A SWOT analysis for Spaç

Working in small groups on a SWOT analysis of Spaç prison | Punë në grup - analiza SWOT mbi gjëndjen në Spaç

Working in small groups on a SWOT analysis of Spaç prison

The current condition of the former prison of Spaç is sometimes closely linked with the local context and at other times with the dynamics of the larger national context. The site is under the influence of different economic, social and political processes that are taking place within society today. In order to get an idea of the current strategic situation of the site, participants of the first workshop conducted a SWOT analysis. This method provides a quick picture of the general context surrounding the site by looking at four areas:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

During the workshop, participants broke into three small groups to discuss these aspects, coming together at the end of the session to compile a joint SWOT analysis, showing the existing situation of Spaç itself, as well as the larger context surrounding it.

Take a look at the following results of the exercise, and leave a comment if you feel that they are missing any important elements:

Strengths:

  1. History of Spaç and the heritage of the region where it is located (Mirdita)
  2. The still untouched nature that surrounds Spaç
  3. Existing infrastructure, which still gives the sense of a place of Communist persecution and which can evoke a strong impression from visitors (the road to the former prison, the buildings and interior spaces, the mines, etc.)
  4. The subject of Spaç is known and perceived as an important national issue
  5. Existence of local will to protect and revitalize Spaç as a site of memory
  6. Existence of a legal framework for the protection of the former prison of Spaç
  7. Strong intangible connection between the local community and Spaç
  8. Existence of supportive NGOs actively engaged in saving the former prison of Spaç

Weaknesses:

  1. Irreversible degradation of the existing infrastructure inside the former prison
  2. Weak infrastructure for basic services (water, sewer/drainage, roads, etc.)
  3. Gradual disappearance of witnesses to the facts of life in Spaç (degradation of objects and passing away of those people who have once been there)
  4. Negligence by governmental structures, including those that represent the former-persecuted themselves, for implementing concrete ideas at the site
  5. Relative isolation and distance from the primary urban centers
  6. Limited economic possibilities for maintenance
  7. Limited economic opportunities for investment in and around the former prison
  8. Lack of information and awareness among youth

Opportunities:

  1. ‘Musealization’ of the former prison of Spaç (turning the site into a museum)
  2. Tourism development in the zone
  3. Existence of interested donors
  4. Intellectual potential from locals, people from the region (Mirdita) and former Spaç prisoners who today are public figures
  5. Readiness and engagement of some of the former prisoners to make the Spaç issue a priority again
  6. Coordination and cooperation of interest groups
  7. Promotion, advertisement and publicity of the issue of Spaç
  8. Involvement in the system of maintenance and investment of economic actors that are interested in exploiting area mines (partnership)

Threats:

  1. Younger generations are less and less interested in the problems that Spaç represents
  2. Interests of economic actors that seek to reuse the mines at the former prison for commercial purposes
  3. Further physical degradation due to natural factors
  4. Further physical degradation due to human factors
  5. Continued politicization of the issue

UPDATE: Click here to download the full report from Workshop 1.

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