Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Engaging with politics: towards smarter international support to revitalise democracy (Webinar)

Time (GMT +01) 14:00 16:00
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.

The Future of Democracy Support

In the lead up to this event, Alina Rocha Menocal, our Principal Research Fellow in Politics and Governance at ODI speaks to Idayat Hassan, Director of CDD in an interview on how international support actors engage with democracy. This discussion gives an overview of the work Idayat is pursuing with the CDD in supporting democracy, grappling with the underlying politics and power dynamics and her own experiences of working with international democracy support actors.


This event, in collaboration with the Thinking and Working Politically (TWP) Community of Practice, will explore what more effective, politically smart democracy assistance looks like.

Across democratic systems all over the world, a profound frustration with political elites that are seen as irredeemably corrupt and out of touch has set in. Polarisation and populism are on the rise, as are authoritarian tendencies, democratic backsliding, and the curtailing of civic space and of basic rights and freedoms. The Covid pandemic itself has exacerbated many of these pressures and challenges.

The puzzle of how to revitalise democracy has become one of the most pressing challenges we confront today – and it is a question that lies at the core of current foreign policy and international development debates. To date, standard approaches to support democracy have remained limited in considerable ways. Among other things, they tend to view the nature of the challenge as a technical one and to rely on blueprints of change that focus on the form that democratic institutions might take without grappling with the underlying power and politics that give them substance and meaning.

So, what does more effective, politically smart democracy assistance look like, and are international organisations fit for purpose? This webinar will explore different examples of innovative efforts across themes and areas of engagement in democracy strengthening to tease out key lessons and insights about what is needed to enable more effective international policy and practice in this area.


  • Alina Rocha Menocal

    Alina Rocha Menocal (Chair)

    Principal Research Fellow, Politics and Governance, ODI, and Director, Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice

  • Andrei Rusanovschi

    Andrei Rusanovschi

    Deputy Country Director, NDI Moldova

  • Clare Castillejo

    Clare Castillejo

    ODI Research Associate

  • Nic Van Der Jagt

    Nic van der Jagt

    Evaluation and Learning Advisor, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy

  • Joesph Munyangabo

    Joseph Munyangabo

    Uganda Country Representative, Westminster Foundation for Democracy

  • Helena Bjuremalm

    Helena Bjuremalm

    Deputy Head, Democracy Unit, Sida

  • Laura Pavlovic

    Laura Pavlovic

    Deputy Director, Center for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, USAID

  • tom carothers

    Thomas Carothers

    Harvey V. Fineberg Chair for Democracy Studies, Senior Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace