Who We Are

The Forum of Federations is an international governance organization founded by Canada and funded by nine other partner governments – Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Switzerland.

The Forum of Federations is a learning network concerned with promoting intergovernmental learning on governance challenges in multi-level democracies. The Forum is not an advocacy organization and doesn’t advocate for any particular structure of government.

  • We provide innovative solutions to challenges posed by multi-level governance in a range of devolved, decentralized or federal countries. We bring a tested, comparative approach, a global network of experts and excellent access to key government officials around the world. We have worked in Germany on improving public service delivery, in Brazil on implementing a value added tax, in India on fiscal equalization, in Australia on metropolitan governance, in Switzerland on designing an immigration and integration policy.
  • We focus on the key issues of local empowerment. If you want to promote democracy in a way that gets real, on-the-ground results, our focus on the key issues of local empowerment– too often ignored – can add an essential dimension to your efforts.
  • We assist in democracy building in fragile states or regions in post-conflict situation. Democratic evolution does not happen overnight; our extensive experience in countries such as Ethiopia, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, Sudan and Sri Lanka can be put to use quickly and effectively.
  • We provide expertise that bridges the worlds of academic research and real-world practice.

The Forum Advantage: Hands-on Experience and High-level Expertise

The Forum has a practical, problem-solving approach to achieving results. Since its founding nearly two decades ago, it has supported governments and citizens around the world – through training, the provision of expertise and impartial practical education.

Our Core Principle: “Learning From Each Other”

We bring the world’s leading experts together with the “practitioners” of government: elected officials, civil servants, political operatives. We provide practical solutions to problems of multi-level governance.

The Forum’s direct relationship with governments on each continent makes us uniquely placed to promote intergovernmental learning by working in tandem with our partner governments.

Very few international organizations can offer that kind of real-life, comparative expertise, and none but the Forum does it with a central focus on multi-level governance.


The Government of Canada provided the impetus for the establishment off the ground with the inaugural International Conference on Federalism held in 1999 at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. This conference conference led to the founding of the Forum as an ongoing institution, based in Ottawa. Four consecutive International Conferences have subsequently been held in Switzerland, Belgium, India, and Ethiopia. Following the 2005 Conference in Belgium and the partnership of a number of countries with the Forum, it became a truly international organization. Ten governments have now signed agreements with the Forum and are represented on the Forum’s Strategic Council, supporting the activities of the organization and providing expertise. These countries are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Switzerland. The Forum has operated field offices in Ethiopia, Sudan, Nepal and Nigeria. Over the years, the Forum has expanded the focus of its work from established federal countries to include countries in post-conflict situations adopting federal forms of governance and those involved in processes of devolution and decentralization.