24 new international partnerships with Swedish municipalities to boost local democracy
A total of 24 new projects part of activities pursued by ICLD, the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy, will receive financial support to improve and strengthen local democracy within development partnerships. ICLD is financed by Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
Borlänge and Lodwar in Kenya are to work together to encourage democratic inclusion for Somali refugees in both municipalities, which will help tackle a pressing global challenge. Göteborg and Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa want to get young people more involved in urban development to create cohesive local communities governed by law. Växjö and JB Marks in South Africa are keen to develop ways of implementing the UN’s 2030 Agenda in their municipalities, while Robertsfors and Machakos in Kenya want to devise better control mechanisms for gender equality, to create more equal societies.
The overriding goal for all these projects is to develop local democracy and reduce poverty. And democratic development tops the list of the most common areas for collaboration in this round, which include economic development, social care, urban development and education. Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya and Zambia are the countries where the most partnerships have been granted funding in this round, followed by Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, South Africa and Vietnam.
“Democracy is a vital factor in tackling poverty. Sadly, in many places around the world today we’re seeing democratic development heading in the wrong direction, which is why it’s so important to maintain and strengthen partnerships that relate specifically to democracy issues,” says Carin Jämtin, Sida’s Director General.
ICLD’s partnership programme features four core areas for local democratic development. All projects must contribute in various ways to greater opportunities for gender equality, inclusion, transparency or accountability in their municipality. Partnerships offer people the chance to participate in improving their life circumstances and contributing towards sustainable societies.
“The partnerships give people the opportunity to share experiences and challenges in global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda, while improving sustainability in local democracy,” says Karin Norlin Bogren, Programme Director of ICLD’s Municipal Partnership programme.
In addition to the 24 new projects, 136 partnerships are already under way. Local governance is the most common focal point for cooperation in this application round, and many applications have a clear link between the project and the global 2030 Agenda. Over 55 Swedish municipalities, county councils and regions have been on board. Grants for the projects total between SEK 300,000 (+- €30,500) and SEK 500,000 (+- €50,900) a year and they extend for periods of one to three years.
The following municipalities have been granted support for one or more projects: Ale, Arvidsjaur, Borlänge, Göteborg, Lidköping, Piteå, Robertsfors, Strängnäs, Sundsvall, Tyresö, Vänersborg, Växjö, Älvsbyn, Östhammar and Västerbotten County Council.
Find out more about the various projects at: www.icld.se