Money is a necessary component of any democracy: it enables political participation, campaigning and representation. However, if not effectively regulated, it can undermine the integrity of political processes and institutions and jeopardize the quality of democracy.
Thus, regulations related to the funding of political parties and election campaigns, commonly known as political finance are a critical way to promote integrity, transparency and accountability in any democracy.
International IDEA has for over 20 years been working on the issue of Money in Politics (MiP), and contributes to the discussion of political finance reforms by analysing trends, opportunities and challenges related to money in politics.
Our work in this area includes:
- Providing legislative advice upon request, to countries undergoing legal reforms, for example, by assisting with the drafting and review of legislations. We also provide technical assistance to political parties and oversight agencies in implementing existing regulations, for example, through reporting and disclosure procedures.
- Producing global comparative knowledge and research on political finance regulations in order to better understand the state of money in politics, as well as its challenges and possible solutions. As part of our research, we produce a range of publications, databases and tools, and carry out advocacy work.
- Convening global and regional conferences to contribute to wider policy debate on money in politics and promote peer to peer learning. We provide unique platforms in which political finance stakeholders exchange good practices and lessons learned on the design and implementation of effective political finance systems.
We carry out this work at our headquarters in Stockholm and through our regional and country offices around the world. International IDEA works directly with primary stakeholders such as political parties and oversight and enforcement agencies, providing advice and technical assistance.
We also cooperate, on a case-by-case basis, with other international actors, including the United Nations, Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) , the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and others.
Examples of our knowledge products and technical assistance:
Political Finance Database
International IDEA's Political Finance Database is the leading global resource of comparative data on political finance regulations in 180 individual countries. It outlines different types of national regulations and can be used to compare provisions across countries and regions. Learn more and access the database.
Level Up: Political Finance with Integrity (2018-19)
Level Up: Political Finance with Integrity was a two-year technical assistance project in Moldova, Mongolia and Paraguay, co-funded by the European Union. The project focused on how political finance regulations could better empower women and young politicians; and how they could protect the integrity of public policy making from undue influence. The project informed the ongoing political finance reforms in Mongolia and Paraguay as well as resulted in the creation of new Code of Conduct for political parties in Moldova. Learn more.
Inter-Regional Roundtable on the Intersections of Gender and Political Finance (2019)
This expert roundtable, organized by International IDEA in Brussels in October 2019, provided a forum for female and male politicians and practitioners from over 20 countries to discuss the interlinked dimensions of gender and political financing and how they influence gender equality in politics at all levels. Learn more.
For contact or queries on the Money in Politics programme and resources, please send us an email.
Photo credit: BrunoWeltmann/stock.adobe.com.