Who Gets the Big Money in Construction: Tracking Permits and Companies

What problem are you solving?:

Construction is a lucrative industry in Albania making up 14.3% of the country’s GDP and enjoying high profit margins. The construction industry is viewed by the public and media as a playground of shady deals, corrupt affairs, distorted market rules, and unaccountability. Fierce accusations are exchanged between opposing political groups regarding corruption in construction projects but somehow the public debate ends there. The public perception is that bribes are the accepted method of solving issues for construction companies.

There is little or no public information available about permit procedures and no tracking system for construction projects. There is a gap in documenting procedures and identifying actors in the construction field. Media and the general public can not find information about the way building licensing and permits are provided.

Describe your idea:

The project aims to add transparency to an important sector for the socio-economic life in Albania. It will document the way construction permits are processed and it will publish meaningful information about who gets permits and at what values. The website will invite the media, general public, urban development specialists and construction companies to participate in discussion forums, post complaints and report cases of abuse.

Initially the website will focus on the main cities with the potential to expand later. We will use online and offline sources and process raw data through online analytical tools and programming for producing aggregated data and producing meaningful findings. The website will serve as a main source of information for the media given the lack of similar sources. A section will be set up in order to receive feedback from users regarding the information they are interested in.

What country will this operate in?: Albania

Who are you?:

The Institute for Development Research and Alternatives (IDRA) is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-partisan independent think-tank established by a group of experienced researchers in 2000. As a public policy institute, IDRA promotes the values of freedom and democracy, free market economy, and civil society, and continuously serves the democratization of the Albanian society and the process of integration into the European Union.
IDRA combines successfully the fields of research, advocacy and education.
The Institute for Development Research and Alternatives aims to bring innovation and concrete solutions for the development of the Albanian society and the integration of democratic values.
IDRA serves as a provider of expertise and an effectual bridge between the community and institutions, by being attentive to the problems faced by the Albanian society and by enhancing cooperation and dialogue in a nonpartisan, ethical, and professional way.