Local to bioregional partnerships

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The specific thematic focus of any translocal network is never by itself adequate to navigate the complexity of local realities. When multiple networks and converge upon a single physical locality, broad partnerships of actors working at local-to-regional scale can emerge, each bringing its own set of perspectives and competencies. Their combination in multi-stakeholder partnerships working towards agreed broad goals creates the greatest potential for both rapid local transition and catalysing wider societal transformation.

On a broader scale, there is collaboration across scales, where synergies between community-led initiatives and various institutions can be noted.

Key Patterns

Concepts and Frameworks

Approaches and Practices

Research on Local-Bioregional partnerships

European Level Research

National Research

  • The CATALISE project (Capacitation for Local Transition and Social Innovation) mapped and characterised Portuguese civil society experimentation initiatives, formal or informal, of rural and urban base, proposing new development solutions based on continuous and localized learning, and on principles such as bottom participation-up, local governance, innovation, integral sustainability, cooperation and resilience, and environmental and ecological concerns. CATALISE published two reports. One targets local initiatives and could be considered a guide to transformative practices. The second consists of a set of scientific grounded recommendations that need to be understood and respond accordingly.

Instruments and Tools

Local SDG Platform
The Local SDG Platform is a tool, currently being prototyped in Portugal (ODSLocal), that intends to support local governments and community-led initiatives to collaborate on furthering the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.. The platform uses a participatory methodology to monitor progress on SDG targets and indicators at municipal level.
Municipalities in Transition Instrument
Transition Network, in collaboration with the Faculty of Science at the University of Lisbon, and within the Municipalities in Transition project, have developed the Municipalities in Transition instrument, which has the following functions:
  • Make sense of (and measure) transformation – an instrument for the community to:
    1. Capture the dynamics of the local transformation system, making sense of the change efforts;
    2. Easily evaluate interventions on a gross but sensible way;
    3. Keep track of the progresses and changes over time;
    4. Spot the places where more energy is converging, resources available and gaps where more action is needed.
  • Support systemic change – The principles and the database of tools provide guidance to reshape change efforts and to design new interventions that are aligned with the existent work, reinforcing complementarity, interdependencies and bringing collaborative efforts that are synchronous and optimized to create wide transformation.
  • Leverage institutional and cultural change – transition principles are imbedded in the collective performance of local organizations, therefore changing the rules of the system, increasing the capacity of self-organization and eventually leading to emergent patterns of sustainability.
Additionally, the governance proposal and facilitation guidelines in the MiT system are intended to reinforce social learning processes and lead to new cultures of collaboration. Learning is expceted to take place across initiatives by way of the MiT community of practice.
Accordingly, the MiT system can both be used as an analytical device (making sense of how transformation processes happen) and a transformative instrument (developing strategies for enhancing transformation processes) (Box C.4). It is therefore a systemic instrument for governing collaborative transformation at local level toward sustainability.
Collaboration Patterns
Patterns on collaborations between community groups and local government from Ecovillage Transition in Action project

Recommendations for Action