Swedish partner: Växjö Kommun

Växjö and Vushtrri, Kosovo


The partners have been cooperating since 2013 on a variety of themes. In 2023, they were approved for a project addressing the issue of lack of accessibility of the municipal archives. The new project, submitted 2024 aims to address skill gaps in Vushtrri municipality’s labor market by fostering collaboration between businesses, educational institutions, and the municipality to develop targeted programs and initiatives, thus facilitating successful workforce integration. Specifically, they will focus on their organization’s readiness within staffing and cross-boundary issues, with the objective to establish a robust framework for collaboration among the municipality, private sector, and educational institutions in Vushtrri to enhance workforce development initiatives. Additionally, they will focus on community participation, with the objective to facilitate the creation of at least one targeted program and/or initiative to address skill gaps effectively.

Project Area
Local economic development, innovation and livelihoods
Sustainable Development Goals
4 - Quality education8 - Decent work and economic growth
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun

Växjö and Kalush

Area of Cooperation: Fostering Inclusive Leadership and Governance

Växjö and Kalush prioritize collaboration amidst war-induced strains and dissatisfaction with local services. They focus on crisis preparedness, addressing adolescent mental health issues, and advancing e-services. With a goal of empowering communities through strategic planning, they aim to enhance citizen communication and foster dynamic democracy.

This partnership is part of the ICLD network for democratic reslience

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
10 - Reduced inequalities16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
Topic
Child rights and youth participation
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
Kalush

Växjö and JB Marks, South Africa

Projekt: Efficient and Responsive Traffic Planning  

The new project focuses on the promotion of road safety by increasing the mobility for children, minorities, underrepresented groups, and the socety as a whole. The project streaches over three years and is based on the SDG no 11. Sustainable cities and communities.  

The aim with the partnership and the project on effective and responsive traffic planning is to twofold. One is to increase the municipalities capacities in planning and implementing policies relating to urban planning and road safety. The other objective is to increase the municipalities organisational capacity in transparency and finding new methods in acquiring and sharing information with the citizens. By increasing these capacities, the municipality will enhance their ability to work with the participation of minority group and will increase their voices and perspective in relation to urban planning.  

Women, children, and families from low-income families are the main target groups of the project. In a preparatory phase these stakeholders have been identified because the traffic planning and transportation planning are lacking the perspectives of children and women movement in the public sphere. By addressing the promotion of road safety from their perspectives it will also benefit the society as a whole.  

Project Area
Urban planning
Sustainable Development Goals
11 - Sustainable cities and communities17 - Partnerships for the goals
Topic
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
JB Marks Local Municipality

Växjö and Vushtrri, Kosovo

Växjö and Vushtrri partnership is embarking on a new project that seeks to improve accessibility to municipal services and information by effectively managing municipal archives.

The project identifies three key beneficiary groups: citizens in rural areas, ethnic minorities, and students/researchers at universities. These groups face challenges in accessing information and documents due to factors such as transportation limitations, language barriers, and lack of prioritization and digitization by the municipality.

It aims to enhance the municipality’s organisational readiness in two areas: policy implementation and community participation. For policy implementation, the project focuses on improving archive management through the implementation of new methods and learnings. It also emphasizes community participation by enhancing dialogue and communication with citizens through various channels. International visits and collaborations with civil society organizations, schools, and stakeholders are planned to facilitate peer learning and knowledge exchange.

Overall, the project aims to improve accessibility to municipal services and enhance community participation through effective archive management and strengthened partnerships.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions17 - Partnerships for the goals
Topic
Digitalisation and e-governanceParticipatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
Komuna Vushtrri

Växjö invigorates its local democracy through water partnership with An Giang

Växjö municipality in Sweden and An Giang province in Vietnam have inspired each other to new solutions through a partnership concerning water management. Their cooperation has led to improvements in the democratic processes and made staff in the water management departments reflect on how they contribute to local democracy.

Since 2010, An Giang province in Vietnam and Växjö municipality in Sweden have implemented several partnership projects on environmental issues. A few years back, they became aware of the mutual challenge that surface water is in abundance in both cities, but is partially of lacking quality. A new project was therefore conceived where the partners would improve their capacity for sustainable water management, while invigorating their democratic processes to better include stakeholder groups in their planning.

Municipal water and sanitation management is seldom top of mind in connection to issues of democracy. But these areas have a large impact on inhabitants every-day life, and therefore the democratic structures for inclusion and participation of inhabitants are important in these issues. The ICLD-funded project allowed for the water and sanitation officials in Växjö’s technical department to reflect on their own democratic processes in relation to their inhabitants.

When working on technical issues, we seldom evaluate ourselves based on how we perform on issues such as participation and inclusion of citizens. But through ICLD, we’ve got to reflect on what our own democratic contribution in the municipality looks like. How are citizens included in the decision-making process, is the information we send out available to everyone and is our work transparent to the public? By raising those question we can improve how we do things.

Ingrid Palmblad Örlander, coordinator and engineer at Växjö municipality
Nyttor från det kommunala partnerskapet mellan Växjö och Vietnam

För Växjö ger vattenpartnerskapet i Vietnam ett sätt att vässa kunskaper och arbetsmetoder i den egna organisationen ⭐💧 Ida Lidholt, vattenstrateg och Ingrid Palmblad Örlander, utredningsingenjör på Växjö kommun berättar här om sina goda erfarenheter från kommunens partnerskap med An Giang i Vietnamn. Nya idéer från samarbetet har lett till att Växjö nu utvecklar en egen integrerad vattenplan.Läs gärna mer om partnerskapet på: https://icld.se/artikel/vaxjo-angiang/Kommunala partnerskap är en internationell samarbetsform för att stärka lokal demokrati. Det är öppet för alla kommuner och regioner att ingå i ihop med en motsvarighet i ett samarbetsland. Partnerskapen finansieras genom ICLD. Läs mer på https://icld.se/kommunalt-partnerskap/#digitalaalmedalen #almedalen2020 #icld #drivefordemocracy

Publicerat av ICLD – Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy Tisdag 30 juni 2020

The three-year project runs until 2021 and aims to, among other things, prepare an integrated water management plan for Long Xuyen-city in An Giang province. So far, the partners have held workshops with key-stakeholders and visited each other for education and field trips related to challenges facing the municipalities. They’ve held lectures on capacity building for public consultations with local residents, and some participants have taken part in workshops and case-challenges during an ICLD-training on the municipal partnership programme. Already, the inspiration from An Giang has contributed to Växjö deciding to develop their own integrated water management plan.

We were inspired by their energetic way of dealing with the challenges. Their specific technical solution are far apart from ours, but their approach has inspired us and led to Växjö now also working on an integrated water plan of our own. Another aspect is the workshop methods that we used in Vietnam, which we’ve been able to use in order to generate ideas in other projects here in Växjö.

Ida Lidholt, Växjö Municipality
Good examples are shared during the meeting between the partners. Here, the project group is trying out electric bicycles as means of transportation to a field visit in the Växjö-area.

Through their partnership, Växjö and An Giang have already shown how processes for an inclusive democracy is important and can also be forwarded in technical issues such as water and sanitation. They’ve also shown how municipalities who stand far apart in their specific technical solutions can learn from, and be inspired by, each other’s approaches on how to face a challenge in order to generate mutual benefits in a municipal partnership.

Växjö vässar demokratin genom vattenprojekt med An Giang

Växjö kommun visar vägen! 💪🤩 Så kan svenska kommuner vässa sin lokala demokrati genom internationella partnerskap om vattenfrågor.I ett partnerskap med An Giang i Vietnam har Växjö kommuns tekniska förvaltning kunnat ta in ny kunskap och utvecklat nya metoder för medborgardialog och idégenerering.Läs mer om deras partnerskap här: https://icld.se/artikel/vaxjo-angiang/

Publicerat av ICLD – Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy Tisdag 9 juni 2020
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
An Giang Province

Växjö and JB Marks, South Africa

Project: Development of an Energy Plan in Line with Agenda 2030

“Development of an Energy Plan in Line with Agenda 2030” is a two-year project (2019-2020) based on the municipal partnership between Växjö Energi, Växjö municipality (Sweden) and JB Marks Local Municipality (South Africa). The project is based on the Sustainable Development Goal no 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The project consists of ten activities.

The objective of the project is to develop an Energy Strategy for JB Marks at the same time as Växjö Energi is developing a Strategical Plan.

Through bench-marking and exchange of experience along the parallel processes including a joint external assessment on global energy issues the level of knowledge and competence will rise in both organisations which will benefit the development and the quality of the steering documents as well as the implementation of them.

When the project is completed the two partnering institutions would have strengthened their long-term, professional and strategic work with energy issues. Aiming at reduction of the use of fossil fuels and the increased use of energy efficiency methods, alternative, clean and renewable energy. All with the aim on sustainable development goal number 7 in Agenda 2030. This will be beneficial for both municipalities including the community.

Project Area
Environment/Climate change
Sustainable Development Goals
7 - Affordable and clean energy
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
JB Marks Local Municipality

Växjö and An Giang, Vietnam

Project: Sustainable water management (Blue Vietnam)

An Giang province in Vietnam and the Municipality of Växjö in Sweden, have implemented several partnership projects since 2010.

This time, the partners have identified water management as the most relevant area for further cooperation and have in a thorough stakeholder and problem analysis prepared an implementation project that is beneficial for both parties.

Surface water is in abundance in both cities, but is partially of lacking quality. In Long Xuyen city – a new waste water system is now under construction. In Växjö, there is a constant need of renovation and improvements of the existing water systems. The function of the water infrastructure and how this affect surrounding surface water, will influence everyone in the city – directly or indirectly.

Sustainable water management is a challenge, not only in our cities but all around the globe.

This three-year long (2019-2021) project aims to build capacity and focus on preparing an integrated water management plan for Long Xuyen-city and in different ways raise awareness among key-stakeholders about the importance of working towards better water quality as well as finding ways to motivate them to do so.

Find out more about the parnerships impact in this video

Project Area
Technical Services and Infrastructure
Sustainable Development Goals
6 - Clean water and sanitation
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
An Giang Province

Växjö and JB Marks, South Africa

Project: Public skills training to create new job opportunities and fight poverty

This project is based on the municipal partnership between City of Växjö and JB Marks Local Municipality (South Africa). The three-year proposal (2019-2021) consists of 15 activities and involves also regional partners, labour-office, university, civil society and private business sector.

The project objective is to strengthen public capacity at the social welfare field by establishing a new public model for skills-training and empowerment of vulnerable social groups without jobs, resources and security.

The project objective intends to capacitate powerful, efficient and synchronized public provision of labour-market support for the vulnerable target-group. The process includes the establishment, testing, evaluation and final adoption of a new model that combines practical skills-training with theoretical education. The project will make use of practical pilot-tests in the two municipalities, which includes a multi-disciplinary approach.

When the project closes in 2021, the results and achievements will relate to three different levels:

  • Municipal/regional level: new capacity when to provide efficient labour-market support.
  • Individual level: vulnerable individuals/groups taking steps from poverty towards sustainable employment.
  • Society level: strengthening of democracy and social inclusion while signs of poverty, insecurity and segregation are reduced.

The project is based on a win-win perspective and will be carried out with great respect to fundamental values such as sustainability, gender equality, environment and human rights.

Project Area
Local economic development, innovation and livelihoods
Sustainable Development Goals
8 - Decent work and economic growth
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
JB Marks Local Municipality

Växjö and Vushtrri, Kosovo

Project: Sustainability education in preschool/primary school

The purpose of the three-year project (2019-2021) is to strengthen the organizational capacity of the municipalities to educate preschool/primary school students in Vushtrri and Växjö about the environment and sustainability.

For Växjö, it entails developing working methods and cross-border cooperation, both locally and globally. For Vushtrri’s part, it is about introducing a new subject in preschools/ primary schools.

The project aims at improving the municipalities’ capacity and learning through collegial exchanges as well as mapping of environmental and sustainability-related methods that will be integrated into each municipality. The project builds on the previously executed MIS-project which focused on environmental education in school for students age 10-15. The proposed project aims to build on the lessons learned from that project, but by further deepening the cooperation, and involving school management and politicians to give the project a long-term perspective.

The project will involve a total of 12 participants from both municipalities. The project will highlight methodology, materials and working methods linked to the focus area, and involve external experts. The methodology will be tested among teachers and 500 preschool students. Finally, the project is linked to the goals in Agenda 2030, goal 4, which stipulates a good education for all.

Project Area
Education
Sustainable Development Goals
4 - Quality education
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
Komuna Vushtrri

Växjö and Vushtrri, Kosovo

Project: SEKOS 2, Social Entrepreneurship

The new project – SEKOS 2 – focuses on municipal capacity-building within schools and will be implemented during three years (2018-2020) in cooperation between the City of Växjö and Komuna Vushtrri, Kosovo.

SEKOS 2 turns focus towards social entrepreneurship and young future entrepreneurs. The project builds on a previous ICLD project (ended 2017) that was successful, provided good results and a will to deepen the cooperation. The new project primarily involves school principals and teachers as direct participants while (at least) 100 upper-secondary student take part as indirect participants at local level.

The project consists of totally six international stages with focus on the development of the pedagogical teaching method to strengthen knowledge about social entrepreneurship issues. The new method will be processed by participants and experts at the Linnaeus University and will include a mix of lectures, workshops, case-studies, experiments and study-visits. During the project´s second half, the method will be implemented as a pilot-project at schools in the two municipalities, with continuous analysis, adjustments and improvements. When the project ends, the method will be integrated as permanent part in education at upper-secondary level.

The new project has a clear democracy focus and promotes a business definition with embedded social dimensions. It lies well in line with the ICLD core-values and respects vital concepts such as gender equality, environment and human rights.

Project Area
Education
Sustainable Development Goals
4 - Quality education
Swedish partner
Växjö Kommun
International partner
Vushtrri