I came home from Kenya March 7nd 2020 after attending an international conference organized by Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD). Several projects have been affected by the Coronapandemic since the programs in each country, and exchange between partners, are important part of the work in order to reach the objectives for each project. The partners from Sweden and Kenya have worked digitally during this period, which have been important for the relations and for adapting to the situation.
Now when the boarders have opened, I travelled together with two teams from Sweden; Center for Rural Medicine (a research and development unit within Region Västerbotten) and Lycksele Municipality. The partners from Sweden are working with Homa Bay County Government for equality in health care and for sustainable waste and water management. The program has been very successful including meetings with a number of stakeholders, study visits and workshops. The partners have also included meetings with the governor of Kisumu County, the Swedish ambassador and the staff at the Swedish embassy, as well as with a number of teams at UN-habitat in Nairobi.
Before the program with those partners from Sweden and Homa Bay County, I also had a workshop with partners from Machakos County who is working together with Robertsfors Municipality. Together with the team from Machakos County, I also had meetings with the Swedish ambassador and the same staff at the Swedish embassy, as well as with representatives for UN Women.
The programs started October 28th and ended November 6th 2021. The travel was necessary for follow-up and for decisions about the future. The travel was also important for establishing contacts and committments with a number of important stakeholders. The travel was also educational in purpose, especially for the team from Lycksele Municipality who is new to this kind of international development cooperation. The team from Lycksele Municipality is supported by me and other professionals who have been involved in ICLD:s Municipal Partnership Program and other ICLD-programs.