About us

Fighting poverty with democracy

ICLD’s mission is to support democratic participation and change at the local level. With its focus on local democracy, local self-governance and decentralisation, ICLD strengthens local governments’ capacity to analyse, prioritize and implement Agenda 2030 in accordance with their own needs, priorities and resources. The unique combination of practice and theory is a major asset of ICLD. 

We work in three main areas:

Through the Municipal Partnership Programme, ICLD promotes the exchange of knowledge and experiences between local authorities in Sweden and in partnership countries. ICLD’s international network of municipal partnership participants represents a highly valuable network of local-level agents of democratic change.  

Based on extensive experience we conduct international training programmes, ITP’s, to support local decision-makers and administrative officials in our partnerscountries. Our ITP’s are tailor made capacity building programmes for our networks with the overall goal of strengthening municipal partnership projects. We also have one stand alone worldwide ITP: Women Political Leadership Programme

To further bolster the work to reach its goals, ICLD funds research projects in the fields of local democracy, local self-governance, and decentralisation at both Swedish and foreign universities. Our aim, in providing this support, is to help increase our knowledge of the challenges and opportunities we face when working with democracy at a local level. ICLD prioritises projects that support local operatives in the efforts to promote democratic development. 

ICLD is a non-profit organisation. Our operations are financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). We are about 20 employees working in two offices, in Visby and in Stockholm. 

ICLD Core Values

The foundations of democracy are based on freedom of expression, free­dom of the press, freedom of assembly, universal and equal suffrage, equality before the law and the principle of non-discrimination. ICLD’s core values are based on the foundations of well-functioning local democracy and are expressed under the following headings: equity, participation, transparency and accountability. Read more about our Core Values