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About Us

We aim to strengthen local democracy worldwide by offering practice-oriented training programmes for people involved in local governance.


Reliable local services, inclusive local policies and effective partnerships within local communities are crucial for stability and development. It is our aim to strengthen local democracy worldwide by supporting people at local level to jointly realise development goals. We do this by offering practice-oriented training programmes.

The people we train usually are:

  • Civil servants working at the national, regional or local government
  • Elected representatives as well as informal leaders
  • People working for civil society and community based organisations
  • Staff of knowledge and training institutes
  • Development practitioners


The Hague Academy for Local Governance is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in the Netherlands. We are recognised by the Dutch tax authorities as an organisation for the public benefit (ANBI status). Since 2020, we are PARTOS ISO 9001-quality certified.  Learn more about these certifications on the drop-down menu below.

  • ANBI Status Organisation

    The Hague Academy for Local Governance is a Public Benefit Organization. This designation, referred to as ANBI status in Dutch, is provided by the Netherlands tax authorities to institutions that conduct work focused on the common good. The Academy’s RSIN/fiscal number is 8172.48.316.

  • PARTOS Quality Seal

    Since 2020, The Hague Academy for Local Governance is Partos ISO 9001-quality certified. Partos 9001 is the most appropriate application of the ISO 9001 for development organisations, taking into account standards and quality marks existing in the sector. The certification followed an extensive audit into the quality of our organisational processes and management systems. Find more info about the certification here.


The Hague Academy for Local Governance was established by VNG International (the international cooperation agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities) with support from the Municipality of The Hague. By offering practice oriented training, they wanted to respond to the growing need worldwide for practical knowledge about local governance.

In 2008, we received a grant for innovative start-ups from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Since then, The Hague Academy has developed as a widely renowned, highly valued organisation for training in good governance. With more than 25 employees and a pool of 200 international experts, we nowadays train over 1000 people annually from over 90 countries. In order to achieve our mission, we cooperate with organisations such as the European Union, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CARE, ZOA, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Nuffic, GIZ and various UN organisations.

Our values

Our mission is guided by six values: Expertise, Innovation, Diversity, Passion, Responsiveness and Quality. These principles define the way we operate as an organisation and communicate with our clients, partners and staff. 


We bring the best experts together to create a great learning experience.


We continuously explore new topics and methods for training delivery.


We embrace differences and promote diversity.


We are committed to achieving our mission and prepared to go the extra mile.


The needs of our participants are at the heart of everything we do.


We take pride in providing high quality services.

The Hague Academy team

Our impact

The Academy’s network of participants includes practitioners from around the world.

See our projects

Making a difference

With our training programmes, we support participants to create sustainable change in their organisations and communities. To measure the impact of our activities, we conduct an annual survey amongst our alumni. Illustrated with personal stories, the alumni indicate what they learned and how they applied this in their organisation or community.

The results of the 2021 survey show that 91% of respondents initiated change after they returned home: they shared knowledge with colleagues, started a new project or policy, changed an existing project or policy, and involved new stakeholders. The alumni mention that a change in the organisation or community was realised as often as personal change.

The survey shows that our open courses also contribute to a sustainable, international network of practitioners. All participants are still in contact with their fellow participants after a year, and about half of them even more than ten times a year.

See the results and participant stories here.


Our partners

The Hague Academy works together with research institutions, universities, development agencies, civil society organisations, government ministries, and regional and local authorities from across the globe.

Thanks to this cooperation, we are able to offer innovative programmes that are tailored to contemporary challenges in diverse regional contexts.

We maintain sustainable partnerships with:


Our team

The Hague Academy employs talented practitioners from diverse geographical and disciplinary backgrounds. Our staff members are all committed to our mission and have our organisational values as guiding principles.
Meet our team

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2022
Annual Report 2021
Annual Report 2020
Annual Report 2019

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