ALDA - the European Association for Local Democracy is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level. ALDA in particular focuses on activities that facilitate cooperation between local authorities and civil society.
ALDA was established in 1999 at the initiative of the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities to coordinate and support a network of Local Democracy Agencies which was established in the early 1990s. It remains one of its supporting programmes. It is the umbrella organisation of the Local Democracy Agencies which are self-sustainable, locally registered NGOs that act as promoters of good governance and local self-government.
ALDA is a membership based organisation gathering more than 150 members (including Local Authorities, Associations of Local Authorities and non-governmental organisations) coming from more than 30 countries. ALDA is funded through membership fees and project funding from the European Commission, the Council of Europe and other public and private donors.
What is unique about ALDA?
Most of ALDA's work is based on the method of multilateral decentralized cooperation. This method involves a multi-stakeholder approach which focuses on strong partnerships between Local Authorities and non-governmental organisations. These partnerships create positive synergy and ensure that common goals are reached in a successful way.
What we do?
In the framework of promoting good governance and citizen participation at the local level ALDA focuses on various themes, such as European integration, decentralisation, civic initiatives and volunteering, human rights and sustainable economic development.
ALDA conducts its activities through different forms of action:
- Coordinating and supporting the 13 Local Democracy Agencies in their activities.
- Conducting its own projects in the field of good governance and citizen participation at the local level.
- Supporting other local stakeholders’ initiatives - like Local Authorities - by providing expertise gained through ALDA’s knowledge and experience in the regions where ALDA and the Local Democracy Agencies are working.
Where we work?
ALDA works in most of Europe and the European neighbourhood countries. Activities in the European Union focus in particular on the promotion of Active European Citizenship. Activities in the Western Balkans and European Neighbourhood focus on good governance, citizen participation, European integration and decentralisation.
Most of the Local Democracy Agencies are located in the Western Balkans, which gives a natural focus on that area. But ALDA is also becoming more and more active in the European neighbourhood. In 2006 a Local Democracy Agency was established in Kutaisi in Georgia and in 2011 a Local Democracy Agency was opened in Gyumri in Armenia. ALDA is also leading several other projects and developing partnerships in other European neighbourhood countries, such a Belarus, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.