RCDN collaboration with NALAS

Empowering Regional Water and Sanitation Services: NALAS’ New Collaborative Grant

The Regional Capacity Development Network (RCDN) for Water and Sanitation Services, in partnership with the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS), has embarked on an ambitious initiative aimed at enhancing the capabilities and sustainability of water and sanitation sector across the region. This new grant, by enhancing their institutional strengthening, aims to support local government associations (LGAs) and association of public utility companies (APUCs), ensuring a brighter, more efficient future in water and sanitation services.

Objective and Strategy

The overall objective of the project is to institutionally strengthen our partner LGAs and APUCs, enabling them to contribute to the sustainably of the water and sanitation sector. The grant focuses on various strategic fronts: from enhancing managing boards and secretariats to strengthening sector committees and training units. A special emphasis is placed on enhancing NALAS’ internal capabilities to tackle regional water and sanitation issues more effectively.

A Participatory Approach to Development

Throughout the planning and initial phases of RCDN+, the importance of a participatory approach was underscored, confirming the vested interest of LGAs in contributing to all four key outcomes of the project: stronger associations, adequate capacity development (CD) offerings, policy dialogue leadership, and regional services enhancement. The process involved systematic engagement with LGAs’ sectoral committees, highlighting their crucial role in ongoing water and sanitation sector (WSS) reforms. This collaborative approach ensured that reforms and strategies are not only comprehensive but also tailored to the unique needs of each association.

NALAS Commitment

Since the beginning of RCDN, NALAS has been instrumental in broadening the scope of WSS infrastructure, enhancing the sectoral commitment of municipalities through various initiatives, including the shaping of the RCDN+ Academy. This effort is designed with a dual focus on association and project development, providing regional CD services that fortify the organizational capacities of RCDN+ partner associations. Moreover, NALAS has significantly expanded its internal capacities to manage WSS issues at a regional level, demonstrated by the successful launching and delivering e-courses with participants from across the region.

Empowering LGAs and APUCs

The next two years will see NALAS supporting LGAs to implement impactful projects that promise substantial institutional advancements. The projects are structured to bolster various dimensions of the associations, including organizational management, policy-making, and operational frameworks, ensuring high-quality, effective, and sustainable CD member services. Noteworthy is the enhancement of NALAS’ Working Group on Water Management, as part of the NALAS TASK Force, and the continuous development of its e-Academy, which further enriches the regional water and sanitation discourse. 

Planned Interventions and Collaborative Exchanges

The provided RCDN support facilitates targeted interventions across several key outcomes. For instance, ALAA in Albania is focusing on their strategic planning and new membership models, alongside the establishment of a strong water and sanitation committee. Similar initiatives will be underway in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where tailored training programs for members and the WSS Committees along with strategic plans are being developed to enhance visibility, operational efficiency, and policy advocacy.


The partnership with RCDN, under this new grant exemplifies a strategic, multi-faceted approach to addressing the challenges faced by the water and sanitation sector in the region. By fostering institutional strength, promoting regional collaboration, and facilitating capacity development, this initiative not only supports the immediate needs of the LGAs and APUCs but also lays a strong foundation for sustainable growth and development in water and sanitation services across South-East Europe. Through RCDN, NALAS is setting new standards for excellence and cooperation in regional capacity building.