This years theme:
Local Democracy Academy: Global Disruptions and Local Democracy for a Post-Covid World

The 2020 Local Democracy Academy will explore how is local democracy affected because of different disruptions and what are possible transformative pathways? The academy is organised around interactive and participatory sessions. Participants are expected to contribute, read, write and actively engage during the entire week. The academy is divided into the following sessions: Thematic streams, Training Sessions, Writing workshop on Local Governments responses to Covid-19, Inspiring Lectures and Local Policy Makers Dialogue.

14 December

13:00 – 14:00


Welcome to the Academy and Participants Introduction

14:00 – 14:30

Keynote Opening

Keynote Opening by Anders Knape, Chairperson of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SALAR.


Anders Knape, Salar

14:30 – 15:00


Local Democracy and Covid-19: Lessons learnt

15 December

13:00 – 15:00

Thematic and Training session

Thematic session

  1. The effects of Covid-19 on local democracy and the role of local government
  2. Human Rights Cities as a response to exclusion
  3. Inclusive Local Governments: creating a new social contract
  4. Governing with integrity and transparency: replacing norms that subvert local democracy
  5. Local government accountability in times of disruption
  6. Local democracy in the fight against climate change
  7. Achieving gender-equal municipalities
  8. Decentralization and local autonomy in times of crises

Training session

a) Netnography: understanding social interaction in digital communication

b) Digital methods to research local democracy

c) Communicating research to society: a workshop with The Conversation

16 december

13:00 – 15:00

Thematic Session and Training Session

17 December

12:30 – 15:00

Aimday: Connecting Research and Practice

18 December

13:00 – 15:00

Virtual Meal. Concluding Speach

Beyond the Hype: Leveraging Data and Technology for
Local Democracy.


Tiago Carneiro Peixoto, Governance Specialist, The World Bank

Download the programme here

Background to this year’s theme

2020 has been characterized by disruptions, all of which are simultaneously global and local. The global spread of Covid-19 has very different local level ramifications and responses everywhere, depending on geography and socioeconomic context. Local governments are simultaneously challenged by the climate crises, the rise of protest and civil unrest, increase racial, gender and class inequality, and the decline in human rights protections, among others. Parallel to this, citizens in many countries, and many cities, have been taking to the streets to protest unjust treatment by the authorities. These protests have been local in their focus but global in their scope and have opened up the space for the re-imagining of citizen engagement.