Course Introduction:

In 2015, world leaders agreed on a new agenda for achieving global sustainable development by 2030. Local governments are key actors for Localising the SDGs Agenda, not only because they are the key site of local service delivery and development, but also they can mobilise actors and resources to effectively deliver results. This course will take into account the different challenges that local governments face in localising the SDGs and focus on mechanisms, tools, innovations, and processes to effectively translate the 2030 development agenda into results at the local level. The course will also focus on how donors can be involved in supporting SDGs localisation.

We intend to offer this course from 30 November to 4 December 2020. If this proves not to be possible, participants will receive alternative online training options. They can also ask for reimbursement or for a voucher for next year’s course. We will inform all participants one month before the start of the training.

Course Content

During this course, participants will discuss the 2030 SDG agenda and how donor and development agencies can support a multilevel governance approach in the localisation of SDGs and promoting territorial development. The course will address the following questions:

  • How does “localising SDGs” present opportunities for new partnerships between national and Local Governments in promoting territorial development?
  • Despite resources and autonomy limitations, how can local governments realise sustainable development in line with the SDGs agenda?
  • How can local governments leverage the support of donors and other key actors in the localisation of the SDGs 2030 Agenda?

Participants who successfully finish the course will receive a professional certificate of completion from The Hague Academy for Local Governance.


This course is facilitated by world-known experts, with extensive knowledge and experience on the localisation of the SDGs, local governance, and territorial development. The experts will share insights and lessons learned and reference several case studies in this highly participatory course. The following experts will contribute to the programme:

Jamie Boex
Jamie is a public finance expert with extensive experience in decentralisation and fiscal policy reforms in developing and transition countries around the world. Working with organisations such as the World Bank, UNDP, USAID, and numerous other bilateral development agencies. Dr. Boex has contributed to policy reforms in a.o Afghanistan, Cambodia, Georgia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and Uganda. He is currently involved in the reform processes in Nepal, Kenya and Egypt as well as in research on local governance in the USA. Jamie has authored and contributed to numerous books, reports an research articles. In this course, he will explain the four pillars of fiscal decentralisation, intergovernmental relations and the Local Governance Institutions Comparative Assessment (LoGICA) Framework.

Jean Bossuyt
Jean is head of strategy at the European Centre for Development Policy Management. He is author of various EU-publications on decentralisation. Focusing on ACP-EU cooperation, he has been involved in policy and practical work on issues related to democratisation and governance, civil society participation, decentralisation and decentralised cooperation, EU cooperation policies and reform processes. He did fieldwork in several ACP countries and published extensively on ACP-EU cooperation. Prior to joining the Centre, he worked at the Centre for Third World Studies at the University of Ghent, for the Brussels Delegation of the UNHCR and as a civil servant in the Belgian Parliament. Jean will focus on the Political Economy Analysis (PEA), explain the potential role of PEA in decentralisation reforms and realising sustainable development and discuss the challenges of implementation.

Eline Vermeer
Eline is an SDGs expert for the International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG). She works on the implementation of the Global Goals in Dutch municipalities within the ‘Municipalities4GlobalGoals’ Campaign. Eline’s experience includes as well several projects on local government, local resilience in Europe, the Middle East and Noth Africa. Eline will share some of the lessons learned in the localisation of the SDGs in The Netherlands.

Jorge Rodriguez Bilbao
Jorge has experience with policy, conceptual and operational work in decentralisation reforms, local governance, local and territorial development and sector policies in decentralising countries. He worked in Haiti and Madagascar as technical assistant for EC-programmes aiming at supporting local development and decentralisation reforms ‘from below’. After that, he became quality support manager for decentralisation at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, providing support to EU-delegations in translating the EU-policy on local authorities into programmes and projects in developing countries. Jorge will discuss linkages between decentralisation reforms and development outcomes and will give examples of how the territorial approach can help to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

Nicholas Awortwi
Director at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) in Ghana. Prior to this, he was director at African Governance Institute (AGI), director of research for Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) and senior lecturer in development management at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He has been one of the leading authors of decentralization and local governance, and social protection issues in Africa and has provided expert analysis and advice to international organizations working in Africa. Nicholas has more than 37 publications in internationally refereed journals and books. Nicholas will discuss the role of local governments in realising the SDGs.

Past Participants

This course is designed for donor and development professionals. Past participants have represented the UN Department of Political Affairs; Oxfam Novib; UN Missions in Congo, Timor-Leste, Lebanon and Ivory Coast; GIZ; Ministries of regional development, planning, local administration, and home affairs; African Development Bank; USAID Missions in Moldova, Pakistan; the Swiss Development Cooperation; Mercy Corps; and the Dutch Embassy abroad.

Practical information

The course fee is € 2.450,-. This includes all training-related costs, as well as drinks, lunches, training materials and travel during the training programme. Travel to and from The Hague and accommodation are not included. Group discounts are available if you participate with three or more colleagues in this course. Email us for more information. The course language is English.

For questions or more information about this course, please direct your inquiry to or call +31(70) 37 38 695.

Funding Opportunities

Participants in our courses are predominantly funded by their own employer (municipalities, Ministries, NGOs and training or research institutes) or by a donor or development agency. If you are looking for additional funding opportunities, there are a few organisations you could approach.

Application Deadline

The 2020 Course: Decentralisation & the SDGs course will take place in The Hague from 30 November to 4 December 2020. The application deadline is 23 October 2020. Incomplete applications will be neither accepted nor considered in the selection process.


After submitting your completed application, you will receive a confirmation of your course registration and an invoice. The payment deadline is 4-weeks before the start of the training course.

Payments can be made by bank transfer or by PayPal. We offer the option of paying in one or two installments. An advance payment of 50% secures reservation of a seat to the training until the payment deadline. However, your participation in the course is guaranteed only after receipt of full payment prior to the 4-week deadline.

If no payment is received before that deadline, then your registration will automatically be canceled. Please note that The Hague Academy accepts registrations on a first pay, first-served policy.

Visa Applications

Some countries require a visa to enter the Netherlands. Please check with The Netherlands or the embassy for the visa requirements related to your country. Because of the length of time needed for the visa procedure, we advise you start this process as soon as possible. The Hague Academy we will send you an acceptance letter which will assist you in arranging your visa, but only after we confirm your payment.


Payments received before the deadline will be reimbursed. However, an administration fee of €150 will be charged to fulfill this request. We strongly encourage you to start with the visa application procedure at least six weeks before the start of the training programme in order to prevent late cancellation.

A cancellation fee of 50% of the course fee will be charged for participants cancelling between four and two weeks prior to the start of the training. If you cancel your participation within the two-week period before the start of the course, then you will be required to pay 80% of the course fee.

In the event that you cannot attend the course, it is possible to nominate a suitably qualified candidate to replace you without extra charge.

The Hague Academy for Local Governance reserves the right to cancel a course if the number of participants is insufficient or due to any other unforeseen circumstances. In this case, your payment will be 100% reimbursed. Other costs such as transportation or hotel cannot be reimbursed.

Contact Information

For questions about this course and procedures, or to inquire about our tailor-made courses on citizen participation, please contact us by email at, or dial +31-70-3738695.