Finnish Local Government in Transition 2025

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The new research programme Finnish Local Government in Transition 2025 coordinated by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (AFLRA) explores the heterogeneity, dissimilarity and divergent development of Finnish cities and municipalities. 

The research programme’s objective is twofold: first, to generate comparable data for the support of sustainable solutions and operating models of local authorities; and second, to increase general awareness of the activities, operating conditions and challenges of local authorities in a changing and increasingly divergent local government sector.

The programme will produce new and comparable research data on issues including reforms in local government, municipal services, democracy and leadership, local government finances and vitality.

Two to three research projects will be carried out annually under the programme. Local authorities will be selected for research according to the research needs specified separately for each project. A study may focus on all local authorities or, for example, on specific types of local authorities, on a regionally limited group of local authorities or on some other sample of local authorities. 

Finnish Local Government in Transition 2025 is a follow-up to the other extensive research programmes implemented by the AFLRA: the ARTTU2 Research Programme (2014–2018), the Evaluation Research Programme ARTTU (2008–2012) and the Finnish Local Government 2004 Research Programme (1995–2004). The new research programme was launched in spring 2020, and it is set to continue until 2025, the year of municipal elections in Finland. 

First, studies will be conducted on municipal residents and local government decision-makers.

The programme started with a survey on 30,500 residents in 43 participating cities and municipalities in May–June 2020. A survey on local government decision-makers was carried out in autumn 2020. The target group of both studies consists of local authorities of different sizes and types from across Finland to allow the results to be generalised to the whole local government sector.