Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG)

VVSG is the representative member organisation of all the Flemish municipalities, of the public centres for social welfare (Openbare Centra voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn, OCMWs, the administratively autonomous social services) and of about fifty intermunicipal companies. It represents the interests of both local elected politicians and municipal employees.

The association first aim is to promote strong local authorities. Therefore, it develops and supports initiatives which enhance the quality of local policy, both through increasing the scope of municipal policy-making and through refining local democracy. The association promotes sustainable development at local level and world wide.

VVSG acts as an interface for knowledge and expertise. It gives advice to its members and organises seminars for councillors and municipal employees. It distributes information to the local authorities via various new media, periodicals and books, and a documentation service. As representative body for the municipalities as employer the association negotiates for the sectoral agreements with the trade unions and the relevant authorities. Furthermore, VVSG defends the interests of the local authorities when institutions and other authorities address local policy matters.

VVSG is a membership organisation. The general assembly, the board of governors and the executive committee of the VVSG are pluralistic and are composed by local representatives of political parties. The gender dimension, a balance between the smaller and larger local authorities, the regional spread and the different political backgrounds are taken into account. The VVSG is receiving its membership fees directly from the 308 municipalities and 308 Centres for Public Welfare. The level of the membership fee is linked to the number of inhabitants of the municipalities and for the Centres for Public Welfare on the number of residents in the care and day centres.

VVSG is a member of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), United Cities and Local Governements (UCLG) and the Flemish European Liason Agency (Vleva)

For more information about VVSG, please visit:

SPIDER Projects
VVSG will undertake the following service design training for SPIDER:

Capacity_2Within the framework of Spider, VVSG develops a training program to introduce local policy makers to the vision, principles and methods of Service Design.

Service design approaches public services in a holistic way and employs creative techniques to develop and improve public services thanks to the input and cooperation of all stakeholders. VVSG develops in Spider a training that introduces politicians and public sector staff with this holistic, user-centered and creative approach to problem solving.


The training will be developed in three levels:
1. An introduction workshop (one hour) that explains the principles and opportunities of service design through a case study.

Level 1: raising awareness of local policy makers of the potential of service design.

2. A training program (one day) that introduces the participants to the principles, phasing and techniques of service design.

Level 2 : participants learn the principles and techniques of service design to estimate where service design can be put to good use, which expertise is needed, which expertise they have in-house, which knowledge should be brought in and what criteria are important in a qualitative tender.

3. A collective learning path (several days spread across one year) that supports local governments in a problem solving process through service design.

Level 3 : participants learn to successfully apply a number of service techniques and ensure that the service design approach is embedded within the organization. Furthermore, they can well estimate for which part of the service design process it will be wise and cost efficient to bring in an expert service designer.

To find out more about this element of SPIDER please contact Mattie Jacobs by emailing:


VVSG update2

VVSG Service Design Project Update 

VVSG is working on the SPIDER challenge of building a sustainable capacity for service design within public services. VVSG are developing a training program to introduce local policy makers to the vision, principles and methods of Service Design, which will involve the service design toolkit developed by Yellow Window��������������������������������and NamahnRead the full project update