Samarbetsland: South Africa

Växjö and JB Marks, South Africa

Project: Local Coalition Work for Improved Governance

The proposed three-year project is a part of the formal partnership between Växjö Municipality and JB Marks Municipality. The overall goal is to improve and strengthen political structures, coalition work and political leadership in order to thereby strengthen democracy and structures for good governance on the municipal level. This goal will be achieved by creating new guidelines, training for politicians and studying techniques for conflict management. The project activities include workshops, case studies, study visits, exchanging good examples and involving external expertise. Both municipalities see great potential in this new initiative that involves multiple political parties from both municipalities, which will thus benefit greatly from participation in the joint activities over the next three years. The project also has a strong connection to goal 17 in the sustainable development goals, which contains global solidarity, capacity development and exchange of knowledge.

Älmhult, Växjö and JB Marks, South Africa

Project: Partnership to fight gender-based violence

Forthcoming project application pertains to the current partnership between Municipality of Älmhult and City of Växjö and JB Marks Local Municipality. The proposal stretches over three years (2023-2025) and consists of 15 activities in total. This involves a wide group of stakeholders, such as multiple municipal departments, regional organisations and parts of the judicial system.

The project intends to establish an effective and municipality-specific collaboration form for support regarding gender-based violence. The collaboration form, which includes both internal and external stakeholders, intends to strengthen the multi-disciplinary work in the area. Thus, municipal organisations can minimise the number of contacts for the survivor, whilst simultaneously provide holistic support for women, but also children. The process consists of establishment, pilot-tests, evaluation and adoption of a collaboration form which accounts for improved competence and resource distribution based on the survivor’s needs.

The project’s results and successes will by 2025 relate to three different levels: (a) municipal/provincial level: strengthened capacity and knowledge regarding treatment of survivors of gender-based violence; (b) individual level: survivors are able to create sustainable alternatives to their circumstances through integrated support; and (c) societal level: strengthened democracy and social inclusion as signs of insecurity, health issues and poverty are reduced.

Cape Town’s Quest for Accessible Transportation

Key concepts: Spatial Inequality, Social Inclusion, Disability Rights

As in many countries in the world, people with disabilities in South Africa face a number of social, attitudinal, structural and infrastructure barriers that inhibit their full participation in society. Accessible transportation can be one way to overcome some of these barriers and allow for access to education, employment, services, and social opportunities, particularly in sprawling and spatially segregated cities like Cape Town. Cape Town City Council developed a bus rapid transit system called MyCiTi and a Universal Access Policy (UAP) putting forth ambitious goals for accessibility, but transportation accessibility did not extend meaningfully beyond the new bus system and there continued to be gaps between policy and practice.

The case is one where a municipal government sought to take action and leadership on a human rights issue and chose to ‘aim high’ with an ambitious policy to meet international and domestic human rights commitments and redress inequality. It also, however, highlights potential gaps between these commitments and the resources available to municipalities. Is it appropriate to set goals that seem unreachable, or should policy objectives in this area be aspirational?

Learning objectives:

  • Examine city councils’ role in disability-related issues including access to transportation and public spaces
  • Consider the experiences of people with different types of disabilities who navigate transportation in urban settings
  • Understand South Africa’s obligations towards people with disabilities
  • Consider how cities like Cape Town might meet obligations that require significant resources
  • Consider what forms of consultation and monitoring are necessary for an effective, accessible transportation system

Securing the Right to Housing and Services in eThekwini’s Informal Settlements

Key Concepts: Spatial Inequality, Right to Housing

Like other major cities in South Africa, Durban’s eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality faces a growing population fuelled by migration from both rural areas and neighbouring countries. Many new residents find shelter in informal settlements which are, although real communities, often overcrowded and unsafe, lacking critical infrastructure. The municipality’s Human Settlements Unit endeavoured to create a “quality living environment” by new costructions, but after a while changed their strategy to implement an “incremental informal settlements upgrading” program.

The case is one of a municipality responsible for addressing an ongoing and growing problem that is beyond their financial and infrastructure capacity. It encourages discussions based on the concepts of spatial inequality (particularly apartheid’s legacy), and the legal codification of the right to housing. Combined, these present a conundrum: there is a legal duty to provide housing and services, this duty is tied to a history of inequality, and this duty falls primarily on municipalities, including municipalities like eThekwini who struggle to locate the resources to meet these duties.

Primary learning objectives:

• Examine municipalities’ role in providing housing
• Identify the human rights that are connected to housing
• Consider the needs and experiences of people living in informal settlements
• Consider what consultation is necessary to develop an effective housing plan

Falkenberg, Sundays river valley och Sarah Baartman district – South Africa

Ensure rights of youth and their participation in societal development

The three municipalities are committed to achieving Agenda 2030 through a rightsbased approach and aim to work more systematically with human rights at a local level.

The partners have identified mutual challenges regarding inequality and youth exclusion in societal development in their municipalities and would like to explore further what their organisations, as duty bearers, can do to ensure that rights of youth are better protected, respected and promoted.

Ekerö och Cape Agulhas, Sydafrika

Inclusion through developing dialogue and cooperation between civil society and the municipality

The aim of the project is to investigate how to develop dialogue and cooperation between civil society (non-governmental organisations or networks and citizens) and the respective municipalities. A focus area for the cooperation will be identified, such as developing methods for citizen dialogue, youth involvement or social inclusion.

Both Cape Agulhas and Ekerö municipalities have ongoing processes which aim to develop structured dialogue and cooperation with civil society. Establishing a partnership will therefore be of mutual benefit and enable both partners to learn from each others experiences. The partners aims to create interest and understanding for how dialogue and collaboration with civil society strengthens values such as trust, participation and transparency in the municipalities and ultimately contribute towards building and sustaining democracy.

Programme structure

Inclusive Local Governance

The training consists of four compulsory workshops, of which all four are full time scheduled trainings. Periods between workshops are homebased. The total duration of the programme is 18 months.

The inception workshop will be held during week 10, March, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Sweden Phase workshop will take place during week 35, in the end of August and beginning of September 2022 in Sweden.
The follow-up workshop will take place in the end of January, 2023. (the venue to be decided)
The final workshop will take place in mid May, 2023. (the venue to be decided)
Dissemination/evaluation activity is planned for the late autumn, 2023 or January 2024. (the venue to be decided)

All workshops except the Sweden Phase workshop will be held in the participating countries. The Sweden Phase workshop will be carried out in Sweden.

Phase 1
Inception workshop
(in one of the participating countries; 5 days inclusive travels)

Johannesburg, South Africa

After confirmed selection, the participants will be contacted by a programme manager at ICLD and invited to the inception workshop. The inception workshop aims to prepare the participants for the programme, while stimulating cooperation between participants, their respective teams and relevant networks. It also provides an opportunity to explore synergies between the planned Dilemmas outlines and scope for collaborations. Based on the Dilemmas outlines project design tools will be used to develop project plans. Each team will be given a mentor/national expert from their respective country who will be following the process closely and also conducting several meetings with their teams. The tuition during the inception workshop consists of group discussions and lectures with a combination of Swedish and/or international experts from the region.

Work with the Dilemma Project (6 months, in home country)

Back in their respective local communities the participants will continue to develop their dilemma projects. Participants will actively use web-based tools for interaction with facilitators and other participants. The participant will have meetings with their mentors.

Phase 2
Sweden Phase workshop (The lenght of the workshop to be decided)

During the Swedish Phase workshop, participants will be in Sweden and will be exposed to Sweden’s and ICLDs advanced knowledge and experience of HR, participatory democracy, research etc. Tuition consists of interactive lectures and group discussions with Swedish and international experts combined with study visits, group work and discussions. Time is also allocated for review of the dilemma projects in preparations for implementation through work in small groups led by an ICLD facilitators and mentors. Social and networking activities will be arranged to make the Swedish part of the programma a positive experience.

Continuation of the work with the Dilemma Project (6 months, in home country)

Back in their respective local communities the participants will continue to work on their Dilemma Project. Participants will actively use web-based tools for interaction with facilitators and other participants. The participant will have meetings with their mentors.

Phase 3
Follow-up workshop (in one of the participating countries, 5 days inclusive travels)

A follow-up workshop seminar will be arranged in one of the participating countries, for the participants to present the progress of their Dilemma Projects. The workshop provides an opportunity for peer review and a deeper look into the Dilemma Projects. The programme of the follow-up worskhop also includes study visits and lectures provided by the ICLD and other relevant lecturers.

Phase 4
Final workshop
(in one of the participating countries; 5 days inclusive travels)

More exact location to be decided.

A final workshop seminar will be arranged in one of the participating countries, for the participants to present their Dilemma Project results. The workshop provides an opportunity for peer review and evaluation of the Dilemma Projects. The programme also includes study visits and lectures provided by the ICLD and relevant lecturers. This workshop marks the formal end of the programme.

Dissemination/Evaluation event

This event will be organised in one of the participating countries in order to spread the project outcomes; attract new municipalities; promote expertise in HR-issues and to highlight the connections between research and HR etc.

Team Visits

All teams are visited by their mentors and some teams will also be visited by ICLD programme management team. An assignment linked to the implementation of a participatory democracy method will be given to the team to work on and report back on before the last training session.The plan is also to implement peer to peer visits. (cross countries: south-south/north-south.

Learning processes

The programme employs a mixture of pedagogical methods such as lectures, group work, forum discussions, study visits and facilitated support by the assigned mentors. Support for planning, implementation and evaluation of the Dilemma projects is mainstreamed throughout the whole programme. The number of participants is limited to 25 in order to ensure a close working relationship between participants, ICLD-staff, mentors and lecturers.

Management and staff

All four phases of the International Training Programme are carried out under the support and management of the ICLD. In addition, the programme is supported locally by professional mentors/national experts being selected by the ICLD.

Admission requirements

Invited countries

Botswana, South Africa, Zambia

Target group

The programme welcomes applications from teams from the eight local governments in southern Africa within Human Rights-network consisting of at a minimum: one elected politician; one local government official and one representative of a civil society organization. Only candidates nominated by the appropriate organization (municipality, city, region) and in accordance with national rules will be considered. To achieve a good gender balance, applications from qualified women and younger persons are especially welcome. Candidates who have previously participated in an ICLD-training programme financed by Sida cannot apply for this programme.

Language requirements

The training programme will be organised and conducted in English. Proficiency in English shall be indicated in the Application form.

Health requirements

Considering the training programme consists of international travels and work away from home in a new environment, good health and ability to work without physical/health restrictions if required. It is therefore recommended that candidates undergo a medical examination before filling in the Medical Statement in the Application form.

Other requirements

Nominations are assessed on individual and organisational merits. 25 participants will be selected to the programme taking into account that the participants bring diversity to the group through their various backgrounds and professional qualifications.

The programme welcomes applications from teams from the eight HR-municipalities from Botswana, Zambia, South Africa consisting of at least one local government official, one elected politician and one representative of a civil society organization at a minimum.

The outline of the dilemma, together with the commitment of the municipality to support active involvement of the participant in the implementation of the project will be of crucial importance in the selection of participants. Once selected, the participants are required to attend all scheduled parts of the programme and a Letter of Commitment is to be signed by the nominating organisation before the start of the programme. Due to the nature of the programme, family members are not allowed to accompany participants to the programme.


All training costs pertaining to lectures, literature, documentation, study tours and certain social activities as well as accommodation and food will also be covered by the organiser. All international travel costs related to the programme will be covered by the programme organiser. Costs for personal expenses are not included and are the responsibility of the participant or his/her organisation.


Participants are responsible for obtaining all relevant visas during all scheduled parts of the programme. The costs for obtaining visas are to be borne by the participant.


All participants are covered under a group insurance while on scheduled parts of the programme. Medical and dental checkups are not included.


Participants who successfully complete all scheduled parts will be awarded a Certificate of completion of training.

Application process

Closing date for application is December 15, 2021. (Ignore the date in the application form). Application shall be made electronically, via link that have been sent out. The application should include a recent photograph and all required information and documents. An outline of the dilemma must be described in the application and include the following at a minimum:

  • Title of the dilemma
  • Background and focal problem
  • Goal

The application page contains details of what to include with your application. After an initial selection, a few chosen candidates will be invited for the interview, after which the final round of selection will take place.

ICLD operates anti-discrimination policy and all training courses are open to anyone despite the physical ability. If you have some physical disability, please let us know so we can solve all the practical issues that may arise.

The activities in the programme will be carried out on-site or digitally. If the situation occurs that we are forced to postpone workshops due to unforeseen situations, we (at the ICLD) will suggest new dates when the majority of participants can participate. If no dates are possible, ICLD will consider carrying out the workshop digitally.

Programme objectives

Inclusive Local Governance

The main objective of this training programme is that participants develop new or improved practices and/or policies for inclusive public participation in their local governments.

The programme welcomes applications from teams from the eight local governments in southern Africa within Human Rights network consisting of at a minimum: one elected politician; one local government official and one representative of a civil society organization.

Governance, in general, is made up of the processes both political and institutional through which decisions are implemented. Governance is most effective when these processes are inclusive, participatory, accountable, transparent, efficient and respect the rule of law.

Inclusive governance is particularly important at local level, where governments interact with citizens and communities. Local government officials and politicians on the local or regional level as well as civil society organisations are increasingly identified as key players in development and democratization. The civil society organisations can be grass root organisations such as youth groups, resident associations, urban poor, workers associations or other community-based organisations. This creates a unique opportunity for participatory practices and the co-creation of politics between citizens and local political leaders.

Long Term Objectives:
› Local governments in the programme are including citizens to a high degree in local decision-making processes.
› Citizens are integral partners in making, executing and evaluating policy on (insert issue).
› Human rights and Agenda 2030 are integrated in formal guidelines, routines and activities.

Intermediate Objectives:

  • Participating public officials and civil society are knowledgeable and aware of rights-based approach and Agenda 2030
  • Participants are able to identify and highlight dilemmas and possible conflicts in the context for fulfilment of various rights and goals
  • Appropriate routines are developed and put in place so that results are monitored and communicated on a regular basis
  • Participants have developed skills and capacities to impact their organizations towards a more participatory democracy
  • Participants are able to reflect on problem complexity (from a rightsbased perspective) and to work cross-silo, cross-sector, and with civil society and citizens to address complex HR problems
  • Participants have capacity to collect, process, analyze, and learn from varied forms of information regarding human rights dilemmas.


The programme has a strong focus on participatory democracy which strives to create opportunities for all members of a population to make meaningful contributions to decision-making. It enables citizens to have a direct role in decision making that affects them, particularly at the community level, where citizens and officials engage as more equal partners in more inclusive, transparent and accountable processes aimed at ensuring greater citizen participation, particularly among women, underrepresented and marginalised groups.

Areas of expertise included in the Programme to achieve the intermediate objectives:

  • Knowledge on the role of citizen participation in democratic local governance
  • Citizen´s participation methods in accordance with HRBA
  • An increased understanding of HRBA complexity and cpability to identify HR dilemmas as well as complexities and dilemmas within SDGs
  • Learning about human right problems and dilemmas (and how local governments perceive, define and address these problems). This involves challenging participants assumptions, supporting them to develop new hypotheses and ideas, and gathering how to gather evidence to guide thinking and action.
  • Training in leadership, strategic planning and communication
  • Exposure to different political landscapes and different leadership styles
  • Study-visits in a Swedish municipality or region
  • Support in disseminating key results to other local governments, nationally and internationally
  • Help the participants to fully utilize the power and influence of their position in their local community
  • Strengthen the participants as a role models to encourage political participation among underrepresented and marginalized groups
  • Give the participants access to relevant networks that fit their work positions.


  • Through a series of trainings, study visits, lectures and workshops
  • By Identifying dilemmas and finding solutions to issues faced by local government officials
  • Through peer to peer knowledge exchange both through North-South and South-South exchange and access to the Partnerships for Human Rights network within the Municipal partnership programme  
  • For those participants who are active in an ICLD Municipal partnership during the time of their training: through additional support in the implementation of the partnership’s democracy development project with a focus on a Human Rights issue
  • Through sharing of professional obstacles and successes in an inclusive environment
  • By having national mentors and experts connected to participating team
  • By sharing and analysing best participatory democracy practices from around the world
  • By offering strategic support and coaching from ICLD staff and their mentors


The participants will use the ongoing Municipal Partnership projects as learning cases to develop new or improve already existing local policies for inclusive participation. The programme will guide participants in developing these policies through a series of trainings on theory and methods of inclusive public participation including the use of dilemmas that illustrate how equity, participation, transparency and accountability interplay in participatory processes. The participants will work on a change dilemmas together during the training and implement a strategy to make the municipality equitable, participatory, transparent and accountable.

Inclusive Local Governance

The training focuses on improving practices for inclusive public participation. The participants will work on dilemmas and implement a strategy to make their municipalities equitable, participatory, transparent and accountable. By strengthening the capacity of selected teams and by strengthening the networks available to them, the training will result in new or improved practices and/or policies for inclusive public participation in the local governments.

The following countries are eligible for the programme: Botswana, South Africa, Zambia.

The programme period: 2022-2024

Participants should come from one of the eight municipalities within Human Rights network and form a team consisting of at least one elected politician in local or regional assemblies, at least one representative of a grassroot organization.