Legislative Development

NDI’s Democratic Governance programs support legislative institutions to effectively uphold their representative and oversight responsibilities.

Through a 2011 law, the government established the Unit for the Care and Reparation of Victims (Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas, Victims Unit), charged with supporting victims to participate in policy design and implementation, and for helping establish democratically-structured “Victims Participation Roundtables” (mesas de participación efectiva de víctimas, VPRs) in each of Colombia’s 1,122 municipalities and 32 provinces to work with authorities to address victims’ grievances. These victims include those who experienced torture, kidnapping, displacement, sexual violence, murder of a family member, or other serious crimes. As marginalized populations are often disproportionately affected by violent conflict, the VPRs reserve seats for vulnerable groups such as women, Afro-Colombians, indigenous peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals. The VPRs also provide a mechanism for victims to have a voice in public policies regarding issues that impact them, such as reparations and land rights.NDI and partner organizations also developed a manual to guide VPRs to effectively monitor, evaluate and conduct oversight of public policies related to the Victims Law. Other international organizations, government institutions and VPRs around the country have used this manual.

Regional Parliamentary Initiative

Parliaments in the Western Balkans must play an essential role in their countries’ pursuit of European Union membership, as well as respect the public interest and reform legal, social, and economic systems. To ensure that legislation both complies with EU standards and is responsive to the public interest, parliaments in the region must strengthen their oversight of government, improve legislative research and create opportunities for public input into legislation.

Democratic Governance

NDI views the development of effective, democratic, public-sector institutions as a critical component of its mission. It is through improved governance that the benefits of democratic development most directly impact the lives of citizens. Conversely, when governments and parliaments fail to meet public expectations, citizens can lose confidence in democracy’s virtue and may turn to alternative models that rely on authoritarian methods or illiberal models to achieve results. 


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