Municipal Partnership Programme

In the municipal partnership program, ICLD offers local governments in a number of partner countries and Swedish municipalities and regions, the possibility to enter result oriented collaborations for exchange and peer learning.

The objective of the programme is to strengthen local democracy by increasing:

  • the influence of marginalized groups and young people on local decision making,
  • the number of women in decision-making positions in local governments,
  • the openness, transparency and accountability of local governments.

ICLD is convinced that people’s lives and situation can be improved, and poverty can be reduced through the development of local democracy in municipalities and local governments.

Therefore, ICLD supports participants in the partnerships, elected officials and civil servants, as change-agents to impact and develop practices in their own organisations within equity, participation, transparency and accountability. Organisational results such as formalizing more democratic practices, can positively impact citizens situation on societal level. For example, improved access to rights and enhanced living conditions for vulnerable groups. The collaboration can be applied across the entire municipal area of responsibility.

Partnerships for the Goals: A municipal partnership is also a way for local governments to achieve the Sustainable development goals and ICLD offers resources to implement the 2030 Agenda in their operations. For more information on the programme, see the municipal partnership Guidelines.

Eligible countries for collaboration

Collaboration is possible with countries on the DAC-list of OECD. The following countries, divided into four clusters, are eligible for Municipal Partnerships:

Europe – Kosovo, Serbia and Ukraine
Latin America – Colombia, Guatemala
East Africa – Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda
Southern Africa – Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe

In addition to these countries, there are a number of countries where municipalities already have an established relationship e.g. an ongoing dialogue/inception or ongoing projects. ICLD can allow partnerships with these countries to continue their engagement: Bosnia and Hercegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Moldova, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Moçambique and Namibia. New collaborations with local governments in these countries will not be approved.

Interested in joining the programme?

One can apply for an inception, usually the first phase of a partnership, at any time throughout the year. For Projects and Steering groups as well as the other components of the programme there are certain calls for applications. There is currently a call for applications open with a deadline August 28th 2023. A second call for applications will follow with a deadline October 30th.

With new guidelines from April 2023, ICLD has a new project planning tool that must be used for Project applications. If you have started or completed the inception or expansion phase and are not familiar with the new ICLD project planning tool, but are about to apply for a project/steering group in 2023, contact the MPP team at and we will help you! Otherwise, by pressing the buttons below you find information about the different components of the programme, and about applying for them.