The wider objective of the project was to conduct a Millennium Municipalities Campaign in order to support and stimulate municipalities and their citizens to actively contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on the local level. The MDGs are eight international development goals that were established by the United Nations in 2000 with the aim to be achieved in 2015.
The specific objectives were to:
– Raise public awareness of the MDGs and international municipal cooperation among municipalities and their citizens;
– Give municipalities and their citizens the ability to formulate an opinion on international cooperation and point out to them how their behavior influences international affairs and the MDGs and how they might want to alter said behavior.
– Citizens will approach their own municipality in a dialogue about international cooperation and will play an active part in the Millennium Municipalities Campaign.
– Politicians, council members and civil servants will be well instructed on how to give shape to the Millennium Municipalities Campaign in their region.
– Politicians, council members and civil servants will implement the Millennium Municipalities Campaign on a local level and will stimulate citizen participation and interest on the MDGs and global citizenship.
The results of the project are:
– Increased public awareness of the MDGs in all Dutch municipalities.
– As a result of VNG International’s Millennium Municipalities Campaign, 160 municipalities are using the title Millennium Municipality to promote the MDGs and show their support to the implementation of the goals.
– 160 municipalities were supported with expertise, advice, activities, conferences and products in order to create awareness of international problems in the field of poverty, hunger, equality, sustainability and Fairtrade among their citizens.
– Improved knowledge of the MDGs among more than 1.000.000 Dutch citizens, through communication channels, national and local events, school activities and more. Stimulated the development of opinions on international cooperation and the will to alter behavior based on an awareness of global issues and the MDGs.
– More than 3000 students have participated in awareness raising programmes such as school debates and workshops on the Millennium Development Goals. 68% of the participants has indicated to have learned about the MDGs while 62% has also indicated to feel involved in tackling international problems . 15% of the participating students has claimed they want to play an active role within their Millennium Municipality.
– Established online information network (through website, newsletters, Twitter and Facebook) for citizens, civil society organisations, the business sector, council members and political leaders.
– Established a Millennium Council Member Network with 174 municipal council members from different Dutch municipalities. Provided them with an annual symposium with workshops, where best practices in the field of ‘global citizenship’, sustainability and Fairtrade were shared. The percentage of municipal councillors within this network trying to take into account the international context in local issues has increased from 54% in 2013 to 60% in 2014.