Supporting the Newly-Elected National Assembly
To enable the new National Assembly to advance reform measures, provide oversight of government actions and engage openly with constituents, NDI provides ongoing training and technical assistance to MPs and legislative staff. Soon after the new assembly was seated, NDI conducted an intensive orientation seminar to strengthen the understanding of the procedures and core functions of an effective democratic legislature. Ongoing training and assistance focuses on deepening MPs’ critical skills in national budget review, oversight and citizen outreach. 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.
Strengthening Political Parties
NDI is assisting political parties to become better attuned and responsive to citizens’ priorities and expectations. 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 learned from the elections and made collective recommendations to government officials and electoral management bodies for reforming the electoral process. By facilitating ongoing multi-party policy discussions, NDI continues to advise party leaders on formulating party policies that reflect citizens’ input and speak to popular concerns. These dialogues provide a forum for the parties to develop cross-party initiatives to strengthen citizen confidence in political institutions and processes.
Supporting Women’s Participation in Political and Civic Life
The Institute works in a variety of ways to help women become effective political, civic and community leaders. Prior to the 2013 elections, NDI provided training in campaign skills and strategies to nearly a quarter of the women candidates running for election to the National Assembly. 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 advance a draft quota law that requires political parties to ensure that 30 percent of their nominated candidates are women. This summer, NDI held a leadership academy for young women in political parties and civil society to support the emergence of a new generation of strong women leaders. Through skills- and confidence-building exercises and mentoring, the participants learned to become a force for change within their organizations. NDI hosts a women’s resource center in Bamako to provide women activists there with internet access; books and materials on democracy, leadership, and gender; and a space for meetings and activities. Through a gender analysis of the 2013 elections and focus group research on women’s political perspectives, priorities, and preferences, NDI has provided political party, civil society and government leaders with substantive analysis of the reality women face in their efforts to contribute to political and civic life. Both documents include recommendations for ways that the government, parties, and civil society can enable women’s increased participation in political and electoral processes, including instituting internal party gender quotas for women on party lists and collecting gender-disaggregated data on women’s participation in elections.
Supporting Local and National Reconciliation
As Mali endeavors to restore peace and security throughout its northern territories, NDI is working with national leaders and local communities to promote an inclusive reconciliation process that links national and local level efforts. NDI collaborates with the Peace and Security Network in the Economic Community of West African States (Réseau Paix et Sécurité des Femmes de l’Espace Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest), a national network of women in reconciliation, to support the efforts of local women leaders to facilitate public forums and organize activities that foster tolerance and dialogue within their communities. At the same time, NDI is engaging the leaders of the national level institutions responsible for peace and reconciliation. NDI helps the Bamako-based leaders to maintain an awareness of community level peace and reconciliation initiatives, and to deepen their understanding of local perspectives on the national reconciliation processes.
Supporting Transparent and Credible Elections
NDI has supported transparent, credible electoral processes in Mali since 1996. In 2013, NDI supported 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. The Institute prepared and equipped the major political parties to train 1,425 party pollwatchers for the 2013 legislative elections. NDI plans to assist domestic civil society groups and political party pollwatchers again to observe the local polls in 2015.
NDI's current programs in Mali are funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth Office, and the Royal Danish Embassy. Recent funders have also included UN Women.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Badié Hima, resident director
Lindsay Robinson, program officer