The Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) takes a rights-based approach to poverty alleviation–the organization’s mission is to “promote local democracy in developing countries in accordance with Sweden’s global development policies.” The ICLD aims to empower people to influence their own lives and development by strengthening local institutions, and promoting decentralization and citizens’ influence.
The ICLD was founded at the beginning of 2009 as part of the Swedish development cooperation, and focuses on “cooperating with existing institutions and authorities, as opposed to constructing parallel activities”. The ICLD’s activities are mainly organized in three sectors: 1) Municipal Partnership Program, 2) International Training Programs, and 3) Knowledege Center.
- In order to achieve the Swedish development cooperation’s goal of reducing poverty, the Municipal Partnership Program aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences between Sweden and 20 selected countries. Result-oriented projects between Swedish municipalities, county councils and regions on the one hand, and municipalities and regions of other countries on the other hand, are undertaken to contribute to welfare and prosperity.
- International Training Programs were established to enable key persons from developing countries to become acquainted with Swedish models and state of the art knowledge, and to build strong networks on both sides. These activities strive to strengthen local democracy and democratic institutions in the partner countries.
- The activities of the Knowledge Center focus on research, conferences, workshops and publications within the area of local democracy in order to gather and develop more knowledge about this field.