Representative democracy cannot function properly without political parties. Political parties provide a vehicle for the electorate to express itself by accommodating interest groups and offering voters different options.
They are also key institutions for participation and representation, responding to the needs of the people. Our Political Participation and Representation Programme supports political parties focusing on party law and finance, political party organization, political party dialogue, and effective party assistance.
Political Party Dialogue
In many young democracies, especially those with weak legal and political systems, fundamental reforms are highly needed but often also highly contested. Political parties have an important role to play in developing communication channels and consultation processes for building consensus. Stimulating greater political cooperation in the competitive arena of national politics is crucial to avoid conflict and regain citizen confidence in a country's democratic system.
Gender and Political Finance
The impact of economic resources on the political participation of women has become a prominent issue in the field of comparative political finance.The four-year Respect for Women’s Political Rights (WPR) Programme developed by International IDEA, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) and other partners aims to strengthen the political leadership of women in three countries—Colombia, Kenya and Tunisia—by improving the political environment for equal participation and leadership of women and men in political parties.
The WPR Programme works directly with political parties in the above-mentioned countries to:
- Assess, reform and transform both formal and informal barriers that impede and discourage progress on gender equality and women’s political rights;
- Enhance the capacity of women candidates, as well as men and women politicians in general to be more effective fundraisers, campaigners, and leaders; and
- Build political parties’ institutional capacities on gender-sensitive policymaking and legislation.
Digital Parties Portal
Many political parties struggle with utilizing new technologies in their work, whether it is online fundraising or mastering innovative outreach and communication channels.
International IDEA’s Digital Parties Portal contains the tools a political party needs to work effectively. The portal contains niche tools used by political parties as well as more mainstream tools that may be useful in the political realm. The tools were chosen carefully so that they can be used by established and upcoming parties, in contexts with stable internet infrastructure as well as in settings that lack sufficient connectivity.