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Anne Scheffer Leander     070-1914601     anne.scheffer-leander@icld.se  

News

IQA – Face to face, on site encounters with democratic development

Face to face, on site partnership encounters in the place where the democratic development that ICLD finances actually happens, enable ICLD to gain a deeper understanding of the results reported. And to pick up on the results not reported. – It is only by understanding our partners’ needs that we can develop the programme and provide them with the proper kind of support,” says Rikard Eduards, Municipal Partnerships Programme Officer. Now you can access the IQA 2014 and IQA 2015 reports.

Workshop start to increased influence

An ICLD-workshop in Tanzania led to a women caucus in the South African City of Tshwane. “Immediately when I came back from the ICLD workshop I engaged with our Chief Whip of Council about the possibility of starting a women's caucus”, says Jordan Griffith, Policy Advisor to the Office of the Executive Mayor at City of Tshwane Municipality. The usefulness of a caucus started a chain of events – and the process of implementing a woman caucus is now on its way.

Sustainable changes start with the individual

To change your city, you may first have to change attitudes in your own family. During a workshop hosted by ICLD:s Municipal Partnership Programme in Belgrade the participants reflected on how easy it is to be gender blind and gender unconscious. “We need to start at an individual level to create a long-lasting change in their projects and in their cities”, says, Ana Maria Vargas, Research Director of ICLD.

Thinking outside of the box was a valuable lesson

Ordinary people matter and can make important contributions to policy and local development. That, and many more conclusions, is shown in a study about empowering local governments in Zimbabwe. The study confirmed the relevance of the ITPs regarding closing leadership gaps, building networks and enhancing participatory leadership – all critical to local development.

Sustainable urban oases a green point of Vračar

Street art, citizens participating in decisions and reconstruction of public spaces where some of the most interesting insights Ana Zelenovic brought home to Vračar from Borås. “The participation of any and every kind of social group of people in making decision regarding every-day life issues is essential”, she says. She believes public areas must become more coherent with citizens needs and sustainable regarding maintenance and saving energy.

Barriers to democracy in Kenya

They love their democracy and want to elect their leaders through fair elections. But corruption, power struggles, and electoral fraud are putting a spanner in the works. For Swedish diplomat, Inga Björk-Klevby, education is an important cornerstone in building a democratic Kenya. “Educating children is vital. They need to learn to make their own minds up, to learn from other people, and not to restrict their field of view to their own family. It will take time, but I am hopeful,” she says.

Focus on Equity and Inclusion at ICLD-workshop in Belgrade

For the first time ICLD went to Belgrade to arrange an International Municipal Partnership workshop. One of the objectives was to exchange experiences in Eastern Europe within the field of Equity and Inclusion. “What I found the most interesting was the dedication of municipalities and their motivation. Project and project objectives are also very interesting”, says Višnja Baćanović, director at Gender Knowledge Hub.

Openness – a good starting point for a successful partnership

There are a number of different factors involved in building a good municipal partnership. Commitment is usually a good place to start. According to one of the municipalities involved in a new research study, “If you don’t have the passion, the international work never happens, but if you want to optimise that work, management prioritisation is a must.” Add a dose of external financing, established routines, and centralised external monitoring, and the chances of success are very good.

Education – making you see with new eyes

For Agnes Sandstedt, her job is her life. Whenever she visits a new town, she sees it through the eyes of an urban planning architect. And a visit to Borås by a group of urban planners from Macedonia and Serbia inspired her and made her see her home town with new eyes. “Talking to fellow professionals about the challenges we face and the tools with which we work – but in a totally different environment and totally different context – is both really exciting and really useful.”

New publication: Policy brief by Jesse Ribot

ICLD's new publication "Choosing Democracy: Natural Resource Management for Environmental Policy Makers, Donors and Practitioners" by Jesse Ribot is aiming to assist policy makers in making decisions related to forestry.

Holistic understanding of development goals in Härnösand

With the goal to learn about project planning, ICLDs core areas and the thematic priorities of Sida, eight municipal partnerships from six different countries gathered in Härnösand 18-20 september. The training course was well received by the participants. Several of the attendees expressed that the course ‘connects the dots’ regarding how to plan and conduct a successful project that ICLD will appreciate.

MPP application round now open

The second 2017 MPP application round is Now open until October 15th. Municipal Partnerships are Sida-financed and designed to contribute to the development of well, and efficiently functioning, democratic local authorities in both the partner countries and Sweden.

Legitimacy, urban planning and sustainability in Russia and Sweden

Regional Focus: Russia and Sweden Sustainable Development Goals Cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11), and Inclusive societies effective, accountable and inclusive institutions (SDG 16) ICLD Local Democracy: Equity, Participation and Accountability Time: August 2017 – December 2018

Partnerships as a tool to make municipalities more inclusive

Swedish municipalities are clearly eager to identify solutions to the ongoing refugee situation. “Commitment levels are high, but there is also a lack of knowledge about how ICLD can help,” says Karin Norlin Bogren, head of ICLD’s Municipal Partnerships programme. This knowledge gap was what lay behind the panel discussion and subsequent workshop hosted by ICLD this summer with the aim of providing both inspiration and information.

Cross-border network to improve water quality

Global and local water shortages have resulted in discussions of whether a higher price tag should be placed on water. Cooperation is, however, another way of ensuring we are economical with our finite resources. The Kalmar County Regional Federation, Västervik municipality, the Russian municipality of Guryevsk, and the Kaliningrad region, have initiated a cooperation project designed to find ways of guaranteeing high quality, cross-border water supplies.

Alingsås and Chililabombwe - a mutually beneficial exchange

The Swedish municipality, Alingsås, is keen to identify new ways of providing information for and initiating dialogues with newly arrived refugees. The Chililabombwe municipality in Zambia has the same need to provide information, but its target group is people living in rural communities. The two municipalities are now working hand in hand in order to learn from one another and lay the foundations for sustainable democratic processes.

Mayor appointed to top job in global parliament

Grace Mary Mugasa, Mayor of the City of Hoima in Uganda was one of the founding mayors of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM). Now she is a member of the Steering Committee. “I got excited to receive the good news of my appointment, but I also felt humbled and challenged”, she says. As a member of the Steering Committee she is an important ambassador for the GPM to the outside world.

Transforming the city from below: Localizing Grassroots initiatives, institutional entrepreneurship and inclusive urban governance

Sustainable Development Goals Cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11) ICLD Local Democracy: Participation Time: March 2017 – March 2019

Political and Social Inclusion in Asian Cities: Cases of Indonesia, India and Vietnam

Regional Focus: Indonesia, India, Vietnam Sustainable Development Goals Cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11) ICLD Local Democracy: Equity and Participation Time: November, 2016 to February, 2018

Localizing the Sustainable Goal of Gender Equality - The role of local government in translating SDG # 5 Gender Equality into policies and practices

Regional Focus: Bosnia and Herzegovina Sustainable Development Goals Gender Equality (SDG 5) ICLD Local Democracy: Equity Time: January 2017 – June 2018

Climate or Economic Migration? Local Democracy and Vulnerability Reduction in Africa: Political Representation under a Changing Sky.

Regional Focus: Senegal and Niger Sustainable Development Goals Climate Action (SDG 13) and its deep implications for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16). ICLD Local Democracy: Accountability Time: January 2017 – June 2018

Oppression and exploitation reasons behind migration

Before we invest in fixing a problem shouldn’t we try to understand its causes? Jesse Ribot and his team of scientists and researchers say climate stress is not the main reason that young men and women are fleeing Africa. “The people we are working with in the Sahelian zone are oppressed and exploited. They are victims of an economy and political environment that systematically takes away any profits they generate – leaving them continuously destitute”, he says.

Creating inclusive cities for all in Kenya

What used to be a high-tension camp where fights could erupt out of nowhere now seems to be a settlement where refugees and people from the host community can live together in harmony. – We try to learn from our history and enable an inclusive city for refugees in a manner where the host community becomes integrated instead of creating an exclusive plan for the refugees, says Mark Ewesit, Chief Officer Ministry of Lands and Urban Planning, Turkana County, Kenya

Experiences on inclusion of refugees in Uganda shared in Almedalen

Refugees bring challenges to the cities, but they also bring possibilities. During a seminar in Almedalen, ICLD focused on the role of cities as frontrunners for the democratic inclusion of refugees. “The most important aspect is to accept the refugees as a part of us, a part of humanity, as brothers and sisters”, says Joseph Ssenyonga, City Council Member, Makindye Division, Kampala, Uganda.

International training programme for gender equality seeks national mentors

The ICLD is about to launch a new International Training Programme – Gender Mainstreaming Local Democracy – based on the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal no 5 – Gender Equality. The target group is governmental officials responsible for sustainable gender equality development in their local government.

Falun and Tsumeb in joint municipal partnership project for urban planning

A municipal partnership is strengthening international democratic efforts to boost participation by and the influence of individuals. Sweden’s Falun Municipality, together with Tsumeb in Namibia, is working to solve land development issues and urban planning in both municipalities. It’s essentially an issue of democracy: “Yes, it’s important that everyone’s needs are met. Both Falun and Tsumeb are experiencing rapid growth,” says Linda Varga, international coordinator at Falun Municipality.

Almedalen: basic needs before democratic work

One of the issues that will be addressed during the ICLD seminar in Almedalen is, “How do we create inclusive cities for all?” A pretty big question with no straightforward answers, but Susanne Hedlund, Refugee Coordinator in Botkyrka Municipality, has identified an important starting point: “Housing is really important. You need something of your own to come home to before you can get to grips with the other aspects of your life,” says Susanne.

Education created respect and a platform for development

The multi-year ICLD programmes in Zimbabwe were summarised in March in Harare when 82 people were invited to a full day of swapping experiences. “They told each other about their experiences of the programme and the difference it has made to their work,” says Shannon Lövgren, one of ICLD’s Programme Officers for international training programmes.

Democratic arenas need mutual learning

Want to change the world? Talk to young people. “We have to get used to listening and asking questions. Our western perspective isn’t always the best solution. The way we think limits us, but ICLD’s focus on mutuality and reciprocity is, I believe, important, particularly when you include young people in democratic arenas,” says Ana Maria Vargas, Research Director at ICLD’s Knowledge Centre.

Local top politicians’ network grows and makes its mark

Everything from intensive media coverage to the adoption of EU treaties on equal rights for men and women is up for debate in the wake of the leadership skills training for top female politicians “Local Political Leaders – Capacitating Women in Politics”.

The Young Republic offer democratic support for young refugees

The Young Republic wants to support young refugees to take part in democratic processes. – There is always an emergency-thinking about refugees, but we often forget that the majority of refugees have long-term needs. To be included and to participate is important, says Mohammed Al-Saud, The Young Republic. He believes in the solution they are working with – non-formal education, advocacy and research, all different pieces of the same puzzle.

Inclusive Municipalities for Refugees

During Almedalen ICLD is arranging the workshop: "Inclusive Municipalities for Refugees - What can Swedish, Ugandan and Kenyan municipalities learn from each other to foster the democratic inclusion of refugees?" for local politicians and civil servants from Swedish municipalities.

Almedalen: 10 ways to create a more inclusive city for refugees - Innovations from Sweden, Kenya and Uganda

During Almedalen 2017 ICLD focused on the topic refugees and the role of cities as frontrunners for the democratic inclusion of refugees. Watch the video from the seminar from 5th of July "10 ways to create a more inclusive city for refugees - Innovations from Sweden, Kenya and Uganda".

22 new international local democracy development partnerships

A total of 22 new projects have been given the go-ahead to develop and strengthen local democracy within the framework of the development partnership.

Mutual learning strengthens local democracy

A total of 60 people with a combined total of 300 years of political experience met at Moshi in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania to take important steps forward in their country’s democratic development.

ICLD’s research has a clear focus on the new global sustainable development goals

Four research projects have received financing and will be conducted between 2017 and 2018. The new global Sustainable Development Goals were discussed during the conference “The Future of Local Government in a New Development Agenda: Cutting Edge Research, Reality Changing Policies”, in Visby, 2016. As a result of the conference, ICLD approved four research projects within the themes of migration, gender equality, inclusive cities, and transforming the city from below.

Local Governance with a Rights Based Approach

The participants of the third round of the international training program “Local Governance with a Rights Based Approach” have now been selected. Georgians are the majority in this group but there are also participants from Serbia.

Why we don’t live in an equitable society

As much as 85-95 per cent of respondents agree that they want to live in an equitable society. So why have we never achieved this? Well, because we live in a society that is governed and maintained by the norms that support the existing power structure.

Together in Zimbabwe

Civil Servants and Politicians work together in Zimbabwe reach the Sustainable Development Goals. By combining the political will with administrative authority, ICLD is able to strengthen their local working relationship.

Call for mentors - Inclusive Political Leadership

The Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) is looking for five national mentors to the International Training Programme titled Inclusive Political Leadership (IPL).

New International Training Programme - Inclusive Political Leadership

The Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) is launching a new Advanced International Training Programme titled Inclusive Political Leadership (IPL).

ICLD Fieldwork Grant

ICLDs fieldwork grant is a program for Swedish and International Master students registered at a university in Sweden. The aim of the program is to provide the opportunity for students to conduct fieldwork in one of ICLDs partner countries.

Municipality of Chair – An inclusive municipality

Persons with disabilities in Macedonia are frequently marginalized in society and face numerous challenges in the enjoyment of their human rights. They are marginalized by the society, by their families and in many cases by themselves. – Expressing our rights and recognizing that we are valued members of society is essential so that we feel respected as citizens, says Sefer Selimi the president of NGO Shpresa.

Uganda – Tree nurseries in Hoima municipality

According to the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics (Uganda Statistical Abstract 2015) the country’s deforestation rate was 5,4 percent per year between 2005 and 2010. The rate seems to be increasing. A team from Hoima that follow the international training program “Municipal Financing Supporting Local Development and Local Democracy” now aim to create highly productive tree nurseries.

Lusaka - Slum upgrading

70% of Lusakas approximately 1,4 million inhabitants live in slums without proper access to basic services. Sanitation is here one of the worst problems. The capital of Zambia has 37 slums and the project run by Chongo Mangiza and Mwiche Mudala within the International Training Program “Municipal Financing Supporting Local Development and Local Democracy” targets Kanyama which is one of the biggest slums. The purpose of the project is to upgrade this slum area.

New Director of Research boosts knowledge and research

ICLD’s Knowledge Centre will receive a boost starting in 2017. The unit has a number of tasks, including providing financial support for research into local democracy, assisting the development of ICLD’s partnerships and training programmes on the basis of the latest research, and bringing together theoretical researchers and practitioners.

Training activities that are changing the world

Every year, over 1,000 people take part in one of the international training programmes run by almost 20 organisations and funded by SIDA. There are some 50 rounds of training in progress right now, and with seven programmes for politicians and administrative officials alike in over 20 countries, ICLD is one of Sweden’s largest organisers of training for sustainable change and democratic development. Recently all of Sweden’s ITP organisers got together at SIDA for a day of exchanging experience.

Networking meeting for top politicians in Uganda

40 or so politicians from 11 countries met up in early December 2016 in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The majority of them were there at the conclusion to the ICLD course, Local Political Leaders – Capacitating Women in Politics, a leadership programme aimed at elected politicians at local and regional level. A number of Swedish politicians also attended in the capacity of mentors.

MPP training 2017 - Registration now open

The ICLD Municipal Partnership team and the Sida Partnership Forum, would like to invite you to a three day long MPP training course in Härnosand, Sweden on the 18-20 September 2017.

New Conception of the Citizens’ Service Center

Nino Latsabidze and some of her colleagues from Tbilisi City Hall participated in ICLDs ITP program “Local Governance with a Rights Based Approach” in 2015-2016. As part of the program they worked on a change project that aimed at developing the services towards the citizens of the capital of Georgia in multiple ways. The service model the team developed turned out to be very successful and is now replicated in other municipalities of the country.

Exchange on local democracy development

Over 60 percent of the municipal partnerships are collaborations between Swedish municipalities and their counterparts in African countries. Of those, Tanzania is one of the most common. There are many reasons for both practitioners and researchers to share experiences and challenges with each other about how the development of local democracy progresses.

Equal services for all citizens of Vracar municipality

As part of the ITP: Local Government with a Rights Based Approach - Irena Lakobrija Delic, organised a project addressing inequalities in how persons with any form of disability were treated. Irena presented her experiences at Sida's day for ITP-organisers in Stockholm on the 26th of January.

Theory meets practice in our Advisory Group

All of ICLD’s operations are based on facts and knowledge. Linking an Advisory Group made up of international and Swedish researchers to the Knowledge Centre allows ICLD to keep up to date with the latest research findings in the fields of local democracy and decentralisation.

17th N-AERUS Conference in Gothenburg

17th N-AERUS Conference: 2016 in Gothenburg. Governing, Planning and Managing the City in an Uncertain World. Cooperative Perspectives on Everyday Practices.

Programmes focusing on sustainable urban development

Town planners from Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine are taking part in a new training programme focusing on holistic and inclusive urban development through the SymbioCity Approach.

Tbilisi - Planning of city centre using SymbioCity Approach

A team from Tbilisi City Hall - the department of urban planning, participated in the first round of International Training Programme: Enabling Local Democracy and Holistic Urban Development through the SymbioCity Approach. During the training the team developed a plan for the development of one central area in Tbilisi.

New insights when partners take MP training courses together

Clearly defined problems are critical to the projects’ success and it is vital to involve all stakeholders in the process. These are just some of the key insights that the participants in ICLD’s…

Focusing on human rights

In November, 25 participants in ICLD’s international training programme focusing on human rights spent three weeks in Sweden in order to further their understanding of the four target areas, namely equality, participation, transparency, and accountability.

Agents for change, focusing on human rights

26 participants from 5 countries in Eastern Europe are currently visiting ICLD in Visby as part of our international training programme that focuses on local governance with a rights-based approach.

Democracies need strong women

Visby hosted the fourth round of the popular and much discussed training programme, organised by ICLD and aimed at leading female politicians from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

32 new international partnerships for municipalities and county councils

Hörby and Peja in Kosovo are developing a citizen dialogue on the subject of refuse collection. Västerås and Gabarone in Botswana are working with citizen dialogues and collaborations with trade and industry. These are just two of 32 new ICLD partnership projects.

Västerbotten and Yogyakarta – saving lives through citizen dialogues

Citizen dialogues have enabled the partnership between Västerbotten and Yogyakarta in Indonesia to identify ways of predicting outbreaks of dengue fever.

Why SKL invests in citizen dialogues and Municipal partnerships

Lena Langlet is responsible for citizen dialogues at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SKL. She has identified a number of reasons why citizen dialogues are vital to Swedish municipalities and county councils.

A deeper understanding of the past builds a better future

Kalmar County Museum has developed a time travel methodology used by the Kalmar County regional federation and the Cape Winelands District in South Africa as part of their municipal partnership.

Criticism paved the way for dialogue

Hörby municipality’s partnership project with Peja municipality in Kosovo taught them the value of citizen dialogue.

Ale and Ghanzi are keen to see increased public involvement

Ale municipality already has a tradition of citizen dialogues, but has entered into a partnership with Ghanzi District Council in Botswana in order to further develop this approach.

Citizen dialogues are a must in handling today’s societal problems

Hans Abrahamsson on why globalisation, migration, and urbanisation require new democratic structures.

Applications for research support is now closed

Swedish and Russian researchers were encouraged to apply for funding of research into Swedish and Russian local government. This call is now closed.

Theory meets practice in our Advisory Group

All of ICLD’s operations are based on facts and knowledge. Linking an Advisory Group made up of international and Swedish researchers to the Knowledge Centre allows ICLD to keep up to date with the latest research findings in the fields of local democracy and decentralisation.

24 new international partnerships for Swedish municipalities

Växjö and Tlokwe in South Africa are working to improve ways in which measures targeting vulnerable families are coordinated. A partnership between three municipalities – Ale in Sweden, Budesti in Moldova, and Ghanzi in Botswana – will involve working together to improve young people’s participation potential, not only in schools but across society as a whole.

Well, to whom DOES the budget process belong?

For a change agent there are a lot of challenges. Especially when it comes to trying to change well-cemented structures like the budget processes in a patriarchal society. Someone who has had her fair share of meeting these challenges, is Rozeta Aleksov. One of the 25 participants in the second round of the International Training Programme “Local Democracy and Social Sustainability with a Gender Perspective”.

Effective Solid Waste management in Haldwani

A solid waste management system in Haldwani, state of Uttrakhand in India, started off as a project for change by Neeraj Joshi. Neeraj attended the ICLD international training programme Decentralization and Good Governance with a Gender Perspective in 2012-2013. Now it is the only one project sanctioned in Uttrakhand by the government of India.

Helping left-behind children

All over the world, people from rural areas are moving into the cities to build a future for themselves. In China, the escalating level of urbanisation has resulted in children being left in the countryside when their parents move to the city to work and make a living. These children are the focus of a project in which Vara municipality in Sweden and Huangshan in eastern China have developed methods of helping the children left behind handle the position in which they find themselves.

Building something that lasts

Long before there was a formal partnership between Vushtrri in Kosovo and the Swedish town of Växjö, the two towns had a connection. Around 1,000 Kosovo Albanians live in Växjö and in 2012, Vushtrri’s mayor paid a visit to the town. It was then that the plans for a joint project were hatched.

A toolbox for success

The first partnership between Gothenburg in Sweden and Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa was formed in 1999, since when a number of instructive projects have been conducted. In 2012, the two municipalities decided to take their partnership much further than ever before.