Local-to-Local (L2L) Dialogues

Local-to-local (L2L) dialogues are a participatory methodology which involve grassroots organizations establishing ongoing communication between decision-makers and women in order to promote their empowerment and inclusivity in setting community priorities.

Problems and Purpose

Local-to-local (L2L) Dialogues are a method of participatory development which are developed locally by grassroots organisations to promote women's empowerment. L2L aims to establish ongoing dialogues between marginalised women and local decision-making authorities.

Through this process, "women negotiate a range of development issues, priorities, plans, and programs in ways that enhance community participation and address women’s priorities". [1]

L2L Dialogues combines women's marginalisation with social change and thus, supports grassroots women in taking active and meaningful impact in the planning and decision making processes on issues that affect their lives and families.

Origins and Development

The Local-to-Local (L2L) Dialogues methodology was first experimented with in South Asia between 1999 and 2000, primarily as a model for grassroots political participation. As a concept, it materialised from the discussions of Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) and Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) who are experts in community organizing and women’s advocacy. However, Asia Women and Shelter Networks (AWAS) was the first to apply the concept as a political participatory strategy within the South Asia region.[2] Perhaps, with success with its application, the United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-HABITAT) supported the Huairou Commission (a global coalition that promotes the capacity of grassroots women leaders in development and policy-making) to conduct a pilot project with this model on six countries — Argentina, Czech Republic, Kenya, Russia, Tanzania and Uganda — in 2002.

The pilot studies exemplified the effectiveness of the methodology in opening up new democratic space for cooperative effort and building relationships among grassroots women and local leaders. [3] By the time GROOTS Kenya picked this strategy in April 2007 for its “Women’s Leadership and Governance” Program, L2L Dialogues was already being used in over twenty countries across Latin America, Europe, West Africa, and sparingly in India.

Participant Recruitment and Selection

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Analysis and Lessons Learned

See Also

GROOTS Kenya Local-to-Local (L2L) Dialogues 


[1] Huairou Commission (n.d.) Creating Powerful Tools of Change. Available at: [DEAD LINK]

[2] Silliman, S., (2011) The Local-to-Local Dialogue Resource. Brooklyn, NY: The Huairou Commission. p. 4.

[3] UN-HABITAT (2004) Local to Local Dialogue: A Grassroots Women's Perspective on Good Governance. New York: UN-HABITAT. p. 39.

External Links

Grassroots women's leadership and 'deepening democracy': The Huairou Commission's Local to Local Dialogue replication 

A Report from the Latin American Regional Local to Local Dialogue Training

A Report from the African Regional Local to Local Dialogue Training