Local Development and Poverty Reduction

Local development


Empowering communities is a fundamental step in driving local development and ensuring growth for the benefit of all.

The Challenge

Europe’s regions and cities play a crucial role in achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.  However, several issues need to be addressed to ensure that growth is inclusive and benefits all members of society:

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In 2016, around 118 million people – nearly a fourth of the EU population – were at the risk of poverty. Although the EU 2020 strategy aims to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020, limited progress has been made. Certain groups are at a higher risk, including unemployed and low-skilled people, non-EU migrants and single parent families.

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Unemployment in Europe is decreasing but nonetheless remains a significant concern. Unemployment has a drastic impact on people’s lives. Without a job, people are often unable to provide for their basic needs and fully participate in society. Unemployment among young people is a particular concern as it prevents them from building necessary skills for the future.

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Empowering communities

It is essential to involve people in the development of their own communities. By implementing local policies and strategies with a bottom-up approach, decision makers create space for innovation and entrepreneurship. This increases opportunities for people to drive positive change for themselves and their communities.   

Our Approach

Our goal

We aim to strengthen social and economic cohesion.


Fighting poverty requires going down to the root causes – lack of job prospects, job capacity and problems leading to social exclusion. This includes supporting innovative solutions, empowering people to play an active role in the development of their community and create better prospects for the disadvantaged.  Through the Grants, we support activities such as:

  • The development of active inclusive policies and bottom-up approaches
  • The sharing of best-practices and knowledge at local, regional and national level
  • Activities to increase job prospects and job capacity
  • Anti-discriminatory activities focusing on those vulnerable to social and economic exclusion
  • Cross-sectoral and socially innovative approaches, such as to address unemployment among young people or minorities

Download the overview of our support to Local development and poverty reduction to see the full list of suggested activities.

Creating partnerships

The Norwegian Association for Local and Regional Authorities – KS is a donor programme partner in this area and can facilitate partnerships for Norwegian entities that wish to become partners in projects.