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Keywords:

  • city-to-city partnerships;
  • local governance;
  • mutual learning;
  • the Netherlands;
  • Morocco;
  • Turkey

ABSTRACT

This paper focuses on mutual learning (learning by both involved parties) in Dutch-Moroccan and Dutch-Turkish municipal partnerships. This is particularly relevant as strengthening local governance is high on the agenda of both migrant source and destination countries and the body of knowledge on mutual learning in municipal partnerships is limited. After describing the national and local policy context, the paper presents an analysis of knowledge exchanges and learning at the level of local government and other society actors in the Netherlands, Turkey and Morocco. The results show that involved actors in the three countries learned in different ways within these partnerships. The international exchanges also helped strengthening connections between local government and non-governmental actors in the involved countries. The potential for mutual learning was however not fully utilised due to the absence of clear learning strategies, existing language barriers and the lack of strategic involvement of other actors.