This Practical Guide presents International IDEA’s State of Democracy (SoD) assessment Framework. Developed for public use around the world, the SoD Framework has been applied in some 20 countries worldwide since its first launch in 2000.
The Framework is different from other methodologies because its comprehensive assessments are led and owned by local actors, and move away from the practice of ranking democratic performance and making external judgements. It combines a commitment to the principles of democracy with dialogue, and looks beyond the formal existence of democratic institutions and focuses, more importantly, on their performance.
The Practical Guide also links assessment to reform and in doing so, highlights achievements and challenges as well as lessons learnt from previous assessment teams’ experiences.
Others seeking to apply the Framework in their countries stand to benefit greatly from the experiences, lessons and insights shared from the State of Democracy Network, a community of practice that has applied the SoD assessment Framework in their countries and regions. The Practical Guide also offers guidance on sources and standards of good practice.
Foreword: the state of democracy
Acronyms and abbreviations
Part 1: Democracy assessment: explaining the method
Part 2: The framework
Part 3: The assessment experiences
Part 4: From assessment to reform: influencing the democratic process