Local Democracy Academy  2024

Alla deltagare samlade utan för ett universitet för en gruppbild
Participants from LDA 2022 in Visby in front of the University. Photo: Maria Jansson

Research and Practice for Empowering Local Democracy: From Local Initiatives to Global Transformation  

Lund, Sweden 26-29 of August 2024 

In the ever-evolving landscape of global challenges, elected local governments can catalyse higher-scale transformative change. Join us at the 4th Local Democracy Academy, an action-research conference gathering change-makers dedicated to understanding and harnessing the power of democratic innovations. Participants will engage in thought-provoking discussions, share groundbreaking research, and collaboratively explore instances where local governments have acted as architects of global transformation.  

Goals and Objectives:

Thematic streams: Climate Action, Gender Equality, Democratic Resilience, Equitable Health, Youth Inclusion, and Human Rights Cities.

What to expect?  

The Academy is built around real-world problems and challenges identified by local governments in the ICLD network. At the Academy, researchers will: 

  • Present their research around the key themes of the conference.  
  • Participate in Local Democracy Labs and use their expertise to discuss ways of addressing the challenges identified by local governments. 
  • Build capacity for impact-oriented research. 
  • Co-create ideas for research proposals and policy briefs. 

We hope participants will leave the conference inspired, motivated, with new connections, and better equipped to apply for grants from ICLD and other organizations. The conference will generate:

  • Research ideas for after-lab projects, living labs, and literature reviews on key elements of local democracy 
  • Research ideas for lessons learnt from local democratic innovations and participatory democracy to address complex democratic challenges 
  • Prize for the best policy-relevant paper and best research ideas


The Local Democracy Academy 2024 is organised by ICLD (Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy), UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) and Lund University.

ICLD acknowledges the financial contribution to its research programme made by the government of Sweden through Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

Local Democracy Academy – Connecting Research and Practice

The ICLD Local Democracy Academy is an intensive academic program that brings together an international group of leading scholars for a week of mutual learning, critical thinking and joint exploration of new ideas to foster a more inclusive local democracy on a global scale. The Academies should result in comparative and innovative research proposals, cutting edge papers, and a dynamic network of scholars interested in the role of cities and local governments in development. Following the conference, ICLD invites the participants of the Academy to submit proposals for funding of research networks. ICLD covers the cost of transportation, accommodation, and meals during the academy for selected laurates.