Programme objectives

Inclusive Local Governance

The main objective of this training programme is that participants develop new or improved practices and/or policies for inclusive public participation in their local governments.

The programme welcomes applications from teams from the eight local governments in southern Africa within Human Rights network consisting of at a minimum: one elected politician; one local government official and one representative of a civil society organization.

Governance, in general, is made up of the processes both political and institutional through which decisions are implemented. Governance is most effective when these processes are inclusive, participatory, accountable, transparent, efficient and respect the rule of law.

Inclusive governance is particularly important at local level, where governments interact with citizens and communities. Local government officials and politicians on the local or regional level as well as civil society organisations are increasingly identified as key players in development and democratization. The civil society organisations can be grass root organisations such as youth groups, resident associations, urban poor, workers associations or other community-based organisations. This creates a unique opportunity for participatory practices and the co-creation of politics between citizens and local political leaders.

Long Term Objectives:
› Local governments in the programme are including citizens to a high degree in local decision-making processes.
› Citizens are integral partners in making, executing and evaluating policy on (insert issue).
› Human rights and Agenda 2030 are integrated in formal guidelines, routines and activities.

Intermediate Objectives:

  • Participating public officials and civil society are knowledgeable and aware of rights-based approach and Agenda 2030
  • Participants are able to identify and highlight dilemmas and possible conflicts in the context for fulfilment of various rights and goals
  • Appropriate routines are developed and put in place so that results are monitored and communicated on a regular basis
  • Participants have developed skills and capacities to impact their organizations towards a more participatory democracy
  • Participants are able to reflect on problem complexity (from a rightsbased perspective) and to work cross-silo, cross-sector, and with civil society and citizens to address complex HR problems
  • Participants have capacity to collect, process, analyze, and learn from varied forms of information regarding human rights dilemmas.


The programme has a strong focus on participatory democracy which strives to create opportunities for all members of a population to make meaningful contributions to decision-making. It enables citizens to have a direct role in decision making that affects them, particularly at the community level, where citizens and officials engage as more equal partners in more inclusive, transparent and accountable processes aimed at ensuring greater citizen participation, particularly among women, underrepresented and marginalised groups.

Areas of expertise included in the Programme to achieve the intermediate objectives:

  • Knowledge on the role of citizen participation in democratic local governance
  • Citizen´s participation methods in accordance with HRBA
  • An increased understanding of HRBA complexity and cpability to identify HR dilemmas as well as complexities and dilemmas within SDGs
  • Learning about human right problems and dilemmas (and how local governments perceive, define and address these problems). This involves challenging participants assumptions, supporting them to develop new hypotheses and ideas, and gathering how to gather evidence to guide thinking and action.
  • Training in leadership, strategic planning and communication
  • Exposure to different political landscapes and different leadership styles
  • Study-visits in a Swedish municipality or region
  • Support in disseminating key results to other local governments, nationally and internationally
  • Help the participants to fully utilize the power and influence of their position in their local community
  • Strengthen the participants as a role models to encourage political participation among underrepresented and marginalized groups
  • Give the participants access to relevant networks that fit their work positions.


  • Through a series of trainings, study visits, lectures and workshops
  • By Identifying dilemmas and finding solutions to issues faced by local government officials
  • Through peer to peer knowledge exchange both through North-South and South-South exchange and access to the Partnerships for Human Rights network within the Municipal partnership programme  
  • For those participants who are active in an ICLD Municipal partnership during the time of their training: through additional support in the implementation of the partnership’s democracy development project with a focus on a Human Rights issue
  • Through sharing of professional obstacles and successes in an inclusive environment
  • By having national mentors and experts connected to participating team
  • By sharing and analysing best participatory democracy practices from around the world
  • By offering strategic support and coaching from ICLD staff and their mentors


The participants will use the ongoing Municipal Partnership projects as learning cases to develop new or improve already existing local policies for inclusive participation. The programme will guide participants in developing these policies through a series of trainings on theory and methods of inclusive public participation including the use of dilemmas that illustrate how equity, participation, transparency and accountability interplay in participatory processes. The participants will work on a change dilemmas together during the training and implement a strategy to make the municipality equitable, participatory, transparent and accountable.