Strengthening Women's Political Participation
NDI has conducted candidate training programs for women in Jordan for every election cycle since 1997. In 2006, NDI worked closely with women activists to launch the Women Helping Women Network, an organization that seeks to promote the importance of women’s political participation across Jordan.
In preparation for the 2013 elections, NDI provided workshops and consultations to 174 potential women candidates. Twelve of the 18 women elected to parliament attended multiple NDI-led workshops or received consultations on their campaigns. During this time, NDI also worked with women in political parties to help them negotiate placements on their parties’ lists, and worked with women candidates to help them overcome financial barriers to participation.
NDI provides support to the newly-elected women parliamentarians on constituent outreach and legislative issues. Following the 2013 polls, and with assistance from NDI, 13 women parliamentarians established the country’s first women’s parliamentary caucus. NDI has also recruited and trained two classes of parliamentary fellows since 2012. The current class of 27 fellows works with women members of parliament, the women’s caucus and various blocs to provide research assistance and do constituent outreach.
Through NDI’s youth political participation, Ana Usharek (I Participate), more than 2,400 Jordanian students at 11 universities across the country participate in biweekly, peer-led discussion groups on the basic principles of human rights and democracy. Ana Usharek students have also had the opportunity to meet with members of parliament and decision-makers to discuss the country's reform process.
Many graduates of Ana Usharek have gone on to participate in NDI’s advanced youth participation program, Usharek+. Through Usharek+, approximately 250 students have taken part in debate workshops, organized debates between candidates and students, and interned with different organizations across the country. In April 2013, Usharek+ students came together to participate in NDI’s first National Youth Debate Competition in Amman.
NDI engages parliamentarians in workshops and individual consultations, providing them with legislative analysis and sharing materials on international best practices. In April 2013, NDI convened a workshop for the newly-elected members of parliament to discuss parliamentary procedures as well as Jordan’s current economic and social policies. NDI also works with parliamentary blocs and independent members of parliament on bylaws reform, economic policy and constituent outreach.
NDI provides technical and financial assistance to five civic organizations performing policy research and drafting papers to inform policy debates. Partners have identified various areas to address in their research, from decentralization of powers to youth employment.
Domestic and International Election Observation
Since 2007, NDI has worked with civil society organizations to observe Jordan’s elections. In that time, NDI has trained approximately 10,000 citizen observers to assess the country’s electoral proceedings.
For the 2013 elections, NDI provided technical and financial assistance to three domestic election observation coalitions led by the National Center for Human Rights, Al Hayat Center for Civil Society Development and the Identity Center. The coalitions trained and deployed more than 250 long-term observers to monitor voter registration, the campaign period and other aspects of the electoral process. Additionally, the coalitions deployed more than 5,000 accredited observers to monitor voting and counting procedures on election day. Each coalition drafted and released several statements on the proceedings, and in many cases, the IEC responded to recommendations put forth by domestic observer groups.
In 2013, NDI deployed 50 delegates to observe Jordan’s legislative elections. The delegation included former ambassadors and members of parliament, current and former political party leaders, election officials, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and regional specialists from 29 countries. Delegates assessed the immediate pre-election period, as well as voting procedures and the closing of the polls, in districts across the country. Following the elections, delegates convened in Amman to draft a preliminary statement. The statement commended the technical improvements, including the accreditation of domestic observers and the introduction of pre-printed, standardized ballots, while highlighting various shortcomings to the country’s overall electoral framework and administration.
NDI’s programs in Jordan are funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
John Maisner, Senior Program Officer