Jan 21, 2021
Each year in January, our International Staff Conference brings together our key experts and our home office staff to share our successes and discuss the challenges we meet in strengthening democratic local government. Last Thursday, 21 January, this meeting was held for the first time online, allowing even more of our international staff to participate.170 of our experts and staff, from 20 countries, participated.
Rich and inspiring exchanges
VNG Chairman Jan van Zanen gave an inspiring speech, in which he stressed the relevance of our work for effective and democratic local governments and the underlying ambition to build better futures for the people they serve. He also praised the VNG International staff and experts for how project interventions have been adapted to the new reality created by Covid-19 and the impact of the pandemic on local governments and citizens worldwide.
Then we made an also very inspiring and informative ‘World Tour’ to our offices in Algeria, Benin, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, Mozambique, Rwanda, Palestine, Sint Maarten, Tunisia, Ukraine, and of The Hague Academy for Local Governnance.
10 Interactive workshops gave space for rich exchanges about developments in our work and new initiatives, varying from our CriT service to local governments confronted with Covid-19 challenges; the integration of gender in our work; our products related to local taxation, to urban development and much more. The conference was concluded with the impressive performance of “Song of Freedom” by the famous Tunisian violinist and singer Houyem Ghattes.