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EDLS story: Empowering local players of development education

19 November 2019

To support the European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS) 2019 campaign, PLATFORMA is publishing a series of success stories and testimonies of cities and regions engaged in development education and awareness raising on decentralised cooperation. The first “EDLS story” focuses on the empowerment of local players.

Being the closest level of government to citizens, local and regional governments have a strategic role when it comes to supporting, articulating and promoting development education efforts in their territories.

Development education and awareness raising (DEAR) is in fact a key component of international cooperation policies at city or regional level. It is also an essential tool for the achievement of global sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda particularly refers to education for sustainable development and the promotion of a culture of non-violence to provide citizens with the tools and skills to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

There are many experiences of local and regional governments involved as lead or partners of EU-funded Development Education and Awareness Raising that systematically involve a wide range of territorial players that would otherwise find it extremely difficult to access EU funds, such as well-enrooted local Civil Society Organisations, education departments, social economy sector or local media.

In Spain, for instance, DEAR-related efforts are a key activity sector of regional and local international relations, cooperation or solidarity departments. Most of the Spanish DEAR related funding comes from towns and regions public budgets. (Read more on the policy context and main challenges of Development Education as part of decentralised cooperation strategies in Spain.)

For example, on 18 and 19 November, in the framework of the European Days of Local Solidarity promoted by PLATFORMA, the Regional Government of Extremadura through the Extremadura Agency for International Development Cooperation (AEXCID) is organising the “I Seminar on European Project and Programme Management” in Cáceres (Spain). More information on the EDLS agenda and on the programme. The main objective of this training initiative is to strengthen the knowledge of local authorities and NGOs about global sustainable development and European programmes. More than 30 participants from various city councils and NGOs are expected to participate in AEXCID’s third EDLS participation!

On 8th November, Rennes city council participated for the second time to the EDLS with a similar proposal: a meeting open to all the city’s implementers of international cooperation projects. The event brought together local players to discuss and work about enhancing projects’ value and attractivity (visual campaign, social networks, graphic facilitation, etc.).

(Next “EDLS story”: how the municipality of Getxo in the Basque Country wants to reach 0.7% of the public budget dedicated to international development cooperation)