Programme Index Listing

Main implementer
Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
Other implementers
Partners Albania
2013 - 2021 (Phase I & II)
Total budget
US $ 13.3 million
Annual budget
US $ 1.6 million avg
External links

To improve opportunities for young Albanian women and men to find sustainable employment. One in three (33 per cent) of young Albanian’s between the age of 15 and 29 are unemployed compared to only 13 per cent of 30 to 64 year-olds (see media case study in resources section below). 

The project focuses on: 

  • fostering job creation through the development of the private sector
  • improving young people’s access to quality labour market information and services

Phase 3 (2021-2025) will build on the previous phases with the overarching activities focusing on knowledge management in the fields of innovation, sustainability, inclusiveness and scaling up/institutionalisation. 
Further information will be provided in due course.

Market systems focus

Agro-processing, tourism, ICT

Fostering private sector growth in the agro-processing, tourism and ICT sectors. Selection criteria were growth potential, relevance for youth, and intervention potential (feasibility of stimulating systemic change). 

  • Agro-processing for its young workforce, growth potential (as consumer demand more processed food), the importance and feasibility of an intervention, and the perspectives it offers in terms of gender, rural outreach and government alignment.
  • Tourism for its relevance (32,000 young employees) and growth potential (slightly lower than agro-processing due to current overcapacity of hotels) and compelling set of intervention.
  • ICT because 80 per cent of its workforce is under 30, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is booming but could only sustain similar growth rates in the future if it succeeds in new markets (business process, English-speaking services) – a high-risk, high-reward undertaking for RisiAlbania.

Note: These sectors are grouped under one market system because the team sees the private sector as the market system.

RisiAlbania also puts special emphasis on the development of two cross-cutting, support market systems: skills and foreign direct investment.

Labour market information and inter-mediation services

Young men and women and businesses make use of more and improved labour market information and inter-mediation services.

The market system in this case is the labour/jobs information and services system: “When we talk about labour market information and inter-mediation services (both public and private) we cannot distinguish between different sectors – the idea is to make private and public job matching services more effective and instil a culture where media reports regularly on labour market information” (RisiAlbania team).

Programme interventions

Agro-processing, tourism, ICT


  • Tourism product development: improving the quality of Albania’s tourism product offer by introducing innovative tools that encourage the development and diversification of tourism products.
  • Certification: establish a standard system for training and certification of tourist guides in Albania.


  • Business support services: improve access to finance for agro-processors by strengthening information tools available to banks and other financial institutions.
  • Business support services: facilitate agro-processors’ access to organic markets through improved provision of certification services.
  • Quality: introduction of new post-harvest treatment process in order to enhance the quality of medicinal and aromatic plants.


  • Skills development: support the establishment of Albania’s first massive open online course (Almooc), which seeks to generate a pipeline of Albanian ICT software engineers. 
  • Capacity building: strengthen the role of Albania’s largest ICT association in providing services to its members and accessing foreign markets.
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO): promotion - foster awareness of the BPO sector among key public and private stakeholders in Albania and strengthen their ability to promote and advocate for the sector. 


  • Skills development: facilitate greater collaboration between the private and public sectors to ensure job-seekers meet the skills requirement of the private sector.
  • Fostering foreign direct investment: facilitate the diversification of services of the country’s foreign investors’ association.    

Labour market information and inter-mediation services

Labour Market Information

  • Media: introduce innovative and attractive ways to disseminate labor market information for youth, by supporting media houses to commercially develop and launch radio, TV, print media and online products on labour market information.

Labour market services

  • Private job-matching services: develop business models of private job-matching services to diversify and professionalise their services to job seekers and employers.
  • Public employment services: enhance the performance of public employment bureaus by introducing improved job matching services and management systems.  
    Note: Public employment bureaus are public employment agencies which help registered unemployed people find a job; they provide counselling and training among other services.

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)

Agro-processing, tourism, ICT

Results from June 2017:

  • 800 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs created (held by more than 1,120 people, 53 per cent women).
  • USD $6’890,000 in private sector investment generated. 
  • 9,700 youth have improved their skills in the targeted sectors (Measured in terms of youths who have completed a given course satisfactorily).

Labour market information and inter-mediation services

  • 5,378 (51 per cent women) youth have found a job through the supported public and private job-matching services.
  • 86,579 ( 51 per cent women) youth  use public and private job-matching services.
  • 4,060 businesses use public and private intermediation services.
  • 400 media products (TV, print, online, radio) disseminated on labour market information.
  • Labour market information was disseminated to well over 110,000 people, with 78,000 people changing their perception about jobs and careers and 35,000 reporting that the media products have changed their employment seeking behaviour. Regarding sustainability: two media outlets continue to produce and disseminate labour market information (LMI) after the project’s support and four have developed new LMI products independently of project support.

[published Dec. 2017]