AWEPA and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) joined forces formally in 2011 in a strategic partnership aimed at strengthening Political Parties, parliaments and the party-parliament nexus. The overall objective is to contribute to the development of pluralistic democratic societies through a participatory decision-making process grounded on a solid multiparty system and the work of a strong parliament. The partnership between AWEPA and NIMD, launched in 2011 and developed in 2012, rests on the ambition to link two streams of democracy support, targeting:
- democratic structure and procedural reform through parliamentary capacity building and;
- culture and behavioural change through political party support.
The programme follows a multiparty and non-partisan approach and is based on the principles of national ownership, flexibility and gender equality. Benin is the first country in which the strategic cooperation has been launched.
AWEPA and NIMD’s partnership aims at:
- strengthening multiparty and parliamentary democratic systems through dialogue;
- improving the institutional capacity of Political Parties and Parliaments;
- enhancing the representativeness of Political Parties and Parliaments, by reinforcing the link between political actors,
- civil society and citizens. The programme aims at promoting participative and inclusive democratic societies, where the
- interests of different groups (for instance those of women and girls) are adequately represented.
The following preliminary outcomes can be attributed to the programme:
- Members of Parliament and political party officials in Benin have engaged in dialogue on the country’s governance challenges and prioritised actions to be taken in the coming year;
- in Benin, a Steering Committee has been established to ensure national ownership and serve as a first dialogue platform among political forces;
- regional needs assessment of women’s participation in politics has highlighted prevailing problems and potential solutions to counter traditional gender roles and promote equality;
- cooperation in Tanzania led to increased harmonisation among the two parliamentary women’s groups and TAPAC (Tanzania Parliamentary AIDS Coalition) and a joint proposal for future resource mobilisation.