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; currently in process of completing 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, and POLIS University in Albania, on Urban Planning and Architecture, Urban Environmental Management, and Housing. She is currently attending 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 ENV.net 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.

Lorena GJANA is a Diplomat by profession holding a BSc from Eastern Mediterranean University and a MSc from Tsingua University, Beijing. From 2008-2015 she has been working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania. During the last 5 years with this institution she was posted at the Albanian Embassy in Pristine, Kosovo where she held the position of First Secretary/Consul. Her responsibilities varied from the administrative and technical supervisions to political economic and cultural bilateral affairs. On October 2017 Lorena joined Co-Plan, institute for Habitat Development where she holds the position of Communications and Advocacy Expert.

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.

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.

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.

Rovena PLAKU is an urban planner at Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development since 2017. Graduated in 2017 at the level of Master of Science degree in Urban Planning and Urban Management at Polis University in Tirana, Albania. During this period in Co-PLAN she has been engaged in different projects in the field of urban planning such as the Drafting of the General Local Planes of Belsh and Gramsh municipalities, as well as the elaboration of Detailed Local Plans of Tirana, Elbasan, Kucova, Lushnja and Fier municipalities. Currently she is enrolled in a post-graduate master in Landscape Urban Design at Polis University in Tirana.

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.

Edlira XHAFAJ works as a GIS Expert in Co-Plan since September 2017 and is engaged as a GIS2 Assistant Teacher in several study programs at Polis University. She continues her master studies in Spatial Planning and GIS Applications, holds a master’s degree in Engineering Geodesy at the Polytechnic University of Tirana, Faculty of Civil Engineering. Professional engagement involves contributing to the drafting of 2 Local Plan Plans, Detailed Local Plans, and Environmental Projects. It is focused on using GIS in urban planning and creating different GIS models.

Erjon VESHO joined Co-PLAN team in 2019 as an expert on local and regional public infrastructure. He graduated in the Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest, Romania in 2001. Erjon’s professional experience focuses on management of local government, having served as Deputy Mayor of Pogradec for a period of 10 years (2003-2013). He has also served as General Director of the Water Supply and Sewerage Company in the city of Pogradec. His portfolio includes experience with regional development at the Regional Development Agency no. 3, Korçë-Elbasan-Berat.
His field of expertise in Co-PLAN includes local and regional public service policies. He is engaged in integrated solid waste management plans in the qark of Fier municipalities as well in other projects as local policy experts and legal expertise.

Pamela META holds the position of Executive Assistant at Co-PLAN. Her academic qualifications include a Master Degree in Business Administration from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tirana, and a Law and Economics degree from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Bologna. Prior to joining Co-PLAN team, she has worked as project coordinator for an USAID Project in the water sector, and also has worked in the Ministry of Agriculture mainly focused in the coordination of the programing phase and the preparation of Project Fiches of the EU – IPA Projects for the Agricultural Sector.

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.

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