February 2016 Newsletter




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February 2016

Political participation photo

Women occupy an average of 22 percent of seats in parliaments around the world, but only 12 percent of the seats in the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, or parliament. Women are severely underrepresented and are often discriminated against in Ukraine’s political life. In 2015 and early 2016, NDI used cutting-edge public opinion research techniques and found more openness to women's political participation in Ukraine than expected. NDI's research debunked long-standing myths about voter preferences based on gender. Read more »

Polling Points to Path Forward for Iraq Reconciliation

Iraq Public Opinion Research Briefing

NDI's new public opinion research reveals a clear path forward for Iraq’s road to reconciliation. The result of 22 in-depth interviews with Iraqi leaders and a nationwide survey of 2,200 citizens conducted in December and January, the research points to the need for Iraq’s politicians and governing institutions to forge a shared vision for the country. Iraqis largely agree on four areas of potential collaboration across political and sectarian divides: adopting an achievable plan to fight corruption, ensuring a fair judicial process, strengthening the economy and ending sectarian quotas for government positions and jobs. 
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Burma's Long Journey to Democratic Reform Begins

U Zone Hlal Htan, discusses the many needs of the new Parliament with the head of HDP's assessment team, Justin Wein

The House Democracy Partnership (HDP), together with NDI, traveled to Myanmar (Burma) in mid-February to meet with parliamentarians and political observers. They saw the new parliament in action in Nay Pyi Taw. After nearly 50 years of military rule, the National League for Democracy (NLD), headed by former political prisoner and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is now in the process of forming a new government. Historic elections that took place in November 2015 began a process that could lead to a peaceful transition from military to civilian rule. Read more »


Making Cracks in the Wall of Silence: Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence in Syria

African Elections Map

Widespread sexual violence has characterized the conflict in Syria since its inception. The threat of rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage impacts every aspect of the lives of Syrian women and girls. This violence continually worsens as the country’s civil war heads into its sixth year. In order to better understand the challenges that women face as a result of the current conflict, raise awareness and explore solutions to address the issue at the local level, NDI-trained activists led discussions inside Syria on the topic of sexual violence. Three local partner organizations trained and deployed facilitators across the country, engaging over 1,000 activists since the program began in June.​ Read more »


DemWorks Blog | Six Critical African Elections to Watch in 2016

African Elections Map

Africa is home to a wealth of political diversity and regime types. In 2015, elections brought about the first peaceful transfer of power in Nigeria, the continent’s most populated country, but also led to mass civil unrest and instability in Burundi. Over the course of 2016, 32 countries in Africa will hold elections, ranging from local to presidential. The context of each election varies, however, not only in the political environment, but also in the strength of democratic institutions and norms embodied within each country’s political system. ​ Read more »


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