In Gdansk to work for the coalition in support to the activities of LDA Mariupol

The civil society and the cooperation with institutions are fundamental to reconstruct Ukraine. On the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, ALDA organised a dedicated event in Gdansk (Poland), entitled “LDA Mariupol partners meeting”, to present the work of the Local Democracy Agency Mariupol, while discussing activities and future collaboration with new partners from EU countries.

“ALDA is working to create new LDAs in Ukraine; advanced discussions are underway regarding the establishment of LDAs in Vinnitsa, Kharkiv, Odessa, Mykolaiv”- stated Antonella ValmorbidaSecretary General of the Association.

The same commitment to support the initiatives of the LDA was also echoed by Monika ChabiorDeputy Mayor of Gdansk. Besides, Ms. Chabior expressed both the will of the city to be engaged within youth projects – be they exchange programme, and Erasmus plus; and the newly implemented initiatives targeting the integration of Ukrainian inhabitants. Moreover, the city of Etterbeek (Belgium) and Distric 11 in Barcelona, invited to the meeting, were of like mind in engaging with LDA Mariupol.

Stakeholders and partners met in Gdansk to provide ad hoc aid and support to LDA Mariupol

The urgency to support the local community, previously mentioned by the LDA partners, was further stressed by Vadym Boychenko, Mayor of Mariupol, who not only shared the suffer and pain of the people of Mariupol, but also the importance of international support in the rebuilding and returning processes. Hence, the coordinated actions of international CSOs and networks around the above-mentioned phases is vital and crucial. This is also why the Vice-Rector of Mariupol University, Tetyana Marena, is in favour of further cooperation for the development of the LDA Mariupol project, thus further strengthening the bond between the Agency and the University, the latter hosting itself the premises of the LDA.

What emerged quite clearly during the meeting, was the necessity of providing ad hoc humanitarian aid to Ukraine, as emphasised by the speech of Olga Pikula – Member of Mariupol City Council, introducing the “Ya Mariupol” project, which has currently 17 offices across the country and carries out activities to support Mariupol residents on issues such as humanitarian aid, job search, psychological and medical support. Similarly, Oleksandra Kulichenko, representing LDA Mariupol, provided an overview on the initiatives implemented in support to city residents.

Overall, the meeting in Gdansk marked a fruitful moment for the further collaboration of different stakeholders with the LDA Mariupol, while stressing the importance of local communities in being resilient in war time. There is a need to restart locally for the reconstruction of the Country.

Local Democracy Agency Mariupol was established in December 2017 and focuses on dialogue between local authorities and civil society, public participation in decision-making on local development issues, participatory budgeting, support for the decentralization process and the creation of united territorial communities. Partners: NGO “Mariupol Development Fund” (Lead Partner); Mariupol City Council (Ukraine); City of Gdansk (Poland); Akmene District Municipality (Lithuania)

Local context and needs analysis after the pandemic: finalised the ReCAP project report

The first result of the ReCAP project has been successfully completed!

In the framework of the Project Result 1, the final report elaborated by the project partner, Solidaridad Sin Fronteras, with the contribution of all partners, aims to draw a picture of the post pandemic local contexts addressed, collecting the specific needs of young people from the point of view of professionals working with youth. The report is now available in English and it will soon be accessible in other 7 languages. 

Through desk research and a detailed questionnaire, the ten project partners have investigated the social issues that the pandemic caused or worsened on young people. After having finalised it, the questionnaire was distributed among professionals working with youth and other relevant stakeholders from November 2022 to January 2023. 

The research involved 124 professionals working with vulnerable young people, with the following distribution: Bulgaria (25), France (22), Italy (21), Romania (19), Portugal (18), Spain (10) and Greece (9). Most of them are women (69%) between 25 and 34 years old. In a previous phase, partners identified the stakeholders to address the questionnaire, in order to cover the main areas where stakeholders working with vulnerable youngsters can be found: municipal youth centres, educational centres, social work services, labour orientation services, security office, health centre, and others. According to data, the sector where the survey has been implemented the most is the educational sector, so it is over-represented and this has to be taken into account when looking at the overall results. The young population groups with whom these professionals work most often are: girls (39,67%), youth not in employment, education or training “NEET” (38,02%), youth with migrant background (33,88%), minorities (29,75%), youth from the LGBTIAQ+ community, youth with disabilities (3,30%) and minors in the penal system (1,65%). 

Despite the disparities among the countries, some similarities can be found. The research shows that professionals working with youth are concerned about the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on psychological health and emotional well-being, and they pointed out the effects on socialisation, cultural life, studies and training. Results show that young people’s relationships within all the spheres of their lives have worsened, especially with the educational environment, with themselves and with the local community. 

The Local Context and Needs Analysis Report draws a picture of the specific needs of young people in the post-pandemic period

Overall, the national results highlight that the services provision is now higher than before the pandemic, especially in Bulgaria and Greece, but with the exception of Italy. It is a general optimistic result that shows that the local services have probably adapted to the urgency of needs, and that highlights the resilience of the educational and social sector professionals. Young people seem to visit the services more often than before the pandemic, and they mostly need psychological and emotional health support and educational support. According to professionals, the use of psychological support is the most relevant tool to work with youngsters nowadays. 

Moreover, the study reveals that most professionals consider artistic and cultural tools useful and motivating for youngsters, which is certainly an optimistic outcome that will ensure a positive uptake of the ReCAP project future tools.

Read the Report here. 👈


2030 Youth Vision starts in Portugal: together to promote the active participation of youth

The 2030 Youth Vision project has officially started!

On January 12 & 13, 2023, the Kick-Off Meeting of the project took place in Lousada (Portugal), where the consortium was kindly hosted by the Municipality of Lousada.

The first transnational partner meeting represented a great opportunity for the six partners to get to know each other and work on the next steps of the project.

Different challenges are faced by young people in the context of globalisation (demographic and climate changes, artificial intelligence, democratic disaffection or pandemics etc.) and very often they are left out from participatory processes at all levels.

2030 Youth Vision project, based on the wide experience of project partners on youth participation in civic and democratic life, aims to increase the active participation of young people, with a focus on those belonging to disadvantaged groups, in the co-production of local policies for the achievement of SDGs.

It is of great importance that the voice of youth is effectively considered in the process and that young people are protagonists in the achievement of these goals.

2030 Youth Vision project aims to increase the active participation of young people, with a focus on those belonging to disadvantaged groups

During this two-days meeting, the consortium discussed the organisational, management and financial aspects of the 2030 Youth Vision project, as well as the communication and dissemination strategy to be implemented.

This Kick-Off meeting has been a great opportunity to lay the foundation of the project and build a strong partnership.


Metropolitan Cities and local inhabitants: fostering cooperation and increasing awareness on EU funds through “CAMELOT” project

The great international adventure of CAMELOT  project (Cities And Metropolis in Europe Laboring Onward Together) ended on Thursday 16 February at Palazzo Isimbardi, the institutional headquarter of the Metropolitan City of Milan.

“Today we’re concluding this project, which has been able to promote eight events and lots of local activities, despite the pandemics” – stated Mr. Purcaro,  General Director and Secretary of the Metropolitan City of Milan “CAMELOT has favoured the cooperation between active citizens and public bodies” – he continued “in the process of building a metropolitan European identity”.

"CAMELOT has favoured the cooperation between active citizens and public bodies in the process of building a metropolitan European identity" - Mr. Purcaro,  General Director and Secretary of the Metropolitan City of Milan

Hence, the added value of this project lays on the networking activities implemented among partners, in terms of  exchanging experiences and good practices on the management of European funds, and improving the correct use of the latter. Thus, accessing fundings at EU level is a valuable way to support local bodies (Metropolitan Cities in this case) to empower citizens and improve their living conditions also in marginalised neighbourhoods.

Specifics and details of the targeted areas are available on the project website, which collects all the results and events achieved and implemented within the 36 months-length of the project itself. In addition, in order to encourage citizens’ awareness and interest in this crucial topic, the outputs of the project are available online in different languages.

Overall, this final event contributed to achieve the aim of the project: encourage democratic and civic participation of citizens at a European level, while creating a network of Metropolitan Cities and fostering sharing of good practices and knowledge on European funds.

The project has been developed in the framework of, and financed by, the Europe for Citizens Programme 2014-2020.  Details: 148.680 euro available, 36 months of work, 9 European partners and 500 people involved

Supporting Democracy worldwide: ALDA in Mexico for the 2023 Global Forum

What protections and assistance does democracy, in its most direct form, require to survive and thrive?

This will be the question that experts, Organisations and Associations, promoters of direct democracy worldwide, will try to answer during the  “2023 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy”,  which will take place in Mexico City from February 27, until March 4, 2023. 

This year’s Global Forum represents a great opportunity for Mexico and Latin America, not only for the importance and weight of the topics discussed, but also because it will be the first one held in the Western Hemisphere after more than 10 years. 

Organised by a consortium led by the Independent Electoral Institute, the Forum will analyse how the new and innovative constitution of the city-state will impact democracy globally. In addition, it will dig into the situation of direct democracy in Mexico and Latin America, exploring its promises and perils. 

The Global Forum will also examine, through the intervention of various speakers, the infrastructure required for a strong democracy, discussing concrete opportunities for protecting and expanding democracy worldwide. 

ALDA, and its member Labsus, will take part in the 2023 Global Forum contributing to the support of democracy worldwide

ALDA, being committed to the promotion of democracy and citizen participation since its establishment, will take part in the event together with its member Labsus, the Laboratory for Subsidiarity, represented by its vice-president, Daniela Ciaffi, to bring an additional value given from the expertise of the latter in the field of democratic processes. 

Labsus’ aim, in a nutshell, is to educate citizens about the opportunities at their disposal to contribute in giving a solution to issues of common interest, together with public administration. 

With a Panel titled “Mechanisms for citizen participation in key sectors (health, security, construction and food)” which will take place on Friday, March 3, 2023, ALDA and Labsus, together with IDDECO Internacional,  will contribute to the discussion by hosting a session on the tools that citizens can use to participate in the democratic dialogue. 

An active, responsible and participatory citizenship is the key for a long-lasting democratic system. 



Discover here the six-days long programme!  

Find out more about the Global Forum here.


Reconnecting with members and partners in Ukraine: Bucha and Mariupol State University are ready to become ALDA Members


Focus on the flagship initiative: strengthening Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine

No one should be left behind, especially under war circumstances. The role of the civil society and local authorities in building peace, reconstruction and counterbalancing the atrocities caused by the Russian invasion is fundamental. Institutions, at the same time, should also work in cooperation among each other and together with the representatives of the local communities to be resilient in this war. 

ALDA is working exactly to achieve this aim: bridging institutions and CSOs together to create a network of stakeholders that will reconstruct Ukraine, day by day. Benefitting from the deep knowledge of Ukrainian society, and from the initiatives already implemented with both LDA Dnipro and LDA Mariupol, during the latest mission to Ukraine Ms. Valmorbida – ALDA Secretary General; Mr. Coica – Eastern Partnership Coordinator; and Mr. Ostrowski, in charge of the development of the LDAs in Ukraine, met different stakeholders with whom further co-create a path for reconstruction and resilience in Ukraine.

We visited Bucha, and the city Mayor, Mr. Fedoruk, expressed the interest in becoming member of ALDA” stated Ms. Valmorbida. 

“Bucha is ready to become not only a member of the Association, but also to open an office in the city” - Mr. Anatoliy Fedoru Mayor of Bucha

Moreover, the mission allowed the ALDA Delegation to reconnect with Ms. Lomakina – Representative of LDA Mariupol, and other stakeholders like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The latter was among the main promoter of the trainings, developed within the programme “Platform for Good Governance and Environmental Protection”* and delivered by Ms. Valmorbida, back in 2021. 

The bond with the city of Mariupol is profound, long, and so enriching that the Mariupol State University has also started the process to become an ALDA Member. Visited during the February Mission, the University, now located in Kyiv clearly due to war, not only is providing support to students but it is also hosting the LDA itself. The Association cannot be more enthusiastic of its cooperation with Ukrainian Local Authorities and Universities. The team also had the chance to meet again the Mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boichenko

In addition, ALDA Delegation met Mr. Sergey Chernov, President Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils with whom they discussed:

  • ​​ALDA’s activities in Ukraine and determining priorities in providing assistance to Ukrainian local self-government;
  • The roadmap of cooperation in engaging local governments of EU countries to support Ukraine;
  • Possibilities to further openings of ALDA representative offices in Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine.

Finally, crucial meetings took place at the Polish, Italian and French Embassies thus to echo the voices of people living in Ukraine, while, at the same time, contributing to cooperation with governmental institutions.

“We are a global alliance of local authorities and civil society to support good local governance and we stand with Ukraine” concluded ALDA Secretary General, testifying the endless commitment of the Association for Ukraine, for peace and democracy.

This week the commitment continues with the organisation of the LDA Mariupol partners meeting in Gdansk (Poland) on 24 February 2022. ALDA calls for more partners to join the initiative:


*Programme financed by UNDP in Ukraine


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The Grey4Green Consortium in Aarhus: nature conservation and fighting climate change

From the 1st to the 4th of February 2023 the 6 partners of the Grey4Green project met in Aarhus, the second biggest city of Denmark at the Fo-Aarhus premises.

The two days were fruitful and much was on the table including the training course on active ageing and nature conservation to be held in Cyprus in May 2023. 

In particular, on the 2nd of February the consortium welcomed members from Ældre Sagen NGO and  Bedsteforældrenes Klimaaktion National Movement for an exchange on best practices and initiatives running all over Denmark for climate change and justice.

Nature conservation and fighting climate change at the core of Grey4Green meeting Denmark

It was an excellent opportunity to get to know local Danish realities and exchange experiences on nature conservation and fighting climate change, topics dear to the Grey4Green Project.

In Aarhus the partners were also able to visit the Botanical Gardens, the Aarhus green oasis, one of the many impressive green areas in the city.

A lot of activities lie ahead and ALDA is counting on involving more and more volunteers and stakeholders to get the most out of this project to promote active aging in nature conservation.

Next steps? The Handbook for Senior Volunteers in Nature finalisation, the Training course on active ageing and nature conservation to be held in Cyprus and the third Transnational Project Meeting in Nikosia the 11 and 12 of May 2023.


Respond Locally to Global Issues - Call for proposal for local actions on Sustainability

Register to the Q&A Webinar on 1 March 2023

ALDA, in the context of the Operating Grant of the CERV programme –  will support participatory actions in the field of sustainability. Don’t miss your chance to participate, as at least 16 EU BASED ALDA MEMBERS will be funded!

With this call for proposals ALDA will fund actions that support citizens and groups of citizens in their initiatives aimed at improving their local context, building bridges with local authorities in order to make the change real.

🔸Who can be a beneficiary?

The beneficiary must be a EU Based Member of ALDA (by the beginning of 2023) and a legal entity, in the form of a Non-profit organization, Civil Society Organisation, Association, Local Authority, Public Body.

🔸What is the main objective of the call of proposal?

The call for proposals will fund different organizations developing their own projects at the local level, widening public knowledge, awareness and interest about the EU key policies and strategies. In particular the thematic focus of the regranted actions should have a clear link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and/or the European Green Deal

The regranted initiatives are expected to capitalize their results thanks to their close connection to ALDA key activities and ALDA Thematic Hubs:

  • Environment and Climate, 
  • Community Engagement,
  •  Gender Inclusion & Human Rights,
  • Youth, 
  • Migration.  

Fund your local actions up to 16.000 Eur

🔸Which is the thematic focus of the Actions?
The thematic focus of the re-granted actions should fall under one or more of the following SDGs:

SDG 3 GOOD HEALTH AND WELL BEING: Ensure healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages

SDG 4 QUALITY EDUCATION: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

SDG 5 GENDER EQUALITY : Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

SDG 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

SDG 8 DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH : Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

SDG 10 REDUCED INEQUALITIES Reduce inequality within and among countries

SDG 11 SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

SDG 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

SDG 13 CLIMATE ACTION: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

SDG 14 LIFE BELOW WATER: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

SDG 15 LIFE ON LAND: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

SDG 16 PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

🔸How much is the grant?

The contribution from the sub granting scheme will cover 80% of the total eligible costs of the total budget for the activity. The Beneficiary must provide 20% of co-financing

The grants awarded will be:

Group A) 5 grants for submitted proposals with a budget of 10.000,00 EUR  (Maximum Funding 8.000 Eur – Minimum Co Funding 2.000 Eur ),
Group B) 6 grants for submitted proposals with a budget of 15.000,00 EUR, (Maximum Funding 12.000 Eur – Minimum Co-funding 3000 Eur)
Group C) 5 grants for submitted proposals with a budget of 20.000,00 EUR  (Maximum Funding 16.000 Eur – Minimum Co-funding 4000 Eur) 

🔸Where can the project be implemented?

Activities must take place in the EU

🔸How to apply?

Read the full call for proposals to have all the  information about the call and how to apply! The call will be open from February 15th to April 17th at 10:00 CET. Here is the link to send your application.

The applicants will receive support by ALDA team during the proposal writing process. Any question can be sent to this email address.

Do not miss our Q&A Webinar on March 1st from at 14:00 CET

📌 Useful material and links:

[Call published on 15 February 2023]


LDA Mostar and LDA Edremit: job shadowing activities on work and cooperation with local government

Representatives of the Turkish Municipality of Edremit visited the Local Democracy Agency Mostar today in order to learn more about its work.

After the Memorandum of Understanding was signed with our umbrella association, ALDA, Edremit Municipality is in the phase of establishing the first LDA on the territory of Turkey. Through that process, they were given the opportunity to visit one of the existing LDAs.

Representatives from Edremit (Türkiye) in Mostar to visit the LDA

The Edremit Municipality delegation included the director for human resources and education, Mr. Tamer Acar, who is also the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Edermit and head of the Office for Foreign Affairs, and the Eurodesk Info Point at the Directorate for Human Resources and Education, Mrs. Elisa Falcini. In the City Hall, the delegation was received by the chief advisor of the City of Mostar, Ms. Radmila Komadina and expert advisor for international relations, Ms. Sanela Demirović.

On this occasion, Mr. Acar emphasized that he hopes that LDA Edremit and LDA Mostar will achieve cooperation through joint projects in the future. He also mentioned the possibility of cooperation between the Municipality of Edremit and the City of Mostar in areas of mutual importance.

Director of LDA Mostar, Ms. Dzenana Dedic emphasized the readiness of LDA Mostar to provide continuous support to the newly formed member of the LDA/ALDA family with its experience and examples of practice gained within the 18 years of activity.

The delegation of Edremit Municipality rounded off their visit with a tourist tour of the city of Mostar, organized by LDA Mostar.


Welcome ALDA Italia: the locally registered branch of ALDA in Italy!

So much time passed since that December 17th, 1999 when ALDA was officially registered as a non-profit association aimed at supporting and coordinating the network of the Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs).

At that time, ALDA – the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (this was the original acronym) was a very small organisation based in Strasbourg, and with another tiny office in Vicenza (Italy). From there, a small but highly motivated team started working for the development of the LDAs and of the ALDA Association itself: it was a huge challenge that we took up from scratches.

As a result, 23 years later, ALDA proved to have met the challenge, step by step becoming the wide, well recognised European Association it is today.

Over time, ALDA grew not only in activities and partners, switching from 5 projects and 5 members in 1999, to the current 90 ongoing projects and a network of 300 members.

ALDA made consistent changes also from a structural point of view:

  • from barely two offices, ALDA has an operational team located in 6 offices all over Europe and in the Neighbourhood;
  • from the 5 LDAs in the Western Balkans, we reached 16 LDAs and 3 OPs covering new geographical areas, such as the Caucasus, Eastern Partnership, Middle East, Africa and Türkiye;
  • In 2017 ALDA founded ALDA+ Srl Benefit Corporation, the benefit company exclusively owned by ALDA which aims to capitalise ALDA’s expertise in a responsible, sustainable and transparent way to support the mission of ALDA itself.

Despite all these successes and milestones, ALDA finds itself in a continuous process of growth and improvement, for a more effective action in support of local communities all over the World, promoting good governance and citizens participation.

ALDA finds itself in a continuous process of growth and improvement, for a more effective action in support of local communities all over the World

For this reason, among the most recent challenges of ALDA is to become even more “local”, establishing deeper links and having a stronger impact within the community ALDA and its offices are based in.

In this wake, 2023 kicks off with a great news, being the official registration of ALDA in Italy, in Vicenza: this event marks the establishment of ALDA Italia Aps (ALDA Italy Association of Social Promotion), as a locally registered branch of ALDA.

Formalising the existence and the legal legitimacy of ALDA Italy will enable us, ALDA, to have a broader range of action that will let undertake more targeted and consistent activities, becoming real actors of local change.

All in all, the progress ALDA has made in the past 23 years, or should we start calculating from even earlier, going back to the foundation of the first LDAs in the Balkans in 1993, is more than “an Association growing and expanding in the territory”. It has been a true process of development and differentiation, where ALDA has been deploying all its means to carry out its mission in the most efficient way, with an ever-growing scope. Over time,  the objective is to locally register all offices of ALDA, going deeper in the local dimension of all cities where we are based.

Indeed, the ALDA’s offices, ALDA+, the network of the LDAs and ALDA Italy, have thus become autonomous yet interdependent realities, working together for the same mission… as a Group!


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