Call for Applications: The Sustainability Leadership Programme

Global Utmaning is recruiting participants to the Sustainability Leadership Programme  “Localizing Sustainable Development Goals in the Eastern Partnership Countries” – a tailor-made leadership programme specifically designed for regional and local government officials and politicians in charge of strategic planning and with the capacity to promote sustainable change on national, regional or local levels.

Are you and your organisation interested in participating? Submit an application below.

Localizing Sustainable Development Goals in Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine
The Swedish independent think tank Global Utmaning, with the support of the Swedish Institute and in collaboration with the UNDP Offices in Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia, is in the process of recruiting participants to The Sustainability Leadership Programme – Localizing SDGs in the EaP, a tailor-made leadership programme with one national (2020) and two transnational modules (2021) specifically designed for experts of strategic planning and sustainable development in Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and the Nordics.

Given the ambitious targets set out in the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and the role that the urban and local level has in implementing these targets, the programme aims to strengthen the capacity of key-stakeholders on local and regional levels to integrate the SDG targets into regional and local development strategies and action plans and monitor the progress towards the SDGs.

The programme is an opportunity for key actors to develop networks, capacity and engage in knowledge exchange with national and international peers. It supports local, regional and national actors in better understanding how to strategically use the 2030 Agenda framework, and learning about tools that are being used to support the development of plans and strategies for SDG implementation at the regional and local levels.

The programme also represents an opportunity to develop multi-level partnerships within and between Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and the Nordics. To this end, the programme will involve national, regional and local representatives to break new ground and move forward beyond challenges, to accelerate solutions, and to empower cities and regions as change leaders and key players for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The programme will additionally strengthen the integration between the Eastern Partnership countries and the European Union policies and trends on sustainability. 

The Programme
The programme is organised into three modules that will increase participants’ skills for sustainability leadership by providing practical tools,  knowledge and best practices on strategic planning processes, planning and co-creation of the public services, setting the targets and indicators for monitoring the progress and communication of the results and outcomes.

Due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, module 1 will be conducted through digital means of interaction as “national webinars”. Dates for transnational modules 2021 are tentative.  

    • Module 1.  National webinars  “Acquaint & Explore” 
      September 2020 -February 2021 in Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia

The aim of the national webinars is to provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences and challenges on addressing the SDGs at the national and local level, as well as to interact and explore how to use the SDGs as a strategic policy- and action guiding framework for development of the local and urban strategies.   

National webinars will be organized in each country as an opportunity for participants of the leadership programme to begin interacting with each other, to partake in web-based presentations from experts and Nordic peers, and engage in the design of the agenda for transnational modules. 

Interviews with selected participants will also be conducted as means for the leadership programme to gain input from the participants on their needs and challenges in term of SDG localization in order to design an agenda for the transnational modules that fully meet their expectations.

    • Module 2. Transnational training “Learn & Share”
      May 2021, Kiev, Ukraine.

The module will gather stakeholders from Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and the Nordics to develop capacity on how to apply systems thinking and how the SDGs can be localized and used to mainstream a sustainability perspective across all administrative levels and activities. SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, the New Urban Agenda and how all SDGs must be implemented locally, will provide the context for the module. Participants will map the connections of local development needs and challenges to the SDGs, and will identify the key strategic development objectives and areas.   

Peer-learning on development of local and regional strategies and action plans among participating cities and regions will provide an overarching framework for the module, which will inspire and inform participants about best practices from the Nordic countries. Participants will also explore the sustainability targets and indicators for monitoring the progress of regional and local strategies. The aim is to learn from each-other, share experiences, challenges and good examples of cross-sectorial cooperation for sustainable development in local and regional settings in the areas such as urban planning, climate change, energy efficiency and public service provision. 

    • Module 3. Transnational training “Lead & Engage”
      June 2021, Stockholm, Sweden. 

The final module will focus on practical examples of integrated urban development, smart city solutions and co-creation platforms and engagement of the citizens & youth in developing innovative solutions for the local implementation of the SDGs. Best practice exchange on SDGs reporting and communication, as well as linkages with the national and international sustainability strategies. The module will also explore how to use the 2030 Agenda as a framework for stronger cooperation between national and international peers and partners. 

Through expert facilitation, the leadership programme will constitute a platform for capacity building, as well as inspiration, sharing good examples, knowledge exchange and networking, supporting the translation of SDGs into practice. All three modules will closely follow an action-oriented approach where peer-learning, experience sharing, invited experts and trainers sessions, as well as interactive group works are at the core of the modules.

Practical arrangements
Selected participants are expected to take part in all three Modules. Participation in the programme is free of charge and all meals, travels and accommodation will be covered by the organizers. If you wish to participate in the programme, or would like to receive further information, please contact Joel Ahlgren, 


Please complete the application form in English. We will then make a selection of participants and get back to you with additional information and a more detailed agenda.

The following criteria will be applied, when selecting the participants:

  • Senior officials and politicians from the oblast or city, district or ATC (amalgamated territorial community)  administration in charge of strategic planning and with the capacity to promote sustainable change on national, regional or local levels
  • The organisation is currently developing or renewing its development strategy or action plan
  • The organisation is already working or is interested in working with the SDGs
  • Good skills in English