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May 12, 2020     cib    

The Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD) has been working together with local governments in both South Africa and Indonesia to create better conditions to deal with COVID-19.

 It is fantastic to see how ICLD’s international municipal partnerships contribute to the global fight against the spread of viruses  says Johan Lilja, secretary general of ICLD.

You will find a short summary of both good practices below.

Municipal partnerships help create better conditions to deal with Covid-19 in South Africa

Lessons and methods learnt from Municipal Partnerships are valuable in the ongoing Corona crisis. The J.B Marks municipality in South Africa is an example of this. Through their partnership with Växjö municipality in Sweden, they have gained tools to cooperate between political opposition and the majority during a crisis. These tools enabled a quick response to reduce the spreading of the Covid-19.

It is mainly the methods learnt from the “Politician Project: Leadership, coalitions & voters” that have proven to be valuable in the ongoing crisis. The project focused, among other things, on methods for information dissemination and dialogue with local residents, as well as increased dialogue across political boundaries. Furthermore the internal communication has improved:

The Communication tools that we have learned from the partnership are helping a lot in this situation like communicating internally through notice boards, emails and through small departmental meetings   says Thabiso Mono.

The partnership between Växjö municipality and J.B Marks municipality started as early as 2005 and has since completed 42 projects and inception studies (development projects) within the partnership. The lessons Thabiso describe are mainly results from the project carried out in 2015–2017 called “Politician Project: Leadership, coalitions & voters” between Region Kronoberg and J.B Marks Municipality, when a total of 21 politicians from 11 different political parties in Sweden and South Africa participated. The project focused, among other things, on methods for information dissemination and dialogue with local residents, as well as increased dialogue across political boundaries. The project enabled communication between political parties, even in more informal contexts. A participant evaluation conducted within the partnership emphasised lessons learned about collaborating around issues of common interests, even in difficult times.

Please find more information here.

Cooperation between Region Västerbotten and Yogyakarta

Knowledge and working methods developed from the cooperation between Region Västerbotten and Yogyakarta are today being used to communicate regarding COVID-19 in Indonesia. One of the key components of the project is geographical information systems that provide a better overview of the current health situation and the measures that are implemented in the immediate area. In order to quality assure the information that is used as a decision basis, the project has conducted a large number of studies of the system behind the statistics, for example the routines in hospitals that form the basis for reporting disease data. An important task has also been to identify when, where and how citizens want health risks to be communicated in order to receive expected benefits. Thus, throughout the project period, citizens have been involved in designing the working model. The latest addition is a survey of young people’s preferences for how health risks should be communicated, a study that may be repeated in Sweden.

Please find more information here.