NDI convened senior party leaders from 20 ruling and opposition parties from across Southern Africa in mid-May for the third iteration of the Political Party Strengthening Institute (PPSI). The week-long event convened party leaders from seven countries to engage in constructive cross-party democratic dialogue and peer-to-peer learning on how best to build inclusive, responsive and representative party structures that are equipped to address the challenges they face in their home countries.
The challenge posed by digital disinformation came into sharp focus during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While attention has focused on the influence of Russia’s propaganda efforts in the United States and Europe, the problem is much broader. The misuse of the Internet and social media to undermine democratic processes by deliberately spreading false or misleading information is a global challenge that will require new coalitions, tools and strategies.
In 2013, after Jihadist fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) had overrun Northern Mali, Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the five-year Danish Regional Sahel Peace and Stabilization Programme to support peace and stability in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
A lack of government transparency affects everyone in Kosovo, fueling corruption and diminishing citizens’ trust in their government, regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity. Because Kosovo faces ongoing challenges ensuring the full inclusion of ethnic minorities in its political processes, tackling problems with government transparency requires coordinated inter-ethnic efforts, which can build open communications between ethnic groups, reduce tensions and address shared issues.
“Political parties want to regain our trust. We demand access to information; this is the way for them to get back our trust,” said Houyam, a student from Al Akhawayn University. Through NDI’s Ajiw Tcharko, or Come Participate program, Houyam and his fellow students were able to express their demands through policy recommendations.
The armed conflict in Syria has left more than 400,000 dead, led to 6.3 million internally displaced people, and has forced at least 5 million refugees to flee the country. Syrian citizens are caught in a cycle of security, humanitarian, and political crises that have left their communities in disorder and without governance.
Every two years, the National Democratic Institute’s Board of Directors holds one of its meetings in a country where NDI has particularly vibrant democracy strengthening programs. In previous years the international board meetings have been held in Kenya, Jordan and Colombia.
NDI brought 16 aspiring young innovators from Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and the United States to Washington, DC, and San Francisco, CA, in April to meet with policymakers, technologists, civic innovators and social entrepreneurs. The visit was the culmination of NDI’s Civic Tech Leadership Program -- a unique bilingual program to cultivate young tech-empowered leaders in the U.S. and across the Middle East.
The ongoing liberation of Mosul has generated a sense of renewed unity and optimism as it may bring a dramatic change in the lives of Iraqi citizens. The political elite is called to transform this fragile unity into responsive governance. Iraqis’ demand for inclusive democratic institutions that deliver on citizens’ high expectations has built a rare momentum for national leaders to bridge the sectarian divide and develop a strong vision for the future.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is pleased to announce the launch of a new guide for political parties and party practitioners. Reflect, Reform Reengage: A Blueprint for 21st Century Parties (download) serves as a practical tool to assist parties think through specific types of reforms, helping them become more modern organizations. The Blueprint is organized by the following three sections: