Co-PLAN Staff

Dritan SHUTINA PhD is the Executive Director of Co-PLAN, the Institute for Habitat Development, since 2005, which he co-funded back in 1995. He is also one of the founders of Polis University, the International School of Architecture and Urban Development Policies, where he teaches strategic planning. He graduated in Civil Engineering and furthered his postgraduate studies in Public Policy, Land and Building Valuation, Urban and City Development, both in European and American institutions. He has also completed his doctoral studies in the field of architecture and urban planning. Institutional and Governance Expert, with over 20 years of experience in matters of governance, strategic planning, participatory processes, and regional development. Extensive experience in the capacity of Regional Development and Governance Expert in projects such as the Regional Development Program, and Integrated Support for Decentralization. Collaborated with numerous donor funded programs / projects (both in Albania and the wider region) including with the EU, the World Bank, Austrian Development Agency, Swiss development Cooperation, USAID, the Dutch Government, etc.

Rudina TOTO PhD is an expert in Urban and Environmental Management decentralization and good governance with over 17 years of professional experience. She has strong Urban and Regional Planning and Environmental Management background, both by education and experience. She conducted her studies in the Polytechnic University of Tirana, Wageningen University and Research Centre and IHS-Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Urban Planning and Architecture, Urban Environmental Management, and Housing. She has completed her PhD Studies from a joint program of POLIS University, Albania and Ferrara University in Italy. She has management experience and technical expertise in projects for preparing urban regulatory plans and city development strategies, spatial plans, building territorial information systems, and expertise in matters of governance regionalization and regional development. Strong experience in participatory planning, solid waste management and environmental systems analysis; in strategic environmental assessments; in policy and research studies, institutional analysis, feasibility analysis and social assessments.

Anila BEJKO is an Expert in Public Finances and Urban Management, PhD candidate on Urban Development Policies. Strong Urban Management, Governance and Public Finance background, all by education and experience. Contribute in policymaking and policy dialogue for Territorial Administrative Reform, Decentralization and Fiscal Decentralization issues, Municipal Finance Management practices, etc. Management and expertise in projects for preparing strategic development plans, urban regulatory plans, mid-term budgeting programs, capital investment plans, land management instruments and feasibility studies. Vast experience with Public Private Partnerships, Land Management, Infrastructure Development & Rehabilitation and Cost Controlling of projects. Academic qualifications also include Second Level Master in Business Administration and postgraduate studies in Public Finance, Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations & Local Financial Management, and Informal Settlement Regularization & Land Management. Mrs. Gjika is Head of Local and Regional Governance Unit in Co-PLAN and Lecture at POLIS University.

Ogerta GJIKNURI is part of Co-PLAN since 2010, as a finance management expert. She assists in the financial policy development of the organization and is engaged in training on financial management for NPO’s and private parties. She is the core support of Co-PLAN in maintaining an efficient financial system, an adequate internal financial monitoring and reporting system, as well as a transparent internal auditing system for projects. Ogerta has also actively been included in the financial planning and management of EU-funded projects, like ‘Developing and Adapting Professional Programs for Energy Efficiency in the Western Balkans’, ‘Development of the in West Balkan and Turkey; ‘City for Citizens, Citizens for City’; ‘Traffic Safety Cultures and the Safe Systems Approach – Towards a Cultural Change Research and Innovation Agenda for Road Safety’, etc.

Aida CIRO is a professional in the field of strategic communication with a focus on urban development processes and is engaged in numerous projects targeting city-making or the improvement of certain city related issues, such as: participatory planning, urban activism, and networking, facilitation/moderation of trainings and workshops, and facilitation of knowledge building and sharing using online and offline tools. She has an extensive experience working with various target groups, crucial to the process of change in a city, such as vulnerable communities, local government authorities, media, and the private sector.

Merita TOSKA PhD joined Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development in 2015 as an Expert for Economic Development and Finances, after 8 years of experience in the Bank of Albania. She graduated in “Business and Economics” in 2004 and obtained the second level degree on “Economics and Business Administration” from the University of Bologna, Italy in 2007. In 2014, she was awarded the PhD degree in “Financial Markets and Intermediaries” from the same university. She’s been author and co-author of various research articles over time among which: “Balkan Countries: the Path to Nominal (Economic) Convergence’, 2016; Towards Regional Operational Programing, 2016 etc. Her main fields of expertise and research interests include: economic and financial development, public finances management, entrepreneurship and business planning etc.

Zenel BAJRAMI, Expert in Territorial Governance Completed his bachelor studies in City and Regional Planning Department, at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. His further qualifications include master planning, real estate, environmental management, transportation planning. Working for Co-PLAN since 2011, where he engages in several projects concerned with the application of the new legislation on territorial planning. Played a substantial role in the preparation of the general local territorial plans for a number of municipalities in the country.
He is an assistant lecturer at POLIS University on courses in policy making, regional and urban developing strategies and urban design. His interest include: regional planning, town planning and especially in urban design, urban morphology and “macro-form” of the growing dynamic Albanian cities.

Ledio ALLKJA is working in Co-Plan as an Urban Planner. He is a PhD candidate at TU Vienna. He conducted his bachelor studies at the University of West of England in Bristol on Property Development and Planning. Afterwards, continued his master at Radboud University Nijmegen on European Spatial and Environmental Planning. Once graduated Ledio started working as an assistant lecturer and planning practitioner at POLIS University. Besides lecturing and research, he has been involved in drafting several general local plans such as Zagoria, Krume, Shkoder. In addition, Ledio has also worked for two years at the Ministry of Urban Development in Tirana as the Head of the Sector for Regional and Local Planning. He has been involved in drafting the National Spatial Plan of Albania and the Inter-Sectorial Regional Plan for Tirane-Durres.

Rodion GJOKA, a qualified Environmental Expert, leading the Urban Environmental Management Unit at Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development. Over 6 Years of extensive experience in development works, projects, studies, programs and environmental policies as well in environmental evaluation and analysis. Involved in early career with social inclusion, non-formal education and sustainability to continue with regional and local development with a vast focus on infrastructure development of waste management, water supply, wastewater, public lightning, energy efficiency, environmental protection, historical and archaeological legacy protection, helping civil society in raising their knowledge and capacities, campaign development, evaluation methodologies and techniques, grant evaluation and management, research methods and data analysis, reporting and resource management.

Fiona IMAMI is an Urban Planner, working for Co-PLAN, since 2014. Holds a master degree in Housing and Land Management, and a Msc. in Urban Planning and Management, both from Polis University. Currently involved as Local Expert on Regional Development, in Regional Development Program in Albania. Her prior experiences include: technical expertise in assessing economic development situations, analysing territorial issues, and compiling of strategies as part of the team developing eight General Local Territorial Plans for Albanian Municipalities. She is a part time lecturer at POLIS University. Co-authored numerous publications including: “Technical Manual for Planning and Territorial Development” (2015) , “Development Strategy for the territory of Lushnja Municipality” (2016), “Designation of the Development Regions of Albania” (2015), “General Local Territorial Plan of Mat Municipality” (2017) etc.

Kejt DHRAMI is currently working as an urban planning expert in the Urban and Regional Management Department of Co-Plan, and as a lecturer and researcher at Polis University. Her fields of expertise span from spatial, regional and urban planning and governance, to land management and land market policies. She has attended her Master’s studies in Urban Planning and Management and currently is a PhD candidate in the IDAUP program, University of Ferrara and Polis University. Kejt has extensive work experience in designing local plans, in urban scale projects and socio-economic surveys, regional development programs, community and tourism development projects, etc. Her knowledge was enhanced through a series of academic exchange programs, trainings and international conferences.

Anisa DOKO is a Finance Assistant at Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development. Her qualifications are a second level degree for Accounting & Finance at Tirana University, Economy Faculty and a Professional Master at European University of Tirana for Banking and Insurance Institutions. She has extended experience as Financial Specialist for more than 6 years at a non-banking micro-credit Institution, dealing with financial transactions; operational system and reporting balance sheets. Further she has worked as Internal Auditor for more than two years, giving risk assurance and evaluating potential fraud at a private sector holding. Anisa withholds in-depth knowledge of functional keys of Banking and Insurance system too.

Esmerina HIDRI is a research assistant at Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development. Esmerina has studied Urban Planning at Polis University. Throughout the academic years she has been involved in projects of various levels within and outside the university. Her studies have allowed her to have different experiences and practices from the Detailed Local Plan to the Development of Sustainable Models and the development of new urban planning methodologies applied in the field of tourism development, supported by various projects. Emphasizing also the practical / professional and cultural aspect of being part of Student Mobility, Erasmus + KA1, was an experience that made her gain flexibility in working with other professionals and developing her knowledge of planning and promoting the cultural landscape.

Gerti DELLI graduated in Urban Planning at Polis University in June 2013. His diploma thesis was “Transit of Goods between the Seaside and Infrastruture of Albania” which focused on how important is the role of maritime transportation in the economy of the country. Since his gratuation, he has been working for Co-PLAN as an Urban Planner focusing in territorial planning and urban transportation . From 2015 is part of TraSaCu project ( Horizon 2020). This project is focused in the culture of transportation for different cities. Gerti is a Lector Assistant at Polis University in field of “Policy of Transportation and Traffic Management”.

Imeldi SOKOLI is an Urban Planner at Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development, since 2015. Mainly his work experience consists of drafting the documents of Local General Plans of Elbasan, Fier, Kucova, Lushnja, Berat and Mat Municipalities in Albania.
Mr. Sokoli is graduated in 2014, at the level of Master of Science degree, in Urban Planning and Management with excellent results in Polis University in Tirana, Albania. Graduated with the diploma thesis: Drafting a spatial vision for the cross-border region of Shkodra- Podgorica and the surrounding areas of the Shkodra Lake, through the Cross-border Cooperation Instrument.

Oreola CALIQI graduated from the University of Tirana, in the Faculty of Economy for Business Administration. She has work experience as accountant near private entity and non for profit organization. Due to her experience she has knowledge about the Law of Accountability, Tax Procedures, Tax on Contractors Income, Social and Health Insurance Contribution. Mrs. Caliqi is experienced in maintaining and controlling the general ledger accounts and financial transactions, applying the generally accepted accounting principles that includes analytical work and review of financial records, preparing financial statements for different companies. Her knowledge is expanded as well in the practices to be followed and the relation that should be kept with the different institutions and banks.

Pranvera RIRA holds the position of Executive Assistant at Co-PLAN. Her academic qualifications include a Master in Economics and Agribusiness from the Faculty of Economics of the Agricultural University of Tirana. Priot to joining the Co-PLAN team, she was engaged in the management of an art institution in Tirana as well as with the Rotaract Club Tirana.

Altion QIRKO has been working in Co-PLAN as administration driver since 2008. Thanks to his long experience in Co-PLAN, he knows how to solve and manage work even in difficult situations.

Paola ZHAMO is a Junior Environmental Expert at Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development. She has an academic background in Urban Planning and Management from Polis University and has been often involved in  Co-PLAN projects; initially working part-time during her studies and now as a full time staff. By combining her hands-on personality with her interest in environmental topics, she was involved with the “Green Lungs for our cities” project helping municipalities assess the benefits of adopting urban greening. Additionally, Paola has been part of yet another EU-funded project, “BRIGAID”, at the National Territorial Planning Agency in Albania, where she further developed her skills in technical urban and environmental planning. Paola’s other special interests include urban resilience and climate change.

Viktor MËRKURI is an Environmental Legal Services expert with professional and academic lab and fieldwork experience in Greece, Italy and Slovakia in Legal Environmental issue. He conducted his studies at European University of Tirana both bachelor and masters level, and received the admission to practice Law from National Bar Association of Albania. He served as a National Legal Expert for United Nations Environmental Program on Developing the capacities of Albania for an effective engagement with the Green Climate Fund, and National Environmental Expert for United Nations Developing Program for the implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing in the Republic of Albania. He was an internal Lecturer of the Law Faculty of the EUT for several years, Project Manager of Foundation for Economic Freedom and UET Consulting and Enterprise, and Director of Project and Entrepreneurship Support for Albanian Diaspora. His fields of expertise include performing Environmental and Social Due Diligence and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, Solid waste management systems in low- and middle-income countries; Environmental analysis of Albania’s climate policy, regulatory measures, and Government Legal Policies in Environment Agenda with Focus on Waste Management and Recycling within EU Circular Economy.

Klesta GALANXHI offers extensive experience in diverse projects, her focus being Design and Photography. She is fluent in visual content creation, graphic and digital design, video content for promotional and non-promotional projects for offline channels and online such as social media and web. Klesta joined the co-PLAN team in 2020 as a member of the Communication Department. She currently holds the role of Multimedia Expert and is responsible for the creation of visual content. Klesta began her professional career at the University of Albania as a part-time lecturer in the Design Department. Later she worked at well-known Video and Advertising Companies , TV post-production, online magazines as a graphic designer ecc. Klesta has a Master’s Degree and a Bachelor Degree from the University of Arts, Tirana, for Multimedia and Visual Art.

Desjana GRYMSHI is a Junior Media and Communication Expert at Co-PLAN, having joined the Communication team recently. She has studied Agribusiness Management at the Agricultural University of Tirana, and also holds a Master of Science in Agro-food Marketing from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ), Spain. During her stay in Spain, she served as Student Affairs Coordinator at IAMZ and Research Fellow at the University of Extremadura. She has also served as an intern at the Parliamentary Research Service at Albanian Parliament.

Elvis NDREKA is an Environmental Engineer, graduated from the Polytechnic University of Tirana and works as an Environmental Expert at the Environment Unit in Co-PLAN. His experience consists of over 8 years of working in several fields related to the public sector, construction sector and nonprofit organizations which are very active within country. During this period, he has been involved in local planning and management developments, in addition he has taken part in a numerous dynamic developments in the fields of infrastructure as well as civil and industrial construction and environment, engaging in water supply projects, civil and industrial construction by conducting technical expertise, analytical, environmental and energy assessment and audit, project implementation consultancy and asset management for water supply. He is certified as an environmental expert, as a hvac installations project designer and auditor of energy systems.

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