The Bartlett School of Planning


Lorna Qesteri

Research subject

Thesis title: Locality matters: Local and Regional Development Agencies role in fostering sustainable development. Case studies from Albania

Primary supervisor: Professor John Tomaney
Secondary supervisor: Professor Mike Raco
Starting date: October 2014
Projected completion date: October 2017 

Regional and local development has been part of sustainable development debates for over fifty years now. In the 'troubled' process of local and regional development, development agencies (DAs) have played a role in assisting governments to sort, design and implement suitable development strategies.

In Albania development agencies were initially established at the end of the communist regime in the early nineties. Their presence encompassed the majority of Albanian regions and has ever since changed and transformed.

This research will examine typology, functions and assess the impact that DAs have had in regional and local development in Albania. This is particularly important at this point in time as the Government of Albania, through the Ministry of Local Issues, is implementing an administrative and territorial reform reviewing the number, functions and competences of local governments. Therefore the research might be of interest while deciding the institutionalisation, replication or transformation of DAs to better assist the newly reformed government units. 


Lorna has twelve years of progressive professional experience in the field of sustainable development, working mostly as a practitioner but also as an academic. Some of her main professional experiences are with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Vision and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

Her focus has been primarily local and regional development, decentralization and local development agencies. She has worked as a lecturer in Development Economics in Lithuania and Albania. She has also considerable field work experience with youth and women empowerment in Ecuador, Lithuania, Albania and Kosovo.