Next step – a Municipal partnership!

The third cohort of ICLD’s training programme Leadership in Local Governence has come to an end. But continuation is secured! One of the seven teams in the programme, Sunday River Valley Municipality from South Africa has decided to enter a long term municipal partnership with Falkenberg municipality in Sweden. Congratulations!

26 participants, 7 supervisors and 4 mentors have been involved in this cohort of ICLD’s training programme Leadership in Local Governence. The ultimate beneficiaries for this programme is the general public, thanks to the improved policies, strategies and programmes that have been designed through the programme.

The countries involved in the programme during this cohort were Zambia, South Africa, Kenya and Namibia. Within the programme, the participants are working in teams . The teams consist of the following trios: one elected politician, one local government official and one civil society representative. In total, there have been 7 teams from 4 different countries.

The teams are working on a change projects with different focus areas such as women´s participation in local governance, gender equality policy and strategiesm, participatory budgeting, organisational learning, corruption and social norms etc.

– What we have to remember is that this programme is just an incentive to continue working on systemic impact and sustainable change and development. The participants are the experts in their own local settings and their perspectives, experiences and needs are crucial to ensure they develop effective services, and build the strongest, most inclusive and equitable local governance, says Liene Ledaine, programme officer at ICLD.

The teams and their projects

Zambian teams have recently embarked on a decentralization process with the aim to place local governance authority at the centre of development processes and improve community participation and inclusiveness. Thus the involved municipalities from Kitwe and Kalulushi have played a critical role in being trailblazers in this matter and worked on ensuring that resource allocation as well as key management decisions take into account district specific development priorities.

  • Effective inclusiveness and engagement of women and youth in solid waste management in relation to climate change –Team Kitwe
  • Development of the capacity in 22 sub district governing bodies – Team Kalulush

Kenyan teams have had a focus on public participation and gender issues. One of their projects have been on the community validation processes (public participation and village administration bills) as well as evaluating the different processes of outreach and mobilization for public participation.

  • Low women representation in the political, economic, social and leadership institutions in Muranga, – Team Muranga
  • Enhance/increase public participation for rural, marginalized and excluded populations in Kajiado County – Team Kajiado

The structural problem, the uneven distribution of power, wealth, income, ownership, assets and opportunities for people to improve their quality of life have been main reasons for the teams from South Africa to join in and the Namibian team had chosen to work on waste management. The idea for their project came from evidence of the community dumping waste illegally due to lack of capacity from the organisational level.

  • Initiating and sustaining a social cohesion forum/collaborative/social innovation hub/development Agency. Forming a private, public, people partnership between all stakeholders in the local community to address the rapid urban-sprawl informal settlement crisis in Citrusdal and Clanwilliam – Team Cederberg, South Africa
  • A new model for collaboration, District – Local and Community Partnerships  striving to improve Governance and Delivery, Team Sunday River Valley, South Africa.
  • Solid Waste Management in Oshakati Town – Team Oshakati from Namibia


The programme is about to finish, and progress can already be identified.
In general, the programme has encouraged the participants to think deeper over the key democratic thematic areas. It has also enabled them to further elaborate more on these key-topics. The programme has laid a good ground for teams to consistently keep rethinking these topics within their change process cycles.

– I believe that this programme has brought the knowledge and inspiration to detect and diffuse issues that might otherwise threaten to derail change efforts, says Liene Ledaine at ICLD.

The team have managed to engage municipality´s top management to render good institutional support in implementing the change project as demonstrated by the council adopting the project during the full council periods. The team members have also been given time and resources to undertake project activities. Furthermore, there have been several smaller projects initiated by for exemple the Kenyan teams in order to strengthen local democracy by brining currently marginalized stakeholders into local decision-making and delivery systems, by optimizing local/regional skills and capacity and last but not least by providing a platform for the inclusion of marginalized sectors of society including women and youth. Another example is that of The Namibian team who had managed to prepare, establish and print the Waste Management Policy for distribution in all areas of the Oshakati Town.

And last but not least, Sunday River Valley Municipality from South Africa has decided to enter a long term Municipal Partnership with Falkenberg municipality in Sweden!

Check out the videos from the South African Teams

About the Leadership in Local Governence programme

The main objective of the Leadership in Local Governance programme has been to improve local and institutional governance. This has been worked on throughout 12 months, with start in December 2020, by making municipalities more equitable and inclusive. The participants have, among other things, worked on their change projects that aim to improve their municipalities ability to be fair, inclusive, transparent and accountable. By strengthening the capacity of the participant teams and the networks available to them, this program has also had a larger goal that of promoting democracy and ending poverty in our partner communities. Read more about the programme here