In preparation for Sparkassenstiftung Albania’s Strengthening Financial Literacy in the Republic of Albania project, two primary preliminary studies were carried out. These studies addressed rural development and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Albania and on assessing stakeholder needs for the financial literacy project.
Both studies will be presented during the Online national stakeholder workshop on financial inclusion, taking place on 2. November 2020. In anticipation of the workshop, let’s meet the two experts who carried out the studies, contributing to the foundation of the project.
Dr. Mihallaq Qirjo from Resource Environmental Center Albania will present his study on Rural Development and SMEs in Albania. Mihallaq Qirjo has an environmental background and is an associate professor, lecturing for the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Tirana University. He is a certified trainer for Education for Sustainable Development. His academic and research work yielded over 30 scientific papers, students’ study books and training manuals.
Dr. Qirjo leads the Resource Environmental Center Albania (REC Albania) a not for profit organisation contributing to environmental policy, education and planning in Albania. His contributions include the design and implementation of several environmental and development programs of national and regional scale in the field of policy and institution structuring, public participation, education, regional cooperation and dialogue. Several of their projects are focused on the assessment of market development and financial instruments in rural areas, protected areas and energy efficiency.
Dr. Pavel Utitz will present his findings on stakeholder needs assessment for the Strengthening Financial Literacy project. The focus of his research and assessment in Albania was to find key-stakeholders and to discuss possible areas of collaboration as well as assessing their motivation and potential future contribution to the project. Surveys and meetings with potential partners were conducted with a focus on important target groups consisting of SMEs and the rural population.
Dr. Utitz is currently working as consultant in the area of education and human resource development on a national and international level. He also teaches international politics at the University of Applied Science in Bonn, Germany. Previously, he was the Deputy Director of the Management-Academy of the German Savings Banks and a consultant for the Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation. Dr. Utitz studied economics and political sciences at the University of Cologne, Germany where he obtained his doctorate. He is married and has one daughter.