International Union of Local Authorities

The IULA is an association that organizes contact between municipalities, funding agencies, training institutions, corporations, NGOs, and individuals worldwide for the exchange of information and expertise and to facilitate cultural contact.
Brief Overview
IULA was established in 1913 in the Netherlands with the intention to promote democratic local self-government, and it began with a focus on newly founded European cities. Though it was closed twice during times of war in the early 20th century, it has maintained its objectives and directions since its inception, and it quickly expanded its work to impact communities worldwide. The organization believes that close contact between different local municipalities of the world will result in both cross-cultural exchanges and mutual benefits. It was particularly active in opening the lines of communication between the burgeoning municipalities of the early post-colonial era and more established cities elsewhere. In this tradition, the group now attempts to organize and oversee relationships between municipalities all over the world in both industrialized and developing countries.
Contact Information
website: http://www.iula.org/

IULA World Secretariat
P.O. Box 90646
2509 LP The Hague
The Netherlands

telephone: +31 70 306 6066
fax: +31 70 350 0496
e-mail: IULA@IULA-hq.nl

Stated Goals
“1. To develop and maintain a strong democratic political organization, managed to high professional standards in a global setting
2. To be the worldwide advocate and voice of democratic local government
3. To be the worldwide source of key information and intelligence regarding democratic local government
4. To be the worldwide source of learning, exchange, and capacity building programs for democratic local government”
Regions of Work
Areas of Work
1. Encouraging decentralization
2. Municipal International Cooperation
3. Promoting the participation of women in local government
The IULA and its regional affiliates organize local government training courses, set up information and documentation services, conduct research and consultancy projects, and promote municipal international cooperation.
Examples of Upgrading Project
Through its Trilateral Municipal Exchange program, the IULA organized a relationship between the cities of Portland, Oregon, USA, Mutare, Zimbabwe, and Sapporo, Japan. This exchange centered on the exchange of information related to water quality and waste management. During the first phase of the project, city officials met twice. Next, the group developed a proposal for a three-way internship on the use of the Internet to exchange information between the three cities. The training for these interns was provided by the SCI (Sister Cities International, an American organization that provides grants for these exchanges). Through the three interns and their newly developed computer skills, information about such topics as hydroponic plant cultivation was exchanged.
Project Selection Process
The IULA maintains a list of active members worldwide, and it is through the process of applying for membership that the organization chooses its activities. The application process varies depending on the category of membership desired, there is a review process, and there are fees for the privilege of joining.
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