Published 4 April 2023

What we do

SALAR International’s vision is a world where all people have the power to shape their own lives in inclusive local democracies and sustainable communities.

To achieve the vision, we focus on four broad domains of change; decentralized democratic systems, effective and equitable service, local sustainable development and EU accession.

With more than 25 years of experience, SALAR International supports partner countries in making informed choices towards decentralisation. This is done through strengthening local authorities' capacity for service delivery and promoting sustainable local development. Our approach is rights-based, with methods adapted to our partners' needs and interests.

Local self-governance is one of the core principles of democracies that respect and promote human rights and contribute to a sustainable way of living. SALAR International supports the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It lays down standards for protecting the rights of local authorities. The Charter commits the parties to applying basic rules guaranteeing the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities. It provides that the principle of local self-government shall be recognised in domestic legislation and, where practicable, in the constitution.

We promote dialogue between all actors in society and support capacity development by sharing experience and expertise to implement and adjust reforms making use of lessons from local governance programmes to feed into policy dialogue.

Building a strong foundation for change

The creation of a sound and reliable evidence base is the foundation for all change processes. For all people to have equal opportunities to shape their own lives, it is vital to integrate gender equality, human rights and poverty reduction at all levels. Being closest to individuals and local communities, local and regional governments play a critical role and have the power to mainstream these perspectives across different areas of work. This is no less true for perspectives related to environmental concernst conflict sensitivity and anti-corruption.

In addition we guide EU candidate countries and countries already in the union through EU local government policies and legal frameworks.