Thematic local partnerships
Thematic local partnerships are collaborations between local authorities in developing countries, countries in transition and countries in the process of EU-approximation, and Swedish local and regional authorities. The work is often supported by the associations of local governments.
Within a program-setting, thematic local partnership can be a device both for formulating and testing out policy, especially decentralization policies and policies for regional and local development, and for national level efforts in the sphere of gender equality, for instance. The tool provides a mechanism for ensuring sustainability of policies and programs, through mapping of existing practices on the local level and testing out innovations and novelties. Moreover, the tool benefits from being supplemented with grants schemes to fund local level innovations and key investments.
The thematic partnerships’ design aims to disseminate knowledge through interaction at the local level. At the centre of the program, there are thematic clusters of local authorities, working towards a specified goal. These thematic clusters take several factors into consideration:
- National development strategies and policies and the role for local authorities in the fulfillment of these strategies;
- Demand for regional development and thematic cooperation in a given country or region
- Priorities, strengths and weaknesses of local authorities in the partner country, and in Sweden
In addition to the thematic areas, a number of cross cutting themes run through all the activities. These could include gender equality, sustainability, transparency and accountability, poverty reduction and EU integration, including access to EU funds.
It is also necessary to involve important stakeholders such as community representatives in the process. Within each thematic cluster, recourses and experiences are brought from all relevant stakeholders, including universities, NGOs and the private sector.
Tusenet – thematic local partnerships and strengthening of the Turkish union of municipalities
SALAR and the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT) cooperate on strengthening the Turkish municipal sector through a focus on good governance and citizens’ participation. Special efforts are also made to prepare both municipalities and the UMT for EU accession.