22 new international local democracy development partnerships

The overall goal of all the projects is to develop local democracy and reduce poverty, with health and medical care, and local governance the most common collaborative areas, followed by culture, education, and environmental and climate issues.

The Swedish and Chinese municipalities of Vara and Huangshan are working on the development of schools’ inclusiveness activities, including preventative measures designed to minimise mental ill health in young people. Malmö and Lusaka in Sweden and Zambia, respectively, are working to promote participation by young people and the incorporation of their views into the cities’ work on climate-related issues. And Västerbotten County Council from northern Sweden will be continuing its work with the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta on the development of methodologies for establishing a sustainable, transparent health system.

Indonesia, South Africa and Tanzania are home to the largest number of partnerships approved this time around, followed by China, Kosovo, Namibia, Uganda, Zambia and the Ukraine. The projects will be conducted as part of the operations of ICLD, the International Centre for Local Democracy, and financed by SIDA.

– The individual’s potential for participation and exerting influence is crucial to the development of local democracy. The municipal partnerships are an excellent example of international collaboration that has a direct effect on people’s everyday lives and helps create sustainable communities over time, says Lennart Båge, Acting Director General of SIDA.

ICLD works in four core areas of local democracy development, and all of its projects aim, in a variety of ways, to enhance opportunities for equality, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability in their host municipalities. The partnerships enrich local democracy and develop the ability to address global challenges together.

– The partnerships enable the municipalities to address the Agenda 2030 challenges while simultaneously developing their local democracy by sharing experiences and developing together towards a more sustainable community, says Karin Norlin Bogren, Director of the ICLD Municipal Partnership programme.

There are just over 130 ongoing partnerships, in addition to the 22 new ones. Health and medical care was the most common collaborative area in this particular round of applications, and all of the applications display clear links between the projects and increased inclusiveness. Around 55 Swedish municipalities, county councils and regions are already involved in these projects, which are funded to the tune of between SEK 300,000 and 500,000 per year and last for between one and three years.

The following municipalities have been awarded subsidies for one or more projects: Arvidsjaur, Falun, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Malmö, Vara, Vimmerby, Västerås and Växjö, along with Västerbotten County Council and the Gotland and Kronoberg Regions.

Find out more about the approved projects from the pdf below.