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ALDA at BUK Festival in Modena: come and visit us!


After the great experience of last year, ALDA will join the BUK Festival on May 2022 in Modena.

Dedicated to small and medium publishing and directed by Francesco Zarzana, vice-president of ALDA, this 2022 edition marks the XV anniversary of the Festival! Focusing on the importance of culture and the literature, this initiative represents not only an opportunity for hundreds of people to meet authors and writers; but also to understand how culture is an essential element when it comes to idea sharing and rights.

ALDA at BUK: join the debate entitled " Europe of rights", on Saturday 7 May at 10.30-12.00 at "Sala Leccio"

Hence, by experiencing a fragile moment for democracy both at EU and global level, ALDA, based on the knowledge and gathered through its projects,  will conduct a debate entitled ” Europe of rights”, on Saturday 7 may at 10.30-12.00 at “Sala Leccio”

Starting from the reflections on the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the importance of citizen participation for the protection of human rights, while considering the attack on the fundamental principles of the European project, peace and security, the event will investigate the new challenges posed to a Europe of solidarity. In addition, exchanging good practices of active citizenship will be at the centre of a workshop, taking place right after the debate.

Last but not least, ALDA will be present with a stand dedicated to the projects ACHIEVE, BRAVO BRAVISSIMO, CAPPERI, EPIC, EUscepticOBS.


Open Government and smart communities - Register to the international event


Open government is a broad concept that involves multiple dimensions, and it is easily declined in a variety of definitions. The OECD defines it as “a culture of governance based on innovative and sustainable public policies and practices inspired by the principles of transparency, accountability, and participation that fosters democracy and inclusive growth”.

Generally speaking, new technologies and digital transformation are key aspects leading to open government, boosting data and information availability, while fostering new ways of shared decision making. In light of this, the AVATAR Project, a partnership between 12 medium and small size towns committed to open government, has been established to promote the culture of open-data and spread the use of digital public services among citizens. By overcoming the traditional administrative boundaries, the 24 month project has seen an intense collaboration among each municipality acting as a “smart community” aimed at fostering the digital culture for citizens, firms and civil society

ALDA, through its operative branch ALDA+ has participated in AVATAR organizing more than 100 events in the target area and coordinating the project in collaboration with local authorities, civil society organization and a variety of stakeholders from different sectors: school and education, ICT firms, and informal group of citizens.

Now it is time to bring AVATAR on another level: join the international event on 24-27 May in Schio (Italy), to learn, to share experiences and practices, hopefully leading to greater coordination and harmonization of activities and practices, while benefitting not only the implementation of the project per se, but also the involvement of citizens of small and medium sized cities.

Hence, partners think that AVATAR will gain great value with the contribution and commitment of EU

actors who believe in the powerful opportunity of digitalization as a mean to:

  • improve, reinforce and enlarge participation in local self-government;
  • promote a consistent, transparent and efficient relationship between citizens, civil society organization, local stakeholders and public administrations, according to the Council of Europe 12 principles of Good Governance.


Take a look at the 3-day agenda

Discover the International Conference’s agenda

Register to the event here

ALDA awarded with the accreditation to implement ELoGE

The commitment to good governance

The European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) has invested its energy, knowledge and expertise in promoting democracy and good governance at local level. Following the establishment of the Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) in the Balkan area, on the initiative of the Council of Europe ALDA has been created to coordinate and further implement the work of the LDAs. Hence, since its foundation in 2000 ALDA’s mission is based on core elements, be they: citizens participation, decentralised cooperation, people and local authorities’ empowerment.

In light of this, it comes with itself the strong bond that the Association has with the overall European context, as well as the values promoted by the Council. With the idea of sharing its know-how, while concretely working on the promotion and realization of the distinguishing European principles, ALDA has been awarded the accreditation to implement the “European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE)” in several municipalities in Croatia, Kosovo* and North Macedonia.

#ALDAforELoGE in a nutshell

ELoGE at a glance

From a general perspective, CoE created different toolkits to measure good governance, and “The European Label of Governance Excellence” is, thus, one of them. More in concrete, ELoGE relies on a partnership between the Council of Europe and an existing reputable regional, national or transnational entity or an ad hoc platform with a substantive know-how,  expertise or experience in the field of good  governance, especially at the local level.

Hence, the ELoGE programme offers tools to local authorities to measure how they comply with the 12 Principles of Good democratic Governance, which are:

1) Participation, representation, correct conduct of the elections; 2) Responsiveness; 3)Efficiency and effectiveness; 4) Openness and transparency; 5) Rule of law; 6) Ethical conduct; 7) Competence and capacity; 8) Innovation and openness to change; 9) Sustainability and long-term vision; 10) Sound financial management; 11) Human rights, cultural diversity and social cohesion; 12) Accountability

This compliance can be measured through the implementation of the benchmark for the European Label of Governance Excellence, which is also an excellent learning opportunity for the municipalities to improve their daily work.

At the end of the ELoGE Programme, a crystal dodecahedron – the symbol of ELoGE – is awarded to the municipalities which have demonstrated compliance with the principles of good governance, measured against a national benchmark.

ALDA for ELoGE in practice

The tasks that the Association is called to fulfill may be summarized in four main aspects, consisting of:

  • Support to LDAs in terms of organisation of workshop organized for the subscribing municipalities so to analyse and scrutinise all technical aspects and to prepare the implementation at local level
  • Benchmark: prepare the technical files and guidelines to implement it
  • Questionnaires, available on an online platform, are prepared by ALDA. The latter supports the local dissemination, as well as he analysis of the data collected
  • Final evaluation consists, among others, in the definition of guidelines for evaluation methodology; and the creation of Evaluation committee


Check the campaign of ALDA’s social media, to get weekly updates on the 12 principles!


The narrative of a human-based system to welcome refugees from Ukraine

On 13th April, EPIC partners and external actors gathered together for the 3rd EPIC webinar “From emergency reception to an inclusive and sustainable response: the narrative of a human-based system to welcome refugees from Ukraine”. During the webinar, participants listened and talked to activists in a safe space, discussing the impact of harmful narratives and on the need for a sustainable reception.

Kateryna Rusetska, artist and activist from Dnipro, who works closely with our EPIC partner Kitev, talked about the importance of using the right word when discussing the current Ukrainian circumstances. Hence, she stressed the importance of calling this situation as what is is: As she  said: “it’s not a conflict, it’s not Putin’s war, it is a real war”. She emotionally continued by expressing Ukrainians’ pain and suffering, alongside with anger.

Furthermore, Yulia Krichiv, Ukrainian activist living in Poland, focused as well on the choice of the right vocabulary. This war, she said, it’s an “imperial and colonial war”, as happened, she continued, to the so-called “post-soviet countries [that] are actually post-colonial countries”.

"We lack a narrative to feel powerful in peaceful times" - Hania Hakiel

Hania Hakiel, psychotherapist and supervisor working in the field of refugee trauma, closed the panelist round. According to her, we lack a narrative to feel powerful in peaceful times, thus we talk about refugees only through an emergency narrative. Furthermore, she analysed the psychological attitude of people helping refugees, and how they expected refugees to always be grateful, without realising that by so doing, an unbalanced bond among people may be created.

After the guests’ speeches, EPIC partners intervened explaining how they are managing the arrival of  new comers, how states and institutions are lacking of cooperation and mutual support, thus leaving the management to private and no-profit organisations. In addition, they reflected on how Ukrainians have been promised to reach western Europe and easily access the labour market, while finding accommodations, and on how all this narrative became problematic to help them settling in a new country. Having that in mind, EPIC partners are constantly working to ensure that Ukrainians feel safe and have access to essential public services, but in order to do so, the right narrative is needed.

The webinar ended with a Q&A from the audience and from partners, while, as agreed, there was no conclusion on the matter, as it is impossible to have it at this moment. Nonetheless, this webinar further illustrated the importance of considering a more human-based system when it comes to welcoming refugees.


Civil society Exchange: good governance and digital participation for Turkish and European civil society

Last month (March 2022) marked the conclusion of the TEAM4TEAM program supported by MitOst within the framework of the Civil Society Exchange Partnership Program 2020-2022. This program, implemented by ALDA and its Turkish partner MEDAR – Media Research Association aimed to foster a democratic discourse, to strengthen the capacity of grassroots media actors to function as drivers of democracy and to empower civil society in being actively engaged in public affairs and expressing/reporting their views.

To this end, 12 Turkish and European civil society organizations were selected to benefit from a series of training sessions on key topics that would allow them to strengthen their operating methods and learn from each other, as well as from a funding opportunity enabling each beneficiary organization to pair up with a European or Turkish counterpart to exchange best practices.

During this past year, the program has allowed a real bridging and bonding of these beneficiaries, who have worked together on topics such as fundraising for media and democracy projects, good governance, news verification, digital security, digitization, social media and third-party tools, data analysis and media, with the support of ALDA and MEDAR, and developed bilateral exchanges on this basis, resulting in the creation of a real community of mutual support and the development of new local practices while promoting EU-Turkish international cooperation.

Creation of a real community of mutual support and the development of new local practices while promoting EU-Turkish international cooperation

This community has finally been able to gather in person at the conclusion of the TEAM4TEAM programme in March 2022, with the last activity of the scheme: a Spring School which consisted of a week of face-to-face sessions to share new tools and experiences from the programme and was held with the support of the Erasmus+ programme through Youth News project. The Spring School brought together all the beneficiaries in Tarragona, Spain, as well as other international and local expert stakeholders, and was intended to be as interactive as possible. Keeping the focus on the previously addressed programme themes, the offline approach allowed for numerous games and simulations to further explore the topics in an engaging and innovative way.

On the agenda of the week were: games on local governance such as Electionville where participants had to set up their political party and confront others through the course of the political process through the guidance of Fabel, the game’s founding organization, the design of communication campaigns for participants to put themselves in the shoes of citizen journalists through workshops provided by MEDAR, the discovery of digital tools for participatory democracy such as the presentation of the Decidim platform developed by Platoniq in Barcelona, and citizen consultation simulations facilitated by ALDA where one had to play the role of either an elected official, a local lobby, an association or a citizen and debate a project at the local level.

Besides that, numerous intercommunity games were held, as well as the presentation of the exchange projects carried out bilaterally by the beneficiaries, and study visits to Tarragona, making this week extremely rich in exchanges and allowing the beneficiaries to get acquainted with new tools but also to finalize their action plans to build common ground for their future collaborations, one of the final objectives of the TEAM4TEAM programme.

If the expected results of the program are evaluated by the partners as more than fulfilled, this last week has had much higher results than expected in terms of networking, since a real community of mutual aid has emerged from this event. Great to have been part of this project on Turkish-European civil society!


Youth4Ukraine: together to support young generations in Ukraine

Mobilizing its network to provide greater support to Ukrainian colleagues and people. Knowing ALDA’s members’ actions to work together for one single aim: peace. This is why ALDA is glad to share “Youth4Ukraine” initiative, promoted by its member DYPALL Network

Located in Portugal, DYPALL is willing to promote youth participation at local level. Thus, the reason behind its action: gathering voices and thoughts of young people from all over Europe on the current situation in Ukraine. Overall, the action is aimed at make stakeholders and “people in power” aware of young people perspectives on this.

“Youth4Ukraine” gathers voices and thoughts of young people from all over Europe on the current situation in Ukraine

By launching this social media campaign, the Portuguese Network is inviting everyone, especially teens and youngsters to follow the Youth4Ukraine IG profile and:

  • Share their opinion in a video of a maximum of 1-minute (English or in your native language). Upload it on TikTok, Instagram or Twitter under #youth4Ukraine or send it directly to @Youth4Ukraine Instagram profile or
  • Send us a message with their name, age, country and a short message they want to share.

ALDA supports positive actions of its network to support the ongoing war. The Association is constantly in touch with colleagues and friends in the Country. #ALDAforUkraine


Useful info:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/youth4ukraine/ 

Email: youth4europe@dypall.com

Website: https://dypall.com/youth4ukraine

Community-based Rehabilitation and Inclusive Social Theatre


The inclusive show entitled  “Theatre for everyone”, organized by the LDA Tunisia took place on 30th March 2022, in the cultural center Chebika- Kairouan within the project “Je Repars de Toi”: Community-based Rehabilitation and Inclusive Social Theatre.

The programme of the show was rich in terms of performances and content: starting with Tunisian national anthem in the language of signs, moving then to a mime play, a play of fantasy, a song, and an inclusive rhythmic dance. The audience loved every bit of the show thanks to its smooth and vivacious performances.

The 33 performers, aged between 10 to 30 years old,  belong to 3 different centers for rehabilitation and specialized education for people with disabilities: 

  • Association Générale des Insuffisants Moteurs de (AGIM Kairouan)
  • Union Tunisienne d’Aide aux Insuffisants Mentaux (UTAIM Kairouan)
  • Association de Soutien Aux déficients auditifs (ASDA Kairouan)

Among them, there were also 4 participants without disabilities and enrolled in the public center for defense and social integration (CDIS)

The inclusive show entitled  “Theatre for everyone”, organized by the LDA Tunisia took place on 30th March 2022, in the cultural center Chebika- Kairouan

The festival, held for the second year, results from 3 workshops for children with disabilities established in the aforementioned centers in October 2020. During the sessions, the participants received regular training that aimed to contribute to their inclusion in the society, to reinforce their capacities, while empowering their personalities. Indeed, the show echoed the success of these activities, showing the ability of the participants to move smoothly on stage and performing autonomously.

Generally speaking, the core of social theater is to create an environment of coexistence, tolerance, and acceptance within the community. Theater is for everyone: each of us is welcomed to join the training activities. The latter are adaptable and flexible according to the capacities of the participants. This concept has been turned into reality in the “Theatre for everyone” show. In addition, the audience was amazed by the skilled and dedicated performers who brought so much enthusiasm and passion to the scene, everything well presented also thanks to decoration, accessories, music and sound effects which were designed and selected with much care and attention.

Moreover, in the framework of the same project “Je Repars de Toi” financed by AICs and implemented with the collaboration of the LDA Tunisia, COPE Italy and associations of rehabilitation for people with disabilities. Furthermore, in light of a new collaboration children with disabilities from Italy will be able to visit Kairouan, joining the theater workshops, and prepare another inclusive show by the end of May, performed by Italian and Tunisian participants.

Finally, this great result was achieved thanks to the constant mobilization of the community and the contribution of different partners. Parents of people with disabilities, children, children and people with disabilities, representatives of local authorities, public and private administrations, and civil society organizations were among the audience. By the end of the show, the LDA Tunisia was approached by potential partners who encouraged the agency and provided promising ideas and recommendations for new collaborations.


'Locked Out of Lockdown’: COVID-19 on Migration Narratives

PERCEPTIONS project partners, the Hellenic Ministry of Citizen Protection’s Center for Security Studies (KEMEA), Caritas Cyprus and the Cyprus-based technology company ADITESS, organised at the the beginning of this year a dedicated event entitled: ’Locked Out of Lockdown’: COVID-19 and Its Effects on Migration Narratives, Migrant Realities and Institutional Responses.

The event focused on the effects that the health crises had on people in movement towards Europe. Hence, what kind of challenges did migrants have to face in order to integrate into European societies?

'Locked Out of Lockdown’: COVID-19 and Its Effects on Migration Narratives, Migrant Realities and Institutional Responses

Possible answers were discussed during the roundtable, paying special attention to the impact the pandemic has had on the perceptions that shape migration patterns, on the realities migrants faced during a public health emergency and the ways service-providers and first-line practitioners adapted their activities.

Overall, this event was part of the ongoing PERCEPTIONS Research and Innovation Project coordinated by SYNYO GmbH and funded by the European Commission under a Horizon 2020 grant.


More information on Perception Website
Video credits: Percpetion Project]