Published 20 November 2023

SALAR support to our members to Municipalities and Regions

SALAR supports Municipalities and Regions to develop their citizen dialogue practice. SALAR sees a need for citizen dialogue to be integrated as part of overall governance and business development within local government with the overarching goal of creating a sustainable society. 

SALAR offers various forms of activities to increase knowledge and to provide practical support for citizen dialogue. These include - Awareness raising and knowledge transfer:

  • National and international Conferences
  • E-learning courses on citizen dialogue and related topics
  • Self-learning materials and publications

Knowledge Networks for elected representatives and staff

SALAR runs a series of networks for learning and knowledge sharing that tend to run over three to four years. The networks combine physical and on-line meetings, webcast content and remote work between meetings.

The target group for these networks are those in local and regional government with an interest in developing and systematizing the use of citizen dialogue and collaboration with civil society.

The purpose of the networks is to build theoretical and practical knowledge about how municipalities and regions can work with citizen dialogues as part of governance, service development and in the development of a more sustainable society.

Practice development networks

SALAR also offers municipalities and regions the opportunity to participate in more action-oriented networks where the participating organizations commit to test and develop different approaches and methods that have not previously been used in Sweden. Previous practice development networks have focused on methodos such as participatory budgeting, citizen dialogue on complex issues.

Digital tools for citizen dialogues

For many years SALAR has encouraged its member organizations to make use of new digital technologies in dialogue processes, SALAR has promoted emerging of digital technologies to local government and continues to support innovation in the area, for example through a series of masterclasses.

Rather than viewing face to face dialogue and digital technology as binary choices SALAR sees real opportunity in hybrid or blended approaches where the strengths of both approaches are combined.

The dialogue guide

Dialogguiden is a website which compiles information about citizen dialogue in Sweden – including descriptions of methods, case studies and links to background reading. The site is searchable and aims to be a portal for those who are curious about citizen dialogue, as well as a place for municipalities and regions to promote good practice. Dialogguiden is the Swedish version of the Beteiligungskompass from The Bertelsmann Stiftung.

The Dialogue guide (In Swedish)

The Democracy Journey - a podcast about democracy

SALAR’s podcast The "Democracy Journey" is about citizen dialogue, co-creation and democracy at local and regional level. The various episodes focus on various approaches that develop democracy and strengthen the relationship between citizens and their municipality or region.

Listen to an episode about citizens dialogue and participatory budget in Portugal and Scotland. Participating are Jez Hall, Shared Future, UK, and Nelson Dias, Oficina, Portugal.

Democracy Journey #38 Participatory budgeting (In English)

Written documents, websites and newsletters

SALAR works to deepen the knowledge of citizen dialogue as a natural part of local development work. Municipalities and regions have an ongoing need to develop knowledge and experience in this area.

Currently the Citizen participation programme provides information through its pages on the SALAR website, through digital newsletters to subscribers and through written documents.

SALAR works with different learning networks, research studies and in project form to develop new knowledge and models for citizen dialogue. Once the work has developed to a sufficiently advanced stage, documents are produced and published.


  • Anders Nordh

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