SALAR is a member organisation for all of Sweden’s municipalities, county councils and regions. SALAR, and its predecessors, has existed for over 100 years and strives to promote and strengthen local self-government and the development of regional and local democracy. Due to the global nature of challenges that municipalities face today, SALAR is also an important actor at the international arena of local governments. It is active in the global organisation for municipalities United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), its European branch the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and as secretariat for the Swedish delegations to the EU Committee of Regions and the Council of Europe Local and Regional Congress.
Since the 1980s, SALAR has been implementing development cooperation projects in the fields of decentralisation, local democracy, municipal services, and development of Local Government Associations (LGAs). SALAR’s Strategic Direction 2016 – 2019 sets out the goal: “Through active engagement in international cooperation organisations and international development projects, SALAR will work to strengthen local and regional democracy and human rights outside Sweden”.
In relation to the proposed project SALAR has key experience to share in the area of decentralisation and division of authorities between central and local government. SALAR also have operations that specifically focus on issues such as citizen dialogue, gender mainstreaming, service planning and evaluation, and local policy making which can be relevant. In addition, the organisation owns significant technical expertise within all pertinent service areas, including that of education, social care and disability services.
SKL International is a fully-owned subsidiary of SALAR. Its role is to implement and deliver
international projects on behalf of SALAR, by drawing from relevant Swedish and other country experiences to support the development of local government systems and practice in developing countries and countries in transition or conflict.
SALAR and SKL International are long-term partners and implementers of SIDA -projects in different parts of the world, including in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia. Through its work in the MENA region and elsewhere SALAR/SKL International have generated extensive knowledge and thorough understanding of issues of decentralisation, local governance, and local service delivery in fragile or close to conflict contexts. Including how this brings the need for responsive and conflict sensitive approaches and flexible project management frameworks.
SKL International head-quarter is based in Stockholm, where there are 23 staff members working, as well as a group of associate consultants. Currently SKL International is working with projects in 12 countries across the world.