Political parties need to take positions on public issues and communicate these positions publicly. In this way, voters can see what the parties stand for and choose which party to vote for.

In many emerging democracies, political parties are based around the personality of a leader rather than a long-term identity based on policies. Parties often lack the skills and experience to debate policy positions and mobilize voters around their ideas.

For this reason, International IDEA, NIMD and ProDemos have created a Policy Positioning Tool (PPT) for political parties. The tool helps parties develop and promote their individual policy positions through an online voting application. As the level of internet access in emerging democracies increases, online applications can be a very attractive way for political parties to reach voters.

This guide describes the technical and real-world steps involved in assisting political parties in developing and using a PPT. It includes a case study on the use of the tool by political parties in Lima, Peru, and is a must-read for practitioners seeking to help political parties become more effective in their internal and external communication.


Publication date
29 March 2016
Eddy Habben Jansen, Jerome Scheltens, Jorge Valladares Molleda, Sam van der Staak
Number of pages
Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, ProDemos – House for Democracy and Rule of Law
978-91-7671-044-9 (Print)





1. Introduction

2. The Policy Positioning Tool for political parties

3. Operational guidelines for assistance providers

4. The 13-step implementation process

5. Considering the broader political environment

6. Case study: a practitioner’s experience in Lima, Peru


Annex 1. Deciding on policy themes

Annex 2. Frequently asked questions about voting advice applications (VAAs)

Annex 3. Differences between voting advice applications

Annex 4. Examples of voting advice applications


About the authors

About the organizations



Additional Material

Table A1.1. Identifying policy themes for use within the Policy Positioning Tool

Give us feedback

Do you have a question or feedback about this publication? Leave us your feedback, and we’ll get back to you

Send feedback

The Policy Positioning Tool for Political Parties: A facilitator’s guide

Total views 5653
Downloads 27
Close tooltip