Call for proposals: From inspiration to action for local democracy

ICLD is issuing a call for Local Governments Associations in Africa to conduct a training with local governments on practical tools for inclusive governance. The application is open until the 15th of May 2023.


The Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) has the goal to support local governments interested in improving their policies and practices to create more equity, participation, transparency and accountability.

This is part of ICLD’s long-term goals at societal level, which are:

  • Citizens experience increased opportunities for equality, participation, transparency and/or accountability from their local governments.
  • Marginalized groups and young people have increased influence on the decisions that affect their lives.
  • Contribute to an increased number of women in decision making bodies.


ICLD is opening a call for Associations of Local Governments to inspire and support local governments in testing and implementing policies and practices for local democracy using concrete and research-based tools. The expected results are:

  • At least 20 local governments have learned one local democracy tool developed by ICLD and tested this tool in their localities.

Scope of this call

  1. Develop and conduct an interactive and creative training program for local governments based on at least one of the local democracy tools, practices and policies provided by ICLD and one tool or policy for democracy proposed by the proponent.
  2. Support at least 20 municipalities in the testing and implementation of one of the tools.
  3. Make a report of the results based on observations and interviews.  

List of Tools developed by ICLD that could be included in the training

The training should include at least one of the following tools and one tool outside this list. The selected applicant for this call should take part in ICLD’s online training to learn about the ICLD tools before planning the training.

1. Safety Audit for designing Inclusive and safe transport

Objective: This tool is designed to help local governments to understand the way vulnerable groups experience public transport on a daily basis. This toolbox provides a guide for local government officials and politicians interested in designing and planning for inclusive, safe and sustainable public transport. As part of the training, the local governments are expected to conduct a safety audit and write a short action plan of concreate measurements that can be taken with the available resources to increase safeness based on the results of the audit.

Tool from the city of Machakos: How to plan for inclusive and sustainable urban transport: a toolbox to conduct a safety audit | ICLD

Inspirational video: The Gendered Landscape

2. Child- and youth dialogue

Objective: This tool and complementary learning cases are designed to help local governments to implement a child and youth participation in project planning and policy making. As part of the training, local governments are expected to apply the tool in their municipalities (holding a participatory meeting with youth and children based on the check list) and design an action plan with concreate measurements to take child and youth participation into account.

Tool from the Malmö-Lusaka Partnership: Checklist for dialogue with children and young people | ICLD

Learning case Child Participation in the City of Vienna | ICLD

Learning case: Youth participation in local government in South Africa | ICLD

3. Accessible cities for people with functional variations

Objective: This tool comprising a video, policy brief and learning case provides a simple transferable methodology for assessing the usability of our city spaces for persons with functional variation. As part of the training, local governments are expected to make the assessment and, based on that, create a simple action plan that can be implemented with the available resources.   

Video: 5 steps to functional variation in urban planning: How do we know that our cities are inclusive? – YouTube

Policy Brief: Engagement of people with functional variation in the urban planning processes in Russia and Sweden | ICLD

Learning case: Cape Town’s Quest for Accessible Transportation | ICLD

Policy brief: Overcoming Barriers to Participate in Local Democracy for People with Disabilities: The Case of Zimbabwe | ICLD

4. Citizens’ Budget

Objective: This toolbox provides support to local governments that are interested in creating a Citizens Budget to communicate the local budget in a way that every citizen can understand. It contains the basic steps in the process and inspiring examples, which fully equips the reader to start developing their own Citizen Budget. Local governments are expected to create their own citizens’ budget and share it with their citizens.


Toolbox: Citizens Budgets: Make the budget understandable for every citizen

Policy Brief: Improving local budget processes: from inclusion and transparency to equity and quality | ICLD

5. Voluntary Local Reviews for the SDGs

Objective: Voluntary Local Reviews is a tool for local governments to assess their progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and identify gaps and possible improvements in SDG implementation. It can be wide or narrow, and assess policies or focus on community perspectives. When finishing the training, local governments are expected to have produced a Voluntary Local Review in their locality.

Toolbox: Toolbox for Voluntary Local Reviews

Support document: Suggested report outline of Voluntary Local Reviews

Inspiration: Kibaha and Emboreet (Tanzania) and Bijeljina (Bosnia & Herzegovina) are currently conducting VLRs using community-based participatory research.

6. Municipal committees for Nature-Based Solutions

Objective: This tool is a way to create pathways for dialogue aimed at finding environmentally friendly and inclusive urban planning solutions. Specifically, municipal committees aims to consolidate citizens’ engagement in the process of co-creating Nature-Based Solutions (which involve working with nature to address societal challenges, providing benefits for both humans and nature). As part of the training, local governments are expected to make an action plan for such a municipal committee.

Policy Brief:

Tool proposed by the Local Government Association

The proposal should include at least one additional tool that can be used by local governments to provide citizen influence to marginalised groups and youth. The tool should be described in the proposal and how it contributes to increase equity, participation, transparency and accountability.

Countries prioritised

South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.


The proposals should include:

  1. Overall aim of the training
  2. Description of the learning objectives of the program
  3. Description of the tools offered in the training (one should be listed by ICLD and one provided by the proponent)
  4. Description of the analysis of why this training is relevant to local governments in the selected country.
  5. Description of the target group for the training (what local governments would participate and how)
  6. Description of the selection criteria for local governments
  7. Description of the activities to be conducted.
  8. Expected outputs and outcomes.
  9. Time frame
  10. Budget


A final report summarising the process, training, partaking local governments and their respective results, and a reflection on lessons learned.

Time frame

The proposed activities should be conducted before 1st of December 2023, and the final report submitted by the 10th of December 2023.  


The total budget for the proposals should not exceed 90.000 SEK.


Apply by sending a 10 pages proposal, using the above structure to clearly demonstrate your understanding of the tools and how you intend to achieve the objectives within the scope of the project. An open Q&A about the call and overview of the tools will be offered digitally on the 22nd of March. ICLD is then available for consultation and support during the application phase.

The proposal should be sent to no later than the 15th of May, 2023.