Building Damage Assessment in Albania

The devastating earthquake in 2019 revealed that Albania has a weak policy and institutional framework and low public awareness on building damage assessment. The Swiss project will support Albania in strengthening its disaster risk management institutions at national and municipal level to provide sustainable and effective building damage assessment services, leading to safer living conditions and a more disaster resilient business environment.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Disaster risk reduction DRR
01.04.2024 - 31.12.2027
CHF  1’365’000
Background Albania faces significant disaster risks. On 26 November 2019, a strong earthquake struck the country. Its impact was devastating, resulting in 1’700 collapsed buildings and 3’600 seriously damaged buildings. Following the disaster, it became apparent that the country lacks the technical expertise to implement building damage assessment effectively.
Objectives Albania’s disaster risk management institutions, equipped with technical capacities and contemporary knowledge, provide sustainable and effective building damage assessment services after earthquake, leading to safer living conditions and a more resilient business environment.
Target groups

The direct beneficiaries are:

  1. National Construction Institute, National Civil Protection Agency and municipal disaster management units which are part of disaster risk management system.
  2. Municipal civil engineers who are responsible for conducting building damage assessment at local level.

The end beneficiaries are:

Citizens and civil society, who are affected by earthquakes, including vulnerable and socially excluded groups, which are often disproportionately affected by natural hazards. 

Medium-term outcomes
  1. Policy and legal framework for postdisaster building damage assessment is improved and aligned with international standards (outcome at institutional level).
  2. National Construction Institute and municipalities possess sufficient institutional and technical capacities to conduct building damage assessment with increased transparency towards the population (outcome at institutional level).
  3. Public awareness on seismic risks, earthquake safety, post-disaster procedures and standards is enhanced (outcome at population level).

Expected results:  

1.1. Government of Albania approves the package of improved legal procedures on building damage assessment.

2.1. National Construction Institute establishes a certified training programme on post-disaster building damage assessment.

2.2. National Construction Institute disseminates the knowledge on building damage assessment to the municipal level. 

3.1. National Civil Protection Agency conducts effective public raising awareness campaigns.

3.2. Municipal civil protection units implement public awareness campaigns. 

Results from previous phases:   Swiss Humanitraian Aid conducted three follow-up missions, which reached two conclusions: (1) local population has little awareness on seismic risks, appropriate behaviour during earthquakes and relevant post-disaster mechanisms; (2) building damage assessment procedures do not meet international standards due to lack of expertise.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • The main partners are the National Construction Institute and the National Civil Protection Agency which will sign two separate contribution contracts with the Embassy of Switzerland in Albania for implementing the project.

Coordination with other projects and actors The Government of Albania’s Integrated Policy Management Group on Environment and Climate Change serves to coordinate the initiatives of development partners.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’365’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    196’792 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   1’811’400
Project phases Phase 1 01.04.2024 - 31.12.2027   (Current phase)