Tusenet – thematic local partnerships and strengthening of the Turkish Union of Municipalities (UMT)

The Swedish aid agency Sida financed this innovative project, which involves the Swedish and Turkish associations of local authorities, five Swedish and 23 Turkish municipalities.

The aims were to strengthen the municipal sector through a focus on good governance, citizens’ participation, safe-guarding of municipal interests and efficient municipal service delivery. Cross-cutting issues as gender equality, transparency and sustainability were also covered. Given the Turkish process of EU-approximation, special efforts were made to prepare both municipalities and the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT) for EU accession.

The methodology of thematic local partnerships implies a fusion between Swedish municipal experiences and the reality of Turkish municipalities. The process aimed at capacity building and the development of municipal practices, but also resulted in “products” that can be useful for other municipalities through the take-up by UMT and the further dissemination of these products.

Examples of themes treated by the partnerships are:

  • Strategic Solid Waste Management Planning
  • Rescue Services and Risk Management
  • Urban Planning
  • Human Resource Management
  • Participatory Budgeting
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Local Arena Building including Triple Helix Cooperation (municipalities, private sector and academies)
  • Municipal Energy Planning

The partnership between the two associations, SALAR and UMT, included an Organizational Development Review of UMT, exchange of experiences in advocacy and lobbying, preparations for EU accession etc.

TUSENET started in 2006 and will ran until early 2011, when Sida decided to support a second phase of the project, running from 2011 through 2015.