The report highlights ICLD’s strategy for 2016–2020 and the 2018 operational plan, and illustrates the results of the Local Government Partnerships and international training programmes, as well as examples of work being carried out by the Knowledge Centre. ICLD’s tools are specifically aimed at several of the 2030 Agenda goals.
– Our work has either a direct or indirect link to all the SDGs. We’re mainly working with goals 5, 11, 16 and 17, explains Erik Nilsson at the Knowledge Centre.
Working towards the Sustainable Development Goals is relatively simple for ICLD within the framework of the International Training Programme (ITP) and the Knowledge Centre (KC). As part of the Municipal Partnerships (MPs), municipalities make decisions about whether they want the opportunity to work towards the 2030 Agenda goals or not. It is not a requirement from ICLD, but since 2015 the 2030 Agenda goals have been included in many of the Municipal Partnership applications.
– The local authorities were very quick to adjust their activities and take on new challenges, Karin Norlin Bogren, Director of the Municipal Partnership Programme, says.
So you don’t have to encourage municipalities to include the global goals in a partnership?
– No, but we show them how they can use the Municipal Partnership Programme in this work. The 2030 Agenda is a top priority for us. We’re working with local democratic development, and issues that are important to local authorities are important to us too. We don’t determine the theme for the challenge in their partnerships – local authorities themselves make an assessment of the best way they can contribute towards developing local democracy via partnerships, Karin says.
Has ICLD changed its approach because of the 2030 Agenda?
– Local authorities have always worked in this way, the goals simply provide a framework for their work and help them to monitor the results. It gives us another tool for working mutually with global goals at a local level, and looking at how to implement them and make them a reality, Karin continues.
– All research conducted under the remit of KC is linked to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals. Even within ITP, there’s a clear link to the SDGs in several programmes, Erik says.
What can ICLD do to strengthen work on the 2030 Agenda goals with its partners?
– Generally speaking, many Swedish local authorities are already way ahead in terms of their work with the SDGs, but I feel that here at ICLD we could be clearer about showing them how to work with the 2030 Agenda within the framework of ICLD’s activities. ICLD’s communication has a key part to play in this respect, Erik says.
What have the global goals got to do with local challenges?
– We believe that change starts at local level with individual people – that’s where changes need to happen in order to effect global change, Karin says. The global goals effectively touch on everything ICLD does.
Are there any plans to intensify cooperation with other organisations?
– That’s important and it will be part of our work going forward. There’s a strong national and local focus on the goals, which may naturally create cooperative partnerships, Erik says.
Do you feel you’re currently in a strong position?
– Yes I do. The 2030 Agenda is important to us and fits in well with ICLD’s mission of promoting local democratic development. Working at local level is strategically important for the world to achieve the global agenda, so the 2030 Agenda work hand in glove with partnerships. The global goals are not a criterion in the application process for setting up a municipal partnership, but it’s definitely a bonus if they are included, Karin says.
Examples of how ICLD is working with some of the 2030 Agenda goals
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Laying the ground for people living in poverty to improve their living conditions is one of ICLD’s long-term goals. Efforts are aimed at politicians and officials at local level. ICLD’s definition of poverty makes the ITP programmes Gender Mainstreaming Local Democracy and Local Governance with a Rights-based Approach possible.
Goal 5: Gender equality
One of ICLD’s four core areas is gender equality/justice and inclusive treatment, which means that all citizens should be treated inclusively and equally. ICLD works to eradicate discrimination, particularly regarding the status of women. The organisation’s activities are directly linked to Goal 5 and targets 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.a, 5.b and 5.c.
Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
In addition to what is stated in ICLD’s strategy document, most activities in the 2018 operational plan are directly linked to the majority of the targets under Goal 11. Furthermore, all ITP programmes and two research projects contribute to one or more of Goal 11’s targets.
Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Goal 16 is directly linked to ICLD’s four core areas. These areas are a priority during the 2016–2020 strategy period, and all activities pursued during this period aim to strengthen one or more of them.