The Strategic Partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and VNG International is 5-year programme, focused on 4 thematic priorities: Security & Rule of Law, Migration, Local Revenue Mobilisation, and Integrated Water Management. This programme, called the Sustainable Development through improved Local Governance (SDLG) programme, is currently being implemented in 8 countries (Burundi, Mali, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, Iraq, and Mozambique). Despite the diverging contexts and themes, the SDLG programme pursues one overall objective: To empower local governments and their representative bodies to shape a more sustainable future for their communities.

About the programme

The Sustainable Development through Improved Local Governance (SDLG) programme based on a Strategic Partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and VNG International. A partnership that has been very successful and operational for over 2 decades.

This programme will run for 5 years and is focused on 4 thematic priorities: Security & Rule of Law, Migration, Local Revenue Mobilisation, and Integrated Water Management, and is currently being implemented in 8 countries (Burundi, Mali, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, Iraq, and Mozambique). As the programme develops further, more countries will be added to this list, depending on the need on the ground.

Despite the diverging contexts and themes, the SDLG programme pursues one overall objective:

“To empower local governments and their representative bodies to shape a more sustainable future for their communities.”

Over the course of 5 years, each thematic area aims to achieve a main objective:   

SDLG

Each target country works on one or more themes. At the moment, the division is as follows:

SDLG2

Each country also has its specific objective:

  • Burundi: To empower citizens to be better informed and claim accountability to engage inclusive decision-making in the communes in Cibitoke and Makamba.
  • Mali: Local authorities are able to address drivers of conflict in a nonviolent and inclusive manner. In particular in the region of Segou, Mopti & Sonrou.
  • Palestine: Achieving legitimate stability and sustainable peace in conflict-affected states.
  • Somalia: Local authorities and youth in Garowe and Quardho jointly promote inclusive local economic development.
  • South Sudan: Improve self-reliance of communities in Eastern Equatoria to effectively prevent and resolve water-related conflict in a non-violent and inclusive manner.
  • Uganda: More sustainable development in 9 local governments in Uganda, for those in fear of conflict, those who risk being left behind, and affected host and displaced communities.
  • Iraq: To improve responsiveness by Iraqi subnational governments and local service provision departments to host and displaced communities’ needs in adaptable service solutions.
  • Mozambique: The overall objective of SDLG Mozambique is that local authorities can catalyse economic development by generating revenue for public investment. First in the city of Beira, later possibly also in other cities in Mozambique.


In order to respond to the various requests for expertise, we work together with various partners, including local government associations in the target countries, international and national experts, CSOs, The Hague Academy for Local Governance (THA) and Dutch local governments.

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