Supporting the Newly-Elected National Assembly
Soon after the new assembly was seated in early 2014, NDI conducted an intensive orientation seminar to strengthen MPs' and legislative staff members’ understanding of the procedures and core functions of an effective democratic legislature, including providing oversight of government actions and engaging openly with constituents. NDI also provided training and one-on-one coaching to help MPs develop critical skills in budget review and citizen outreach. The Institute helped the Assembly’s communication office pilot a radio program, “Parlement Chez Vous” (“Parliament at Home”) that lets MPs share new legislation, oversight initiatives, and information about their work in response to questions posed by the public. The Institute’s tailored support to women MPs helps them to build the skills and confidence to pursue legislative priorities and take steps to reduce barriers to women MPs’ full participation in legislative decisions and actions. The Institute helped the network of women MPs to create an advocacy plan to pursue its priorities. NDI is currently assisting the National Assembly to implement its institutional development plan by providing technical assistance to several key parliamentary committees and groups.
Strengthening Political Parties
NDI assists Malian political parties to become better attuned and responsive to citizens’ priorities and expectations. NDI has held workshops for party leaders on how to formulate policy platforms and integrate them into campaign strategies. Prior to and following the 2013 elections, NDI organized local town hall meetings, creating an opportunity for citizens to express their views directly to national party representatives. At a series of roundtable discussions following the elections, party and civil society representatives exchanged lessons from the experience and made collective recommendations for reforming the electoral process. By facilitating ongoing multi-party policy discussions and training sessions, NDI advised party leaders on formulating policies that reflect citizens’ input and speak to popular concerns. These dialogues provided a forum for the parties to develop cross-party initiatives to strengthen citizen confidence in political institutions and processes.
Supporting Women’s and Youth’s Participation in Political and Civic Life
The Institute works in a variety of ways to assist women to assert themselves more effectively as political, civic, and community leaders. To promote more women candidates and more elected women in future elections, the Institute is supporting the efforts of a coalition of political party women leaders and the Malian ministry for the promotion of women, children, and families to implement the newly adopted quota law that requires political parties and the government to ensure that a minimum 30 percent of elected and appointed positions are filled by women. Towards the emergence of a new generation of women leaders, NDI held a leadership academy for young political party and civil society women. Through skills- and confidence-building exercises and mentoring, the participants learned to become a force for change within their organizations. NDI held similar academies for youth members of political parties in Bamako, Kayes, Mopti, and Sikasso and organized roundtables in which political party youth and leaders discussed ways to empower young people to play a greater role. NDI hosts a leadership resource center in Bamako to provide women and youth activists with internet access; books and materials on democracy, leadership, and gender; and a space for meetings and activities.
Supporting Transparent and Credible Elections
NDI has supported transparent, credible electoral processes in Mali since 1996. In 2013, NDI assisted a domestic civil society organization, the Network to Support the Electoral Process in Mali (Réseau d'Appui au Processus Electoral au Mali) to field-trained observers to both rounds of the presidential and legislative elections. Since 2015, NDI has assisted a consortium of domestic civil society groups – Jeune Chambre Internationale (JCI), Réseau Plaidoyer et Lobbying (RPL), and SOS Démocratie – to observe preparations for the communal and regional elections, including an update of the voter register.
Promoting Social Accountability at the Local Level
In February 2016, the Institute selected target communities in the regions of Kayes, Mopti, and Sikasso to participate in a program to promote more accountable local governance. The program will help strengthen the relationships between local government, civil society organizations, and community members. Over the next year, NDI will strengthen the capacity of three locally-based civil society groups to help communities monitor service delivery and engage local councilors to solve priority development problems. The Institute will also provide capacity building to local councilors and assist them as they engage in participatory development planning and implementation.
Strengthening Security in the Sahel
In July 2014, NDI and the Center for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) launched an 18-month pilot program to strengthen democratic control and oversight of the security sector in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The program aims to contribute to stronger democratic processes by fostering more effective oversight of the security sector by the legislature, civil society, and the executive branch; advancing improvements to the institutional framework governing the security sector; and engendering security sector institutions’ greater respect of their obligations within a democratic system. Combining their respective experience and expertise, NDI and DCAF are collaborating with partners in the national legislature, civil society, and security sector institutions to achieve these aims in the three target countries.
NDI's current programs in Mali are funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Royal Danish Embassy, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Recent funders have also included UN Women, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth Office.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Badié Hima, Resident Director
Lindsay McMahon, Senior Program Manager