Regional Organizations

Second prize in the public photography contest for young photographers organized by International IDEA and the Superior Electoral Tribunal of Paraguay, 2017. Photo credit: Carlos Pefaur.


Regional organizations, gender equality and the political empowerment of women

Global and regional organizations play an important role in the development of legal and policy frameworks, as well as in the design of effective action plans to better support the advancement of the gender equality agenda at the global, regional and national levels.



Regional organizations are a key driver of democratic transformation, fostering cooperation between countries. 

International IDEA’s Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy (IRDD) initiative provides a unique platform for dialogue on democracy between eight of the world’s most important regional organizations. International IDEA facilitates the IRDD and hosts its Secretariat with the aim of enabling spaces for dialogue and the exchange of best practices on relevant matters related to democracy support and good governance. 

The platform also enables synergies and channels of cooperation among the regional organizations and with relevant global actors to enhance coordination and effectiveness in the implementation of joint actions. International IDEA produces knowledge products based on the interaction among global and regional arrangements, and with other relevant stakeholders such as Member States, civil society organizations, experts, practitioners and citizens, with the goal of supporting democracy worldwide at the local, national, regional and global levels.




Which organizations are involved?

The Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy (IRDD) is a platform for engagement among regional organizations on democracy and related issues. The regional organizations include:

  • African Union (AU)
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • Council of Europe (COE)
  • European Union (EU)
  • League of Arab States (LAS)
  • Organization of American States (OAS)
  • Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Through the IRDD, International IDEA works to bring the regional efforts of regional organizations to the global context and create synergies with international organizations. In this sense, the IRDD also counts on the participation and support of the United Nations and the Community of Democracies (CoD).

What does the IRDD provide?

The IRDD provides:

  • an open exchange among international and regional organizations on matters related to democracy and good governance;
  • a channel of participation for civil society and grass roots organizations, experts and citizens;
  • an opportunity to connect actions at the national, regional and global level, to avoid replication and foster collaborative actions to advance the agenda on democracy in support of Member States;
  • an avenue for peer-to-peer exchanges to facilitate sharing of experiences; and
  • a response to the demand for dialogue and sharing of comparative knowledge and experiences.

What are the IRDD’s objectives?

The IRDD has two primary objectives:

  1. to exchange information and improve inter-regional dialogue on governance agendas facilitated by democratic processes and institutions; and
  2. to advance mutual understanding and collaboration at the inter-regional level on democracy through intellectual and people-to-people exchanges.

How does the IRDD operate?

The IRDD organizes an annual High-Level Meeting of the Heads of Regional Organizations and the Secretary-General of International IDEA. The meeting follows the retreat format (i.e. Head of Organization plus one) and the Chatham House Rule. This is supported by the Senior Officials Meeting, which includes the IRDD Focal Points. In addition, annual workshops are organized (and accompanying publications produced) that focus on specific and operational issues pertinent to democracy and regional organizations. The workshops are attended by the IRDD Focal Points, senior officials of regional organizations, policymakers, democracy experts, civil society representatives and other relevant stakeholders.

What's Going On


International IDEA Regional Director for Africa and West Asia, Dr Roba Sharamo, with the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr Workneh Gebeyeh, during the signing ceremony in Addis Ababa. Image credit: International IDEA.

Press Release

Credits: Bruno Maes for International IDEA

News Article


Networks & Partners

Afghanistan Constitutional Studies Institute
African Union
Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID)
Andalas University, Center for Constitutional Studies (PUSaKO)
Arab Network for Democratic Elections
Ashoka University, Trivedi Centre for Political Data
Asia Media Forum
Bhutan Network for Empowering Women
Centre for Policy Alternatives
CHAIRE UNESCO Innovation for Emergence of Africa
Chiang Mai University, Faculty of Law
Council of Europe
Council of the European Union
Dialoge Fiji
ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC)
Electoral Tribunal of Panama
German-Southeast Asian Centre for Policy and Government
India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management
Institute for Autonomy and Governance
Institute for Economics and Peace
Kathmandu University, School of Arts
Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat
Mid-West University
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections
Nepal Economic Forum
Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (NETGRIT)
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Open Society Foundation (OSF)
Regional Centre for the Development and Training of Civil Society (RCDCS)
Spring University Myanmar
Stockholm Environment Institute, Asia Office
Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO)
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
The East African Community
The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC)
UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean
University of Melbourne, Electoral Regulation Research Network
USAID - U.S. Agency for International Development

Contact Us

Luis José Consuegra
Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Specialist
Luis José Consuegra is the Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Specialist at the Office of the Secretary-General in Stockholm.