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 (Chair)
Principal Research Fellow, Politics and Governance, ODI, and Director, Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice
Deputy Country Director, NDI Moldova
ODI Research Associate
Nic van der Jagt
Evaluation and Learning Advisor, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy
Uganda Country Representative, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
Deputy Head, Democracy Unit, Sida
Deputy Director, Center for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, USAID
Harvey V. Fineberg Chair for Democracy Studies, Senior Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace