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NEWS | September 9, 2021

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Celebrating our shared international success

This fall, after several years of fruitful collaboration between Canadian municipal experts, civil society organizations and local governments around the world, a number of FCM’s international projects are coming to an end. But our collective impact lives on. We are proud that each one of these initiatives leaves a lasting legacy of efficient service delivery, creative problem-solving and countless lessons learned by all participants.

We thank the government of Canada for providing the core funding for all these projects. We are also grateful for the in-kind contribution of FCM members and partners whose expertise and dedication made this work possible.

While some projects are closing, a new, multi-country program is about to begin. More on that below. For now, keep reading for tangible examples of how FCM’s unique peer-to-peer approach has helped to build capacity in communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia.


South Africa: Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM), 2016-2021

BIGM was designed to strengthen the capacity of six coastal municipalities in the Eastern Cape Province. The project supported pilot initiatives that enhanced local economic development while empowering women, youth, and vulnerable groups. It introduced asset management and climate change concepts with concrete policies and strategies. It also provided institutional capacity building for the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). 

BIGM helped four of its partner municipalities develop new tools for business attraction, retention and expansion, including business incubators and rural economic development hubs. The other two municipalities worked on improving their asset management service delivery practices.

All partner municipalities updated and adopted new asset management policies. By updating their asset registries and synchronizing their Geographic Information Systems (GIS), these communities are now better equipped to implement mitigation and adaptation measures to respond to the impact of climate change.

Canadian partners: We thank the following municipalities for their participation in BIGM: Surrey (BC), Ottawa (ON), Strathroy-Caradoc (ON), Prince Edward County (ON), Innisfil, (ON), Fredericton (NB).

Partnerships for Municipal Innovation – Local Economic Development (PMI-LED), 2016-2021

PMI-LED was implemented in six countries: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Vietnam. The project aimed to strengthen the capacity of municipal governments to facilitate local economic development (LED) including attraction and retention of investment and trade promotion between municipalities and internationally. As with all FCM programs, a strong emphasis was placed on inclusive and sustainable economic development.

In Bolivia, PMI-LED helped three municipalities and the association of women elected official, ACOBOL, develop services and tools to foster inclusivity in the local economy. With the support of Canadian municipal experts, our Bolivian partners were able to strengthen their local economic development services and support local entrepreneurs. They also, received training on tourism planning and city branding. The project also supported women and youth entrepreneurship initiatives with seed funds and access to e-commerce. We thank the municipalities of Truro (NS), Timmins (ON) and Drayton Valley (AB) for their participation.

In Burkina Faso, PMI-LED helped four partner municipalities develop services in support of local economic development. This allowed them to offer improved strategic planning advice for business development and local job creation. The project also supported community initiatives led by young women through the Local Innovation Fund. We thank Canadian municipal experts from MRCs des Laurentides and Vaudreuil-Soulanges (QC) for their participation.

In Cambodia, PMI-LED helped four partner communities strengthen their regional economic development and trade capacity. The project also established a Northwest Cambodia Regional Economic Development Committee to help improve agricultural practices and marketing techniques, as well as the development of the tourism sector.

Through the PMI-LED project and the advocacy of the National League of Cities of Cambodia (NLC), the national government has increasingly recognized the leadership role that local governments play in promoting economic development. New LED offices in local governments were mandated across the country, providing a home for economic development efforts at the municipal level.

We thank Canadian experts from Chilliwack (BC), Edmonton (AB) and the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) for their participation.

In Côte d’Ivoire, PMI-LED helped create local committees to support business development and encourage the employment of women and young people. The project also guided local economic development actors as they worked to improve their sustainability practices. We thank the staff and elected officials of MRCs Argenteuil and Marguerite D’Youville (QC) for their participation.

In Mali, PMI-LED worked with eight communities in the Sikasso region, which has become a national model for its support to the region’s local economic development community. The project also helped the Association des Municipalités du Mali develop a guide for the implementation of local and regional economic development practices. We thank the staff and elected officials at the city of Rigaud (QC) for their participation.

In Vietnam, PMI-LED helped the region of Cao Lanh learn about regional economic development, especially in the agricultural sector.  The region’s new Trade Development Strategy is increasing the capacity of local governments to assist mango growers, exporters and other service providers pursue sales in foreign markets, including Canada. We thank Canadian partners in Edmonton (AB) and Rossland (BC) for their participation.

Vietnam: Solid Waste Management (VnSWM), 2018-2021

This initiative, financed by Environment and Climate Change Canada, worked with the Vietnamese municipalities of Hoi An and Bac Giang to implement innovative solid waste management solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills.

In Hoi An, for example, where the landfill had reached its capacity and posed a safety hazard, Canadian experts helped introduce environmental mitigation measures such a leachate control, gas capture, water purification and public space beautification.

VnSWM also led education campaigns and training, which encouraged more people taking part in domestic waste management to separate their organics from the main waste stream, which reduced methane levels and increased composting volumes. This assisted with gardening and the production of enzymes that can be used for household cleaning.

We thank the municipal experts of Nanaimo (BC) and Shuswap Regional District (BC) for their participation.

To find out more about all these programs, please visit our Past International Programs page.

A new program will support women leaders

Look out for the next issue of Exchange, where we will introduce our latest flagship initiative. This exciting new collaboration with 5 partner countries will support women who want to get involved in their country’s local politics. FCM is committed to gender equality and representative governance at home and abroad. We are delighted to welcome new partners on this journey. Stay tuned for all the details.

Help us spread the word: invite your network to subscribe to Exchange.


     FCM’s international programs are funded by Global Affairs Canada.

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