Partner country: North Macedonia

Admission requirements

Invited countries

All countries on the OECD-DAC listed ODA-eligible countries, are eligible for the programme, but if a local election is held during the year when the training takes place, the country is temporarily taken off the list. See this list

Target group

Only elected women politicians (currently in office) in a local/regional government will be considered. ICLD will prioritize applicants holding a position of Mayor or Deputy Mayor but will also exceptionally accept applicants who are Councilors. We at ICLD aim to create a group that includes both majority and opposition politicians, as well as a diversity of ages and experience. ICLD trainings are open to all that are eligible, irrespective of physical ability.

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 health restrictions is required. You need to be enjoying full working capacity and to be able to engage in an active programme with long days of seminars, study visits and interactive networking. It is therefore recommended that candidates undergo a medical examination before filling in the Medical Statement in the Application form.

Other requirements

The outline of the problem to be addressed by the change process will be of crucial importance in the selection of participants. Once selected, the participant is required to attend all scheduled parts of the 12-months programme and must have approval to participate in all aspects of the program from her local authority. She is required to actively participate in the workshops and complete assignments between workshops (journals, reports).

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 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. It is important to start the Visa process as soon as possible after beeing invited to the programme and to specific workshops.


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

This information will soon be updated with dates for closing dates in 2024. Application shall be made electronically, via link here below and include a recent photograph and all required information and documents. An outline of the problem to be addressed by the change process shall be submitted as part of the application and plays a key role in the selection of participants.

The change process must be described in the application and you will be asked to describe:

  • The societal challenge/problem for change you want to address
  • Describe which democratic components – equity, participation, transparency and accountability – that are particularly crucial for addressing the challenge and its development to lead to better local democracy
  • In which way this work will anticipate citizens’ needs

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

Programme structure

The training consists of three compulsory workshops, of which all three are full time scheduled trainings. Periods between workshops are homebased. The total duration of the programme is 12 months.

When will cohort 11 take place:
The Inception workshop will be held in late January 2025
The Swedish Phase workshop will most likely take place in September 2025
The Final workshop will take place in January 2026

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

Phase 1
Inception workshop

(5-6 days including travels)

More exact location to be decided

After confirmed selection, the participants will be contacted by a programme manager at ICLD and invited to the Inception workshop.

The participants and the programme management develop a shared understanding of the content, structure, methodology and management of the programme. Topics addressed in this workshop, among others: teambuilding and networking, developing the change process, and introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals. The tuition during the inception workshop consists of group discussions and lectures with a combination of Swedish and/or international experts from the region.

The Inception workshop will be held over the course of three days in one of the participating countries.

Work with the Change Process (6-7 months, in home country)

Back in their respective local communities the participants will continue to develop their Change Process. Participants will actively use web-based tools for interaction with facilitators and other participants.

Phase 2
Swedish Phase workshop

(2 weeks in Sweden including travels)

Participants will meet in Sweden for a cultural exchange, advanced leadership training, introduction to Swedish women politicians/mentors and a two-day study visit to a Swedish municipality or region. Topics of study will include, among others: the Swedish model of governance, gender equality and good governance, anti corruption, communication skills and how to be a good role model among other things. Tuition consists of interactive lectures and group discussions with Swedish and international experts combined with study excursions, group work and discussions.

Phase 3
Final workshop

(5 days including travels)

More exact location to be decided

The participants and the Swedish mentors meet in one of the participating countries. The goal of this workshop is to summarize and share the challenges, opportunities and
lessons learned throughout the programme. The participants will present their Change Process results. The programme also includes study visits and lectures provided by the ICLD and relevant lecturers. This workshop marks the formal end of the programme.

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 Change Project 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 the three phases of the International Training Programme are carried out under the support and management of the ICLD. In addition, the programme is supported by Swedish mentors being selected by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR).

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance

Programme objectives

The programme aims to provide the following changes in the participant: 

  • Empower the participant with improved leadership skills  
  • Help the participant to fully utilize the power and influence of her position  
  • Strengthen her as a role model to encourage political participation among marginalized groups  
  • Give her access to a network of women in similar positions

During the training, the participant will work on her change process and implement a strategy to make the local authority equitable, participatory, transparent and accountable. 


  • Valuable exchange of knowledge and experiences
  • Extended regional and international networks
  • Improved skills as a “change agent” in initiating and implementing instituational change
  • Skills and abilities to communicate and advocate on issues of inclusive governance
  • Three-day study-visit in a Swedish municipality or region
  • Support to improve participation, equality, transparency and accountability in the local governance

What we will offer:

  • Advanced training in communication, strategic planning and leadership
  • Swedish mentorship including an individual three-day study visit in a Swedish municipality or region
  • International exposure to different political experiences
  • An opportunity for your municipality to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)


  • Through skills training workshops on site or digitally
  • Identification of challenges and finding solutions to issues faced by women politicians
  • By offering strategic support and coaching from ICLD staff and mentors
  • In sharing of professional obstacles and successes in an inclusive environment

Change process

The participant is expected to develop and work with a change process of her choice during the training. The change process should address a real problem of concern to the politician, thus contribute to translating the theoretical content of the training programme into capacity development and institutional change within her municipality. The change process aims to increase political accountability, helping leading politicians to better respond to the needs of the citizens. An outline of the problem to be addressed by the change process shall be submitted as part of the application, and plays a key role in the selection of participants. The change process requires strong commitment and involvement of the politician and should lead to the proposal of a solution. Keep in mind that there is NO funding available from ICLD for project implementation.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance

Human Rights Based Approach

The overall goal of the training is to strengthen the municipalities’ capacity and contribute to the ongoing and new change management processes designed to achieve socioeconomic development. The goal is also to strengthen the institutional capacity and the integration of a rights based thinking at local level and in the municipal service.

The following countries are eligible for the programme: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine.

The programme period: 2022-2023.

Participants should be politicians, officials from municipal or regional councils/administrations and representatives from civil society organizations that cooperate with the local or regional administration in the field of local democracy, decentralization, human rights and good governance.

The many faces of the district

Overall Objective: To enhance and deepen knowledge about human rights, democracy, equality and interculturality.

In order to achieve this, the project will develop forms and methods to increase the influence that young people, and in particular girls, regardless of social, ethnic or religious background, can exert on local democracy in relation to physical planning. Democratic processes will be initiated and improved within the project. Knowledge and understanding of the history of the locality will be deepened by involving officers/music teachers/teachers/school leaders/politicians/young people and representatives of the Youth Council in the Municipality of Cair and in the Municipality of Botkyrka.

Project Objective:
Those participating in the project will gain increased knowledge of how, and opportunities, to exert an influence on local decisions in the municipality in respect of the physical environment.

Expected results:

  • Those participating in the project will gain increased knowledge of how they can exert an influence on decisions in the municipality in respect of the physical environment.
  • There is a properly functioning forum for regular meetings between young people and politicians in the respective municipalities that will deal with development issues relating to the physical environment.
  • That there is a special focus in the local community on reports from women and young people concerning a specific district.
  • Cooperation between the municipalities of Botkyrka and Cair is well established.


  • At the evaluation meeting, the participants consider that they gained an increased understanding of how they can exert an influence on decisions in the municipality in respect of the physical environment.
  • There is a forum for regular meetings between young people and politicians in the respective municipalities that deals with development issues relating to physical environment.
  • That the project’s exhibitions reflect in particular the reports from young people and women relating to the district.
  • There are long-term relationships between participating parties.
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Swedish partner
Botkyrka kommun
International partner

Democracy through Theatre

The project Democracy Through Theatre (henceforth referred to as DTT) levels at a reciprocal exchange of experiences, a competence progress and a deepened knowledge about human rights, democracy and equality.

The DTT project will develop forms and methods to strengthen local democracy through initiation and reinforcement of democratic processes for teachers, principals, educationalists, youth at the Rajko Zinzifov – Albanian-Macedonian language school in the municipality of Cair, with the positive example of the youth delegation in Botkyrka.

The DTT project has chosen theatre as its effective method of working. To reach the desired results, the project collaborates with a group of educationalists specialised in theatre at the Children’s Theatre Centre in Cair and with educationalists at the department of culture at the municipality of Botkyrka.

The DTT is a one-year project (2010-2011) and involves extensive travelling for the participants for field trips and in order to attend seminars and workshops.

The purpose of the DTT project is to:

  • create an equivalent in Cair to the youth delegation in Botkyrka
  • broaden and deepen the knowledge about democracy and equality
  • create long-lasting relationships between the participating parties
  • create a digital forum for youth questions.
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Swedish partner
Botkyrka kommun
International partner
Municipality of Cair