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Creating inclusive cities for all in Kenya

What used to be a high-tension camp where fights could erupt out of nowhere now seems to be a settlement where refugees and people from the host community can live together in harmony. – We try to learn from our history and enable an inclusive city for refugees in a manner where the host community becomes integrated instead of creating an exclusive plan for the refugees, says Mark Ewesit, Chief Officer Ministry of Lands and Urban Planning, Turkana County, Kenya

Experiences on inclusion of refugees in Uganda shared in Almedalen

Refugees bring challenges to the cities, but they also bring possibilities. During a seminar in Almedalen, ICLD focused on the role of cities as frontrunners for the democratic inclusion of refugees. “The most important aspect is to accept the refugees as a part of us, a part of humanity, as brothers and sisters”, says Joseph Ssenyonga, City Council Member, Makindye Division, Kampala, Uganda.

International training programme for gender equality seeks national mentors

The ICLD is about to launch a new International Training Programme – Gender Mainstreaming Local Democracy – based on the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal no 5 – Gender Equality. The target group is governmental officials responsible for sustainable gender equality development in their local government.

Falun and Tsumeb in joint municipal partnership project for urban planning

A municipal partnership is strengthening international democratic efforts to boost participation by and the influence of individuals. Sweden’s Falun Municipality, together with Tsumeb in Namibia, is working to solve land development issues and urban planning in both municipalities. It’s essentially an issue of democracy: “Yes, it’s important that everyone’s needs are met. Both Falun and Tsumeb are experiencing rapid growth,” says Linda Varga, international coordinator at Falun Municipality.

Almedalen: basic needs before democratic work

One of the issues that will be addressed during the ICLD seminar in Almedalen is, “How do we create inclusive cities for all?” A pretty big question with no straightforward answers, but Susanne Hedlund, Refugee Coordinator in Botkyrka Municipality, has identified an important starting point: “Housing is really important. You need something of your own to come home to before you can get to grips with the other aspects of your life,” says Susanne.

Education created respect and a platform for development

The multi-year ICLD programmes in Zimbabwe were summarised in March in Harare when 82 people were invited to a full day of swapping experiences. “They told each other about their experiences of the programme and the difference it has made to their work,” says Shannon Lövgren, one of ICLD’s Programme Officers for international training programmes.

Democratic arenas need mutual learning

Want to change the world? Talk to young people. “We have to get used to listening and asking questions. Our western perspective isn’t always the best solution. The way we think limits us, but ICLD’s focus on mutuality and reciprocity is, I believe, important, particularly when you include young people in democratic arenas,” says Ana Maria Vargas, Research Director at ICLD’s Knowledge Centre.

Local top politicians’ network grows and makes its mark

Everything from intensive media coverage to the adoption of EU treaties on equal rights for men and women is up for debate in the wake of the leadership skills training for top female politicians “Local Political Leaders – Capacitating Women in Politics”.

The Young Republic offer democratic support for young refugees

The Young Republic wants to support young refugees to take part in democratic processes. – There is always an emergency-thinking about refugees, but we often forget that the majority of refugees have long-term needs. To be included and to participate is important, says Mohammed Al-Saud, The Young Republic. He believes in the solution they are working with – non-formal education, advocacy and research, all different pieces of the same puzzle.

Inclusive Municipalities for Refugees

During Almedalen ICLD is arranging the workshop: "Inclusive Municipalities for Refugees - What can Swedish, Ugandan and Kenyan municipalities learn from each other to foster the democratic inclusion of refugees?" for local politicians and civil servants from Swedish municipalities.

Almedalen: 10 ways to create a more inclusive city for refugees - Innovations from Sweden, Kenya and Uganda

During Almedalen 2017 ICLD focused on the topic refugees and the role of cities as frontrunners for the democratic inclusion of refugees. Watch the video from the seminar from 5th of July "10 ways to create a more inclusive city for refugees - Innovations from Sweden, Kenya and Uganda".

22 new international local democracy development partnerships

A total of 22 new projects have been given the go-ahead to develop and strengthen local democracy within the framework of the development partnership.

Mutual learning strengthens local democracy

A total of 60 people with a combined total of 300 years of political experience met at Moshi in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania to take important steps forward in their country’s democratic development.

ICLD’s research has a clear focus on the new global sustainable development goals

Four research projects have received financing and will be conducted between 2017 and 2018. The new global Sustainable Development Goals were discussed during the conference “The Future of Local Government in a New Development Agenda: Cutting Edge Research, Reality Changing Policies”, in Visby, 2016. As a result of the conference, ICLD approved four research projects within the themes of migration, gender equality, inclusive cities, and transforming the city from below.

Local Governance with a Rights Based Approach

The participants of the third round of the international training program “Local Governance with a Rights Based Approach” have now been selected. Georgians are the majority in this group but there are also participants from Serbia.

Why we don’t live in an equitable society

As much as 85-95 per cent of respondents agree that they want to live in an equitable society. So why have we never achieved this? Well, because we live in a society that is governed and maintained by the norms that support the existing power structure.

Together in Zimbabwe

Civil Servants and Politicians work together in Zimbabwe reach the Sustainable Development Goals. By combining the political will with administrative authority, ICLD is able to strengthen their local working relationship.

IQA – Face to face, on site encounters with democratic development

Face to face, on site partnership encounters in the place where the democratic development that ICLD finances actually happens, enable ICLD to gain a deeper understanding of the results reported. And to pick up on the results not reported. – It is only by understanding our partners’ needs that we can develop the programme and provide them with the proper kind of support,” says Rikard Eduards, Municipal Partnerships Programme Officer.

Call for mentors - Inclusive Political Leadership

The Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) is looking for five national mentors to the International Training Programme titled Inclusive Political Leadership (IPL).

New International Training Programme - Inclusive Political Leadership

The Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) is launching a new Advanced International Training Programme titled Inclusive Political Leadership (IPL).

ICLD Fieldwork Grant

ICLDs fieldwork grant is a program for International Master students registered at a university in Sweden. The aim of the program is to provide the opportunity for students to conduct fieldwork in one of ICLDs partner countries.

Municipality of Chair – An inclusive municipality

Persons with disabilities in Macedonia are frequently marginalized in society and face numerous challenges in the enjoyment of their human rights. They are marginalized by the society, by their families and in many cases by themselves. – Expressing our rights and recognizing that we are valued members of society is essential so that we feel respected as citizens, says Sefer Selimi the president of NGO Shpresa.

Uganda – Tree nurseries in Hoima municipality

According to the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics (Uganda Statistical Abstract 2015) the country’s deforestation rate was 5,4 percent per year between 2005 and 2010. The rate seems to be increasing. A team from Hoima that follow the international training program “Municipal Financing Supporting Local Development and Local Democracy” now aim to create highly productive tree nurseries.

Lusaka - Slum upgrading

70% of Lusakas approximately 1,4 million inhabitants live in slums without proper access to basic services. Sanitation is here one of the worst problems. The capital of Zambia has 37 slums and the project run by Chongo Mangiza and Mwiche Mudala within the International Training Program “Municipal Financing Supporting Local Development and Local Democracy” targets Kanyama which is one of the biggest slums. The purpose of the project is to upgrade this slum area.

New Director of Research boosts knowledge and research

ICLD’s Knowledge Centre will receive a boost starting in 2017. The unit has a number of tasks, including providing financial support for research into local democracy, assisting the development of ICLD’s partnerships and training programmes on the basis of the latest research, and bringing together theoretical researchers and practitioners.

Training activities that are changing the world

Every year, over 1,000 people take part in one of the international training programmes run by almost 20 organisations and funded by SIDA. There are some 50 rounds of training in progress right now, and with seven programmes for politicians and administrative officials alike in over 20 countries, ICLD is one of Sweden’s largest organisers of training for sustainable change and democratic development. Recently all of Sweden’s ITP organisers got together at SIDA for a day of exchanging experience.

Networking meeting for top politicians in Uganda

40 or so politicians from 11 countries met up in early December 2016 in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The majority of them were there at the conclusion to the ICLD course, Local Political Leaders – Capacitating Women in Politics, a leadership programme aimed at elected politicians at local and regional level. A number of Swedish politicians also attended in the capacity of mentors.

First MPP application round in 2017 now open!

The first 2017 MPP application round is open from February 15th to March 15th. Municipal Partnerships are Sida-financed and designed to contribute to the development of well, and efficiently functioning, democratic local authorities in both the partner countries and Sweden.

MPP training 2017 - Registration now open

The ICLD Municipal Partnership team and the Sida Partnership Forum, would like to invite you to a three day long MPP training course in Härnosand, Sweden on the 18-20 September 2017.

New Conception of the Citizens’ Service Center

Nino Latsabidze and some of her colleagues from Tbilisi City Hall participated in ICLDs ITP program “Local Governance with a Rights Based Approach” in 2015-2016. As part of the program they worked on a change project that aimed at developing the services towards the citizens of the capital of Georgia in multiple ways. The service model the team developed turned out to be very successful and is now replicated in other municipalities of the country.

Exchange on local democracy development

Over 60 percent of the municipal partnerships are collaborations between Swedish municipalities and their counterparts in African countries. Of those, Tanzania is one of the most common. There are many reasons for both practitioners and researchers to share experiences and challenges with each other about how the development of local democracy progresses.

Equal services for all citizens of Vracar municipality

As part of the ITP: Local Government with a Rights Based Approach - Irena Lakobrija Delic, organised a project addressing inequalities in how persons with any form of disability were treated. Irena presented her experiences at Sida's day for ITP-organisers in Stockholm on the 26th of January.

Theory meets practice in our Advisory Group

All of ICLD’s operations are based on facts and knowledge. Linking an Advisory Group made up of international and Swedish researchers to the Knowledge Centre allows ICLD to keep up to date with the latest research findings in the fields of local democracy and decentralisation.

17th N-AERUS Conference in Gothenburg

17th N-AERUS Conference: 2016 in Gothenburg. Governing, Planning and Managing the City in an Uncertain World. Cooperative Perspectives on Everyday Practices.

Programmes focusing on sustainable urban development

Town planners from Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine are taking part in a new training programme focusing on holistic and inclusive urban development through the SymbioCity Approach.

Tbilisi - Planning of city centre using SymbioCity Approach

A team from Tbilisi City Hall - the department of urban planning, participated in the first round of International Training Programme: Enabling Local Democracy and Holistic Urban Development through the SymbioCity Approach. During the training the team developed a plan for the development of one central area in Tbilisi.

New insights when partners take MP training courses together

Clearly defined problems are critical to the projects’ success and it is vital to involve all stakeholders in the process. These are just some of the key insights that the participants in ICLD’s…

Focusing on human rights

In November, 25 participants in ICLD’s international training programme focusing on human rights spent three weeks in Sweden in order to further their understanding of the four target areas, namely equality, participation, transparency, and accountability.

Agents for change, focusing on human rights

26 participants from 5 countries in Eastern Europe are currently visiting ICLD in Visby as part of our international training programme that focuses on local governance with a rights-based approach.

Democracies need strong women

Visby hosted the fourth round of the popular and much discussed training programme, organised by ICLD and aimed at leading female politicians from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

32 new international partnerships for municipalities and county councils

Hörby and Peja in Kosovo are developing a citizen dialogue on the subject of refuse collection. Västerås and Gabarone in Botswana are working with citizen dialogues and collaborations with trade and industry. These are just two of 32 new ICLD partnership projects.

Västerbotten and Yogyakarta – saving lives through citizen dialogues

Citizen dialogues have enabled the partnership between Västerbotten and Yogyakarta in Indonesia to identify ways of predicting outbreaks of dengue fever.

Why SKL invests in citizen dialogues and Municipal partnerships

Lena Langlet is responsible for citizen dialogues at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SKL. She has identified a number of reasons why citizen dialogues are vital to Swedish municipalities and county councils.

A deeper understanding of the past builds a better future

Kalmar County Museum has developed a time travel methodology used by the Kalmar County regional federation and the Cape Winelands District in South Africa as part of their municipal partnership.

Criticism paved the way for dialogue

Hörby municipality’s partnership project with Peja municipality in Kosovo taught them the value of citizen dialogue.

Ale and Ghanzi are keen to see increased public involvement

Ale municipality already has a tradition of citizen dialogues, but has entered into a partnership with Ghanzi District Council in Botswana in order to further develop this approach.

Citizen dialogues are a must in handling today’s societal problems

Hans Abrahamsson on why globalisation, migration, and urbanisation require new democratic structures.

Applications for research support is now closed

Swedish and Russian researchers were encouraged to apply for funding of research into Swedish and Russian local government. This call is now closed.

Theory meets practice in our Advisory Group

All of ICLD’s operations are based on facts and knowledge. Linking an Advisory Group made up of international and Swedish researchers to the Knowledge Centre allows ICLD to keep up to date with the latest research findings in the fields of local democracy and decentralisation.

24 new international partnerships for Swedish municipalities

Växjö and Tlokwe in South Africa are working to improve ways in which measures targeting vulnerable families are coordinated. A partnership between three municipalities – Ale in Sweden, Budesti in Moldova, and Ghanzi in Botswana – will involve working together to improve young people’s participation potential, not only in schools but across society as a whole.

Well, to whom DOES the budget process belong?

For a change agent there are a lot of challenges. Especially when it comes to trying to change well-cemented structures like the budget processes in a patriarchal society. Someone who has had her fair share of meeting these challenges, is Rozeta Aleksov. One of the 25 participants in the second round of the International Training Programme “Local Democracy and Social Sustainability with a Gender Perspective”.

Effective Solid Waste management in Haldwani

A solid waste management system in Haldwani, state of Uttrakhand in India, started off as a project for change by Neeraj Joshi. Neeraj attended the ICLD international training programme Decentralization and Good Governance with a Gender Perspective in 2012-2013. Now it is the only one project sanctioned in Uttrakhand by the government of India.

Helping left-behind children

All over the world, people from rural areas are moving into the cities to build a future for themselves. In China, the escalating level of urbanisation has resulted in children being left in the countryside when their parents move to the city to work and make a living. These children are the focus of a project in which Vara municipality in Sweden and Huangshan in eastern China have developed methods of helping the children left behind handle the position in which they find themselves.

Building something that lasts

Long before there was a formal partnership between Vushtrri in Kosovo and the Swedish town of Växjö, the two towns had a connection. Around 1,000 Kosovo Albanians live in Växjö and in 2012, Vushtrri’s mayor paid a visit to the town. It was then that the plans for a joint project were hatched.

A toolbox for success

The first partnership between Gothenburg in Sweden and Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa was formed in 1999, since when a number of instructive projects have been conducted. In 2012, the two municipalities decided to take their partnership much further than ever before.