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The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) is the only intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law and good governance practices in developing, post-conflict and in economic transition countries.
Headquartered in Rome, where it was founded in 1983, IDLO has since then formed more than 20.000 jurists in more than 175 countries to realize justice, peace and sustainable development in developing countries, undertaking also civil society awareness empowerment projects.
IDLO carries out its programs in America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and in the Middle-East.
In line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, IDLO encourages the countries with which it works to assume the responsibility of their own development path. The Organization works closely with legal experts, lawyers, legislators, representatives of the civil society, public and private institutions so that they can independently contribute to the development of their country. Therefore, the Organization has created, supported and developed a network of local associations called “Alumni Association” composed of the former participants to its programs. These associations are nowadays present in about 50 countries, where they multiply at the local level the assistance and training activities that IDLO realizes globally.
In 2014 IDLO opened a branch-office in The Hague, although it also has several country-offices such as in Afghanistan and Kenya. Moreover, IDLO was granted the United Nations Observer status in 2001.
In order to implement its programs, IDLO takes advantage of several partnerships with UNHCR, EBRD, UN Women, UNDP and many others.

IDLO’s staff is comprised of international legal and development professionals, who are specialized in topics including judiciary reforms, environmental law, international commercial law and public procurements.
The governance structure of the Organization is composed of:
- The Assembly of Parties (AoP) composed of representatives of all IDLO’s Member Parties, is IDLO’s highest decision-making body. It normally convenes in Rome once a year to determine the Organization’s policies and adopt the annual budget. Its duties include also the election of IDLO’s Director-General, the members of the Standing Committee, and the members of the Board of Advisers.
- The Standing Committee (SC) is in charge of monitoring the proper implementation of the Organization’s programs and it is comprised of its President, two Vice-Presidents (Italy is permanent Vice-President) and four Member Parties who are elected by the Assembly in alternate years, each for a two-year term.
- The Director-General (DG) is elected by the AoP for a four-year term, renewable once, and is in charge of managing the Organization.
- The Board of Advisors (BoA) is IDLO’s advisory body as it provides expert advice to the AoP, the SC, and the DG on legal matters. It includes 6 to 10 members, elected by the Assembly for a four-year term on the basis of their technical expertise.
- The Audit and Finance Committee (AFC) reviews the annual work plan and budget, providing recommendations to the AoP and the SC to guide IDLO towards effective and efficient financial performances. It is composed of 3 to 5 members elected for a two-year term, renewable once.


Aiming at facilitating the inclusion of the poorest countries, IDLO does not force its members to pay annual contributions. Indeed, unlike most intergovernmental organizations, IDLO is financed solely through voluntary contributions for both specific projects and general operations. Such financial support is provided by States, but also by multilateral organizations, private foundations and individuals. IDLO’s main donor countries are Italy, the United States and Sweden.
IDLO also raises funds for institutional development and management of basic functions not related to assistance programs.