Notus participates in the Local Democracy for Global Impact event organised by ALDA

On 13, 14 and 15 May took place in Barcelona the event Local Democracy for Global Impact organised by ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy. The event included ALDA’s annual General Assembly and several conferences and workshops. Notus is a member of ALDA and a partner in some of the European projects led by this organisation, which is why Notus attended the event. 

During the first day there were two panels dedicated to Local Democracy, Global Engagement from the European perspective and from the international perspective where members of different European and international organisations and institutions participated. 

During the second day, several workshops focused on how to work from the local level on various issues related to democracy. The topics covered were:

  • Local democracy and migration, discussing the role of local authorities in the face of the migratory phenomenon.
  • Local democracy in the digital era, which served to reflect on the present and future challenges posed by new technologies and some experiences were discussed.
  • Participatory democracy and migration practices. The need to build bridges with like-minded organisations and share the results of projects through a multi-sectoral approach was discussed.
  • Local democracy and participatory democracy in discussion of various examples of models and context of application, innovation and the associated challenges.
  • Local democracy for inclusion where gender equality related to care provision and socio-economic empowerment and socio-economic training were discussed.
  • Citizen participation as an essential element to address climate challenges.

The end of the day was dedicated to the realisation of a Marketplace with the presence of several projects. Notus participated here through the Youth Vision project to which Notus is providing technical assistance. 

On the third and last day, different workshops were held on the following topics:

  • The democratisation of Africa versus the Africanisation of democracy. This session discussed how to remove barriers to youth participation and active citizenship for young people in Africa, where many opportunities exist at the local level, addressing pragmatic solutions in fragile democracies.
  • Local democracy in a shifting landscape where the reassessing EU enlargement agenda in Eastern countries and its implications was discussed. Representatives from several countries participated in the workshop: Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine and Croatia.  
  • Local democracy and territorial development where the focus was put on the mobilisation of key actors and the establishment of territorial models of collaboration. The session discussed building and sustaining local networks, collaboration between local networks, collaboration between local and global networks, and the need for long-lasting practices and models consolidated over time.
  • Effective strategies between civil society organisations and local authorities in the Western Balkans. The workshop discussed the increasingly important role of civil society organisations in strengthening accountability, transparency and participatory decision-making processes in local governance structures.

The day ended with two more practical sessions on what are the methodologies to incorporate the territorial approach in local development and what are the best fundraising strategies for local authorities.

In summary, during the three days of the event we were able to attend several conferences and workshops focused on democracy and how it can be worked, strengthened and promoted from the local level. In addition to debates between different governmental bodies, it was also possible to learn about different good practices and reflect on the challenges posed. Challenges that come from different areas such as immigration, inclusion and equal opportunities, climate change and digitalisation. From Notus, as an applied social research centre, we are participating in the debate and working to improve knowledge about the challenges and possible solutions through different studies and projects. It is also a topic on which we want to continue working in the future and that is the reason us presenting new projects and open to participate with different partners in future projects.