Political Party Development Program
NDI partners with political parties to improve party structures, promote inter-party dialogue, and increase the political participation of women, youth and other minority groups.In October 2013, the Institute along with the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries, organized candidate debates in Kathmandu and Biratnagar. The debates, which featured nine political parties, were broadcast on live television and radio and provided a neutral environment to discuss national issues.
In order to build the skills of party trainers, NDI has conducted national and regional “training of trainers” workshops on topics such as public speaking, conflict resolution, internal and external communications, and election campaigning. In turn, party trainers have returned to their districts to replicate trainings for almost 28,000 local political activists. NDI also conducted workshops on voter registration and elections to prepare more than 2,700 party activists to carry out door-to-door canvassing to register party supporters and ensure they are able to vote.
To encourage collaboration, NDI supports the Inter Party Alliance, a group of high-level party representatives who meet regularly to engage in dialogue, enhance communication, coordinate activities and participate in learning and sharing workshops and seminars. NDI also hosted a series of townhall forums, organized in collaboration with locally-based civil society groups, that offered citizens a chance to discuss local and national issues with political party leaders and district representatives.
Established to better equip youth to make substantive contributions to the democratic future of Nepal, NDI’s Future Leadership Academy trains young leaders from multiple parties on the basics of policy and political party development, and works to increase inter-party and intra-party dialogue. By bolstering their leadership skills, the Future Leadership Academy ensures members are better able to participate in the political process.
Women's Political Participation
Women’s political participation activities have been a cornerstone of NDI’s programs in Nepal since 1996, when the Institute began leadership training for local women leaders. From 1997-1999, NDI helped parties train more than 4,000 women candidates to run and serve as local elected officials. NDI also assisted parties to develop leadership training seminars for candidates in 2001-2004, with almost 11,000 women participating. To promote inclusion of women in politics, NDI supports the Inter-Parliamentary Women’s Alliance’s ability to advocate for increased rights and participation in the political process.
In 2008, women in political parties successfully advocated for 33 percent of seats in the Constituent Assembly. To ensure women receive the same level of representation in the 2013 elections, NDI supported a civil society-led campaign to advocate for the same 33 percent women's representation. NDI is working with civic groups and women journalists to highlight the importance of women’s political participation for Nepal’s future.
NDI worked in collaboration with the Parliament Secretariat and legislative leaders to increase parliament’s technical expertise and strengthen its involvement with constituents during the 2008-2012 legislature. The Institute will resume these activities with the new legislative body.
NDI promotes policy-focused public dialogues between former parliamentarians, political party leaders, NGOs and the local community. These dialogues allow citizens to voice their opinions regarding key development issues in their regions, including tourism, infrastructure and agricultural development. As a result, local officials have been able to secure government support and funding for community projects.
In the 2008-2012 legislature, NDI supported first-term parliamentarians as they learned technical skills, enhanced their political effectiveness and worked toward a common agenda. The group will restart its activities after the upcoming elections.
In 2011, NDI worked with political party activists and women parliamentarians to enhance their political skills and their ability to deliver services. In addition, NDI supported three pilot multiparty constituency offices for women Constituent Assembly members and produced a weekly television program that focused on women’s issues.
Previously, NDI supported advocates for the 2002 anti-corruption law and assisted members of parliament in drafting a code of conduct.
Improving Electoral Processes
To help ensure greater transparency and deter misconduct during the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections, NDI worked with a newly-created domestic election observation network, Democracy and Elections Watch (DEW-Nepal). Composed of diverse organizations, the coalition deployed almost 6,000 observers to monitor activities at the polling stations on election day. The Institute also organized a series of voter information campaign events designed to provide marginalized groups in the Kathmandu Valley region with information on voting and the electoral process.
During the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, NDI supported a domestic election monitoring coalition to train and deploy more than 9,000 nonpartisan poll watchers. From 2000 to 2003, the Institute implemented a civic and voter education program to increase Nepalis’ knowledge of their electoral system.
NDI’s current programming in Nepal is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Past funding has come from the United Nations World Food Programme, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and the Canadian International Development Agency.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Kenza Aqertit, Country Director
+977 1 4442 079
Christina Costello, Program Manager