I know that other partners, EU among them, will continue to provide support to this initiative and to public administration at a broader level.  

Finally, let me also take this opportunity to acknowledge with huge appreciation the leadership of Minister Harito and the excellent cooperation and technical engagement of her team from the Ministry of Innovation and Public Administration. I wish to especially appreciate the team’s tireless preparation of this project.  I also thank my team in the World Bank which supported this process with exceptional commitment, and brought expertise from various parts of the World. Thank you!