Alumni Interview #2: Evis Fico

Impressions and thoughts from SPS alumni on their experiences with the Schools of Political Studies

Evis Fico (Albania)

Evis Fico web1) Which SPS did you attend and in which year did you graduate?

I was a member of the second generation to attend the Albanian School of Political Studies in 2008.

2) How did you first hear about the Schools of Political Studies and what persuaded you to apply?

Good friends are one of the best channels of information. I learned about the School via them and of course I applied immediately. The mission of the school was very different from any other programme implemented in Albania. It was very practical and complied with my expectations after my return to Albania in winter 2005. With a specialization in Southeast European Studies and a degree in Law, my professional challenge was to get into the very tough community of political and civic leaders. Secondly, as a young professional and a new civil servant, I wanted to be active in the decision-making process.

3) What was your most memorable experience during the training cycle?

The most memorable experience was a discussion with Professor John Jackson on leadership lectures. I asked him about a model in leadership and he answered there were no models of leaders. That afternoon we visited the area of Butrinti and I was telling a story to my colleagues. They were all eyes and ears on me. Professor Jackson said “Evis, that’s a good step of leadership in community, influencing staff and building relationships even during a discussion.” I took on the lesson: there are no models.

4) Did you come to the World Forum for Democracy? If so, what were your impressions?

Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to participate in the World Forum for Democracy but of course I would be more than happy to participate in the future.

5) If you could give one piece of advice for those about to start the new training cycle what would it be?

One piece of advice? Do you like to be active and to contribute to the challenges of democratisation, decision-making processes, or being a voice in political or civic processes? That is where the Schools of Political Studies can help you to widen your understanding of good governance, such as rule of law, legitimacy, transparency, accountability, etc. It will also enhance your ability to participate in open public dialogue and debate. For example, although I am not strictly a leader but I actively take part in processes organised by the Albanian School, by the Swiss Embassy, the Foundation for Open Society and so on.

6) What are you up to nowadays?

I am currently working as an expert in the Albanian public administration (since 2006), in the field of employment services and migration. My most recent paper was a brief on the enhancement of policies at local levels. The theme of this paper was “the reintegration of young children returned from migration in the community.” I would like to add that the Schools of Political Studies have a unique approach to knowledge and opportunities, allowing for an exchange of views with talented lecturers and colleagues in many areas of life. They are Schools in which each member draws professional and personal integrity within a community of intellectuals. I am not a leader in politics, but professionally, every day, I work in the spirit that the School gave me.