Campaign event for the May 2012 elections
Political Party Support
A key component of the Institute’s work has been helping Algerian political parties become more representative, transparent and internally democratic. To provide political parties with practical information and skills, the Institute has held a range of workshops on party organizing, platform development and constituency outreach. These programs have helped Algerian parties stay in contact with voters at the grassroots level using public opinion research, door-to-door canvassing and party newsletters.
Ahead of the 2009 presidential election, parties from across the political spectrum took part in NDI-led workshops on how to train and deploy observers to polling stations across the country to ensure their parties’ interests were protected on election day.
NDI has also sponsored international study missions for Algerian political party members to learn about other countries’ electoral processes and party campaigns. In 2012, the Institute capped a year-long program of leadership training for young North African party members with a study mission to the U.S. to witness party campaigning in the 2012 elections. The Institute conducted a similar mission for party representatives from Algeria during the 2008 U.S. elections.
Women and Youth Political Participation
Participants from the Youth of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow program
Historically women have been underrepresented in Algerian politics. However a 30 percent women’s quota for candidate lists, enacted in 2012, has opened up new opportunities for aspiring women leaders. Soon after the law was passed, 145 women were elected to Algeria’s National Popular Assembly—at 31 percent, they now represent the highest proportion of women legislators in the Arab world.
To support Algeria’s newly elected women parliamentarians, the Institute is launching a new program to give them the skills to effectively represent their constituents and allow them to participate in international exchanges with other women legislators. This program will build on NDI’s decade-long record of support to Algerian women in politics, which has led to a large number of women winning public office and advancing their political careers. From 2002 to 2006, NDI worked with prominent Algerian women’s groups such as the Center for Information and Documentation of Women and Children’s Rights, to organize “summer universities” where Algerian and international experts trained women local councilors and party activists in public speaking, message development, campaign organizing and other essential skills.
Algerian women have also taken part in a variety of NDI regional programs. In 2007, 20 Algerian women joined peers from across the Arab world at the Partners in Participation Maghreb Regional Campaign Academy in Marrakech, Morocco. Graduates from this program went on to form a women’s working group that advocated for the women’s quota enacted in 2012. Algerians also participated in NDI’s Young Women Leaders Academy, organized in 2008 in Doha, Qatar, and in the 2009 “Youth of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow” program, a series of retreats on community leadership and advocacy skills. After the retreats, Algerian participants led independent community development projects, including initiatives to combat domestic violence and expand support for single mothers.
To help build the long-term integrity of Algeria’s election processes, NDI is providing technical assistance to a coalition of civic groups, the Civil Society Observatory for Election Observation. The coalition deployed 1,000 monitors to observe the November 2012 local elections, and plans to expand its presence for the 2014 presidential election.
NDI has partnered with the Algerian Muslim Scouts on civic education programs to engage young people in monthly discussions about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and democratic institutions and practices. The Institute has also organized discussions between troop leaders on the core principles of democracy and helped them draft plans for motivating scouts to initiate public service projects in their communities.
International Election Observation
NDI was one of just two international nongovernmental organizations invited by the Algerian government to observe the May 2012 legislative elections. The Institute organized a pre-election assessment mission and a limited long-term observation mission. These missions shared findings and recommendations on ways to improve the credibility of future electoral processes, including establishing an independent electoral commission, accrediting citizen observer groups and expanding access to the voters register. NDI previously observed elections in Algeria at the invitation of the United Nations in 1997, when Algeria held legislative elections as a key landmark in its transition away from years of violence.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Andrew Farrand, senior program officer