Loures (Portugal)-Maio (Cape Verde): Programme of Reinforcement of Decentralised Actors

30 enero 2018

PLATFORMA has decided to reward the best city to city and region to region international cooperation projects. Twelve projects have been shortlisted out of 25 applications. This is how Loures (Portugal) is presenting its project with Maio (Cape Verde):

The Programme of Reinforcement of Decentralised Actors started in January 2011 and finished in December 2014. Its main objective is to contribute to the reinforcement of local government and civic participation in Sao Tomé and Principe and Cape Verde. The project was co-financed by the European Union and Portuguese Cooperation, implemented by the municipality of Loures and the Institute Marquês de Valle Flôr in partnership with the municipalities of Maio (Cape Verde) and Agua Grande (Sao Tomé and Principe).

The project had the particularity to allow the simultaneous cooperation with two twining partners of the municipality of Loures, promoting in Sao Tomé and Principe and Cape Verde the reinforcement of civic participation and the empowerment of local governments as focal agent of local sustainable development.

The Programme of Reinforcement Decentralised Actors gave a new impulse to the decentralisation processes in both territories. The consolidation of a strong, democratic local government, able to answer basic necessities of its population and to assume its role as a focal agent for local sustainable development, decisively contributed to the improvement of the quality of life of concerned populations. The institutional reinforcement of both local partners reinforced their capacity to intervene and answer to the necessities of their populations, ensuring the sustainability of the programme.

The action had an intervention integrated around 4 distinct but complementary pillars:

  • It contributed to transversal issues such as Democracy and Good Governance through the introduction of participatory budget in the island of Maio; the Forum and the Plans of Local Development in Sao Tomé
  • The training activities favoured the theme of gender equality
  • The interventions always considered the environmental sustainability of the techniques
  • The promotion of health mutualism contributed to the increase of social protection and access to health

External cooperation is a domain of competence of Portuguese municipalities. The municipality of Loures has been undertaking for more than two decades an inter-municipal cooperation policy based on twining partnerships and cooperation agreement, contributing to the development and well-being of the population of sister cities. The twining Loures-Maio started in May of 1993 and the twining Loures-Agua Grande was signed in June of 2011.

To ensure a better efficiency, efficacy, sustainability, and complementarity of actions, the municipality of Loures commits to partnerships with Portuguese and local NGOs to implement projects in twined cities. There is also a concern to ensure that projects implemented are aligned and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Loures is a founding municipality of the Inter-municipal Network of Development Cooperation – Association of municipalities, created in Portugal in 2013 with already 20 municipal partners. This results from the acknowledgment of the growing importance of a model of cooperation based on bonds of partnership, which can enhance human development, and tends to confer greater reach and meaning to joint initiatives of improvement of living conditions of the populations of the municipalities of countries of Portuguese language.

(Translated from Portuguese by PLATFORMA)

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