PLATFORMA and UCLG celebrated the launch of Module 4: SDGs and Decentralised Cooperation


Thursday 25th February marked an auspicious occasion for PLATFORMA and UCLG: the much-anticipated launch of Module 4: Localizing the SDGs through Decentralized Cooperation (DC). This will be a key, interactive learning tool for the training of trainers, proposing an integrated approach to DC in line with SDG targets and thus supporting practitioners to be active and effective partners.

During the launch event, Marlène Siméon, director of PLATFORMA, gave a warm welcome to attendees from over 60 countries – a truly global network! With Carlos Berrozpe Garcia and Aïssatou N’Diaye-Sydnei from the European Commission Directorate General for International Partnerships, she emphasised the value of using the 2030 Agenda as a common language to connect policies, people and places. “With the UCLG Learning team, we identified the perfect tool to fill the gap and provide the right capacity building to a diverse range of stakeholders.

Image 2: Graphic of bicycle introducing key elements of decentralized cooperation (Stakeholders, partners, project, funds, typology, policy, communications, and partnerships) with the SDGs as the roadmap.UCLG Learning Officers, Maria Alejandra Rico and Fernando Santomauro invited participants to reflect on their own Decentralised Cooperation practices through an interactive exercise using Mentimeter to receive inputs, and a bicycle as a metaphor. “How efficient are your pedals (financial mobilization)?” “Is your engagement (wheels) policy or project based?” “Are you riding alone or with others?” While fun and light-hearted, it allowed participants to reflect on their work, highlighting the expertise behind the methods utilised in the new Module. 


UCLG Learning Director, Sara Hoeflich, and main author, Sogen Moodley outlined what participants could expect to learn in the Module’s six chapters and gave key notes with an overview to the contents. “Module 4 goes to great lengths to build a common narrative between Decentralised Cooperation and the SDGs – the narrative of principles and synergies. This emphasises the transformative role of DCs and how we can all contribute to them” Sogen explained. “LRGs are at the centre of locally-based, Decentralised Cooperation that contributes to global solidarity,” Sara continued, “if we are strong in partnership, we are strong in peer-learning and we are strong in change management- with the module, you can play with different methodologies and finally design your own roadmap for this.”

Image 3: Gallery view of participants in the zoom meeting.The Module was received enthusiastically by practitioners, partners, and members across the UCLG network. Johannes Krassnitzer, Coordinator of UNDP-ART invited attendees to consider how to include more local institutions who have a rich perspective on their territory. Najat Zarrouk of UCLG-Africa expressed her eagerness to apply the Module in the African context, while Antoni Montseny of the Provincial Council of Barcelona, emphasised the importance of capacity building so municipalities of all sizes can access opportunities arising from Decentralised Cooperation. Stan Abma of UCLG CIB and UCLG Africa’s Charles Patsika offered further support in the application and dissemination, while Valérie Dumontet, Vice-president of the Aude Department and President of CUF Working group on SDGs, urged that we “move away from the concept to practical implementation, and make sure it is a citizenship tool”.

The celebrations concluded with PLATFORMA’s Boris Tonhauser, Executive Adviser and Coordinator, congratulating the team and inviting participants to register interest in organizing their own training based on the new Module 4. Ultimately, this module is a resource for all those practitioners seeking to empower themselves and their colleagues in techniques and tools that will enable them to become proactive, meaningful partners in Decentralised Cooperation and the localization of SDGs. As Martino Miraglia of UN-HABITAT emphasised, “It’s about changing governance – we are ready to put these modules at the centre of our work.”