Political party development is primarily focused on sharing experiences from around the world and offering political parties a range of options and solutions to better address political situations and challenges. Parties are introduced to a variety of techniques and practices from which they can choose and adapt for their own environments and circumstances. The program is based on continuing coordination and consultation with the parties to ensure that activities respond to both the individual needs of each party and to changes in the country’s political context or legal framework. Drawing on worldwide political party experts, the program uses its international network of specialists to support its political party development.
Political Party Consultations/Assessments
At the beginning of the five-year program, individual consultations with the Institute’s political party partners were conducted to assess parties’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as to identify how they were organized internally and how they operated. Assessments, which were shared with the parties, helped NDI determine the most appropriate areas for improvement. Individualized action and training plans are now developed annually with each party, along with a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) which outlines the nature of the Institute's partnership with each party, the respective areas of responsibilities and expected outcomes.
National and District-Level Training of Trainer (TOT) Programs
The Training of Trainers (TOT) program was developed to strengthen democratic processes, promote active learning and spark meaningful dialogue. NDI conducted a national TOT in Kathmandu which was followed by regional TOTs. Upon completion, NDI-trained master trainers returned to their districts and conducted trainings for local political activists. The TOTs, which are being replicated around the country, have trained more than 1,000 volunteers to date. The workshops consisted of: public speaking, training and skills to help achieve political goals, conflict resolution, working with party branches, and roles and functions of a political party in a democratic system. This vibrant program provides a solid base for continuing political party involvement in Nepal.
Inter Party Alliance (IPA)
Consultations with the partners revealed a need to establish a central coordinating group between political parties. The Inter Party Alliance (IPA) was created to serve as the principle contact point between the parties. Its role is to enhance communication, coordinate activities and oversee administrative details. Members, who are high-level party representatives, meet regularly to engage in cross party dialogue and to participate in learning and sharing seminars.
Future Leadership Academy (FLA)
The Future Leadership Academy (FLA) is an exciting new component of NDI’s work in Nepal. FLA trains multi-party cohorts of skilled young leaders in the basics of policy and political party development. Developed in consultation with the Institute’s political party partners, FLA also aims to increase inter-party and intra-party dialogue. By bolstering their leadership skills the youth are better equipped to make substantive contributions to the democratic futures of their parties and their country.
While a new concept to Nepal, debates play an important role in strengthening democracy in many countries around the world. Debates create an opening for meaningful public involvement, make candidates more accountable and boost public interest in the political life of their communities. They give candidates a chance to deliver their message to a broad audience and generate support for their candidacy. More importantly, debates give voters an opportunity to hear directly from candidates and to make informed choices. Working with local NGO partners, NDI will conduct a series of debates in selected districts. The Institute will help select topics of local concern and develop questions and debate guidelines. The debates will bring an element of public involvement—never before seen in Nepal—to help contribute to the credibility of the anticipated election, the timing of which is uncertain.
This program’s activities are designed to enhance the legislature’s ability to govern and to increase public participation in the legislative processes. In collaboration with the Parliament Secretariat and legislative leaders, NDI develops activities to increase Parliament’s legislative expertise and strengthen its involvement with the community.
This program promotes policy-focused discussions between key parliamentarians, party leaders, NGOs and the local community. The Institute rolled out the grass roots program in 10 districts starting in May of 2011. Locally-based NGOs assist in the dialogues by doing fieldwork prior to each event. They also meet with stakeholders to identify discussion topics and to update parliamentarians accordingly. Topics center on issues important to the individual district such as developing tourism or discouraging deforestation. The on-going program has recently been expanded to include political party representatives in the dialogues. The Community Dialogue program has proven to be so successful that plans are currently being made to expand into additional districts.
Next Generation Parliamentarians Group (NGPG)
The NGPG provides a forum for young and first-term parliamentarians to interact, learn and grow together. NDI provides opportunities to help the young members build their governing skills and enhance their political effectiveness. NGPG is self-governed by a 21-member coordinating committee whose members come from an array of political and ethnic backgrounds.
NDI will conduct an ambitious Elections Program. The success of the future elections is primarily determined by whether the public views the electoral process as fair and credible. NDI will assist and coordinate local observer groups as they organize and train a network of monitors to observe future elections, and conduct voter education campaigns. Domestic monitoring networks build public confidence in the electoral process and give citizens a chance for “hands-on” participation in the democratic development and future of Nepal.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Mark Wallem, Senior Resident Director
+977 1 4442 079
Marjan Ehsassi, Program Manager