We aim to achieve our core mission “Building better futures” by strengthening democratic and inclusive local governance. We take this mission seriously and intend to take everyone on board: “better futures” includes perspectives in which inequalities are reduced – meaning inequalities between social groups, races, ethnic and religious minorities and between genders. Strong local governments are effective and democratically accountable: • To be effective, their service delivery has to be inclusive and accessible to all to be of quality; • To be accountable, they must account to all their citizens for their actions, without discrimination of gender or other category. Local government (representatives) can only be truly inclusive and participatory if all men and women can participate. And if all men and women are able to participate in public affairs, they are able to shape their own futures. Gender should naturally become integrated in all the fields of expertise and intervention of local governments. We believe that VNG International can make a difference by helping the actors who know their context the best to foster gender equal and sustainable futures for all individuals alike: local governments and other actors on the local level such as civil society organisations.