Partner country: Botswana

Youth Issues in Focus: Francistown and Lund

In mid-May, Francistown City Council visited Lund Municipality as part of their municipal partnership. The visit’s program centered around the partnership’s key themes – human rights, democracy, and youth issues. The purpose of Francistown’s visit to Lund was to exchange experiences and gain inspiration.

Guset writers: Simon Berg and Emma Lewin

The partnership between Francistown and Lund is now in its third and final year, with an increased focus on youth issues. The study visit’s program addressed the challenges identified by Francistown regarding young people and young adults, such as rising drug abuse, low voter turnout, and high unemployment rates. Lund Municipality welcomed Francistown on May 13, 2024, with bright spring weather, a significant improvement from their previous visit in October.

One morning was dedicated entirely to youth entrepreneurship. Lund’s summer internship initiative, the Summer Entrepreneurs, was showcased, and participants also learned about Junior Achievement and listened to Emil Appelgren and Lukas Hjortberg pitch their company, N-viron. Observing young, passionate entrepreneurs and learning about various ways to empower youth through entrepreneurship was truly inspiring.

The concept of Summer Entrepreneurs is presented to the participants. Photo: Lund Municipality

Francistown also participated in the Youth Forum held at The Town Hall in Lund. This spring’s theme was “Level Up Democracy, where gaming meets democracy” – a theme chosen by the youth themselves. The event was hosted by representatives from Lund’s Young Voices (a youth advisory group to the municipality). Approximately 150 young people attended the Youth Forum, where they listened to a panel discussion on e-sports and gaming, mingled with politicians and civil society representatives, and participated in workshops.

Youth Forum at Lund City Hall on May 17th. Photo: Lund Municipality

Recreational Activities – A Method to Empower Youth through Collaboration

Lund Municipality has introduced a new Youth Program that emphasizes informal learning, co-creation, and youth-produced activities. Francistown appreciates how Lund takes a comprehensive approach to youth issues and strives to collaborate with young people rather than doing things for them. This approach is something Francistown plans to adopt.

Among the many insightful study visits during the week, some stood out more. A visit to Lund’s School of Arts highlighted a key insight that permeated the rest of the visit: recreational activities can be used to prevent young people from going astray. Activities such as culture and sports have the power to unite and strengthen both the group and the individual. An especially interesting presentation was given by Jessica Stegermaier, Head of Sustainability at FC Rosengård, who spoke about their various social projects. One notable project is Football for Life in South Africa, which uses football to address social problems and promote youth empowerment.

Text: Simon Berg and Emma Lewin, Lund municipality

Sustainable Development Goals
10 - Reduced inequalities
Child rights and youth participation
Swedish partner
Lunds kommun
International partner
Franscistown City Council

Palapye district

Palapye District Council is faced with a problem of absorption of youth living with disabilities not given an opportunity to penetrate the job market after completion of study from the Special Education Unit even if they possess skills, due to stigma and discrimination associated with their disabilities.

Therefor they want to lobby for all policies to encompass the inclusion of minorities and underrepresented groups in regard to absorption in the work place, and to consider harmonization of policies that are tailor made for minorities and under-represented groups.

They also want to empower minorities and underrepresented groups (especially youth living with disabilities) by creating a platform where they can be absorbed by the work market, and enable the business community to absorb youth living with disabilities as employees.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
Child rights and youth participationHuman RightsParticipatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting
International partner
Palapye municipality

Västerås City and Gaborone City Council

Continuing the partnership between Gaborone and Västerås this is a knowledge and experience exchange project within waste management and sustainable consumption.

The overall objective is to achieve improved community resilience and a more sustainable environment in Gaborone and in Västerås.

This will be achieved by targeting three organisational areas:

  1. Political commitment – Engage the political leadership in the development of Gaborone City Council integrated solid waste management plan and the implementation of the same.
  2. Information sharing – Formulate communication plan; categorising stakeholders
  3. Inclusion of minorities and underrepresented groups – When policy formulating; consult and engage the minority and underrepresented groups.

The project will provide the partners with experience regarding project management, residents dialogue, community empowerment, public-private collaboration, and more, thus strengthening the organisations’ capacities to deal with complex challenges in the future. The residents’ awareness of how their behaviors affect local environmental health is expected to increase.

Project Area
Environment/Climate changeTechnical Services and Infrastructure
Sustainable Development Goals
11 - Sustainable cities and communities12 - Responsible consumption and production
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting
Swedish partner
Västerås Stad
International partner
Gaborone City Council

Child-Focused Cities Analytical Framework

This research project, aiming to develop an analytical tool to address the Sustainable Development Goals from a child rights perspective, is divided into multiple steps. Phase two, conducted in 2023-2024 is described first while phase 1, which served to build the conceptual groundwork for the analytical framework, is described after.

Phase 2 – Child-Focused Cities [CFC] for the Sustainable Futures Network

Regional focus: Eastern Africa / Southern Africa / Europe / Latin America The Sustainable Futures Network

Time: July 2023 – July 2024


Child-Focused Cities (CFC) brings together a group of engaged researchers epistemologically curious about the inclusion of children and youth in local democracy. The group revolves around questions of why, how, where, and under what circumstances children and young people are recognised as political subjects and crucial role-players in shaping sustainable futures.

The project will facilitate cross-sectoral exchange between local decision-makers, researchers, and practitioners by embracing the format of Research Circles. Through local partnerships with reputable professional organizations specializing in working with children and young individuals, the research will enable creative interpretation of the CFC initial concept, thus illuminating multiple geographical and cultural registers around childhood, and providing the indispensable link between local politics and research. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a toolbox as a collection of practical instruments and protocols that will be essential for advancing the CFC agenda within the Sustainable Futures Network.

Research team

  1. Jua Cilliers [Australia], School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney
  2. Paula Barros [Brazil], Escola de Arquitetura Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  3. Lynne Cairns [Scotland], Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), University of Durham
  4. Caroline Brown [Scotland],The Urban Institute, School of Energy, Geosciences, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University
  5. Predrag Milic [Serbia/Austria], Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien / Faculty of Architecture and Planning Austria
  6. Rongedzayi Fambasayi [South Africa], Play Africa Group NPC, Children’s Museum / Law and Development Research, North-West University
  7. Rejoice Katsidzira, [Zimbabwe] Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

Phase 1 – Let’s get together and make change: Towards The Child-Focused Cities Analytical Framework

Regional focus: East Africa, global

Time: October-December 2022

This study is conducted with an Impact Research Grant – stipends for projects designed to facilitate solutions to a local government’s expressed needs. The projects build on Local Democracy Labs, where local governments discuss a current issue with expert researchers.


This research ultimately aims to create a new toolkit –a relational object – that reframes the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from children’s perspectives in their respective everyday-life environments. Such a tool aims at the paradigmatic shift of the child-friendly city approaches by claiming that “friendly is not enough”! Conceptualised as the Child-Focused City Analytical Framework, the toolkit should offer guidance for analysis andaction to local governments, municipalities, and professionals within and beyond the ICLD network. In short, this project will enable a team of international scholars to revisit, contextualise, and stress-test the concept of the CFCAF, developed during the LDA2022. In this “stage zero” phase, contextualising the CFCAF to the needs of partnering local governments and professionals serves to stress-test the toolkit, jointly draw conclusions and prepare for its further development.

With a participatory approach and co-creation of results, the project encounters municipalities in their respective realities and engage in a constructive dialogue around child and youth inclusion. As a group of international scholars, the researchers will not do “research”, but “praxis: reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it” (Freire 2005: 51).

Municipal partners for this project are Livingstone and Victoria Falls, Zambia, while multiple municipalities participate as observers.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
11 - Sustainable cities and communities17 - Partnerships for the goals
Child rights and youth participationHuman RightsParticipatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting

Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in Botswana – The City of Gaborone’s role

Botswana stands out in the African context for its unique approach to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) issues. In addition to societal stigma, their sexual behaviour was criminalized by the penal code. Gaborone City Council did not have jurisdiction over the legalization of same-sex sexual activity or identity, but it did have an important voice that could be influential.

In the midst of cautious social change, the city council of Gaborone, the country’s capital and largest city, came out with an unexpected motion “Request[ing] the government to consider decriminalisation of same-sex sexual activities to support HIV/AIDS Programmes and Policies” before the Gaborone City Council. Three years later, subtle change gave way to radical transformation, and Botswana’s High Court declared sections of the penal code criminalising same-sex sexual activity to be in contravention of sections 3 (rights to liberty, privacy, dignity), 9 (right to privacy) and 15 (right to non-discrimination) of the Constitution and struck them down (Motshidiemang 2019).

The case of Gaborone can be introduced as one where a municipal government took action to speak openly and clearly about the human rights of a marginalized group, even though this was not in their area of jurisdiction. This action speaks to the role that municipal governments can take with respect to speaking on human rights issues, and raises questions about the role of democratically elected officials vis-à-vis minority rights, the relationship between federal and municipal governments, and the impact andappropriateness of making statements in areas beyond one’s jurisdiction.

Learning objectives

• Examine the role of city councils on social and human rights issues
• Understand the different actors and factors that led to legal and social changes to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Botswana
• Understand the experiences of LGBT people, men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with women (WSW) in Botswana
• Consider when and whether city councils should make statements or take action beyond their formal jurisdiction
• Consider the inputs and impact of incremental versus one-step plans
• Reflect on the impact of ‘rhetorical’ actions (i.e., statements with no direct legal impact)
• Reflect on how majority-based governance systems should address human rights issues of minority populations

Publication Type
Learning Cases
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
10 - Reduced inequalities3 - Good health and well-being5 - Gender equality
Human Rights

Valdemarsvik, Palapye and Central district – Botswana

Ensuring youth participation

The two municipalities cooperating with the district level in Botswana, though the involvement of Central district in the partnership, are committed to achieving Agenda 2030 through a rightsbased approach and aim to work more systematically with human rights at a local level.

At this stage both partners have established a mutual challenge regarding youth participation in their municipalities and would like to explore further together what their organisations, as duty bearers, can to to ensure that the rights of young citizens are better protected, respected and promoted.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
10 - Reduced inequalities
Child rights and youth participationHuman Rights
Swedish partner
Valdemarsviks kommun
International partner
Central District BotswanaPalapye municipality

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.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Human Rights

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.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Human Rights

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.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Child rights and youth participationHuman Rights

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.