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The COVALEX project: Capabilities Map - NALAS, DCNA

By project COVALEX staffPublished on

Through a series of articles, we will discover more about the COVALEX project from the inside.

We will look at its components, consider their strengths and how each of them is able to bring a new point of view to the program.


The Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS) is a non-profit organisation representing approximately 9,000 local authorities across 13 associations in Southeast European countries. Its objective is to promote good local governance and sustainable development in the region.

The NALAS Secretariat, based in Skopje, is responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of activities.

Representation and Policy-making

  • The association carries out the representation of small government entities, allowing them to have greater group influence within the policies and laws that affect local authorities, in addition to facilitating requests for help from international actors.

    In 2019, three municipalities in Albania (Tirana, Durrës and Krujë) were provided support in the earthquake response operations, with experts from North Macedonia, Slovenia and Turkey, with the assistance of ZELS, SOS and MMU.

  • They hold a huge track record of helping create action plans as well as proposals on legislation, both current and new, due to the strong administrative capabilities they already possess.

    Their extensive knowledge and experience may serve as a reference and support when establishing community plans, cooperation agreements with experts, national authorities and legal entities.


Training and Networking

  • NALAS offers a wide range of training and technical assistance programs for local authorities in South East Europe. They organise events such as discussion forums and seminars that promote exchange between local authorities.

    2020 - Upgraded the NALAS e-Academy course in Introduction to Gender Mainstreaming at Local Level. Available in four new languages (Serbian, Turkish, Albanian and Macedonian) and thanks to the collaboration with the Association of Ukrainian Cities, it was translated, adapted and delivered to local governments in Ukraine.

  • It provides financial support to be able to attend and participate in the activities carried out, as well as the maintenance of a database of these regional authorities, which can be used to search for partners and cooperation opportunities.

Due to their capabilities and history, they are the main people in charge of the development of both online training and the implementation of training cycles, with a toolbox of interactive solutions and reports of the packages.

DCNA (Disaster Competence Network Austria) is a cooperation platform of universities and research institutions in the field of security and disaster research. Its goal is to transfer scientific knowledge into practice through collaborative research and education activities with stakeholders, as well as to provide information to decision-makers in the event of a disaster.

Research and education

  • Organises and funds research and education projects in the field of security and hazard analysis. These projects address a wide range of topics, from prevention to crisis management.

    The published materials are also available to the public and can be used to learn more about the field.

    The organisation is committed to transferring scientific knowledge into practice and to helping to make Austria and Europe more resilient to disasters.

    Within the project, DCNA is in charge of completing and maintaining the project library, as well as defining the innovation potential with a resilient lab.


  • Promotes cooperation between universities, research institutions, and stakeholders. This is done through events, publications, and joint projects.

    The platform of the Civil Protection Knowledge Network - Middle East (HEUREKA) is one the best examples of cooperation. It aims to promote the transfer of knowledge between the actors of disaster protection and disaster management and humanitarian aid organisations in order to improve cooperation, compatibility and complementarity between experts and the neighbouring countries in the Middle East.

    DCNA deals with the creation of an evaluation and monitoring system, whereby a high quality level of the work packages can be guaranteed. DCNA's tasks also include identifying risks and the implementation of emergency plans.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or DG ECHO. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.



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Climate change

Thematic series

Prevention and preparedness activities