Political parties and organizations need to have the capacity to both compete and cooperate.

Dialogue among political parties usually takes place within democratic institutions such as national parliaments. Yet parliamentary dialogue alone cannot always meet the need for genuine exploration of consensus or compromise. Correspondingly, this Guide focuses on the need for more dynamic spaces of dialogue between political parties.

Building on case studies from different countries, the Guide enables actors to assess the general conditions for political party dialogues; build trust; convene and organize dialogues; set their goals and prepare their agenda; facilitate their smooth evolution through various stages; ensure meaningful results; and foster the implementation of the understandings and agreements reached.


Publication date
10 June 2013
Brechtje Kemp, Sam van der Staak, Bjarte Tørå, Augustine Magolowondo
Number of pages
Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
978-91-86565-78-7 (Print)





Executive summary

About this Guide


PART I: Political party dialogue: general characteristics

1: Defining political party dialogue

2: The role of a facilitator

3: Assessing the political environment


PART II: Political party dialogue in practice

4: Dialogue stages and dynamics

5: Setting goals and agendas

6: Supporting political reform and national development

7: Timing and the electoral cycle

8: Designing a dialogue’s organizational structure

9: The rules of the dialogue game

10: Building trust between political parties

11: Consensus building through structured dialogue

12: Internal party communication and preparation


PART III: Inclusive dialogue

13: Deciding which political parties to invite to the dialogue

14: Choosing political party dialogue representatives

15: Equal participation and representation of women and men

16: Minority representation and diversity

17: Engaging with civil society organizations and the media

18: Concluding remarks: moving beyond the handshake


Appendix 1: Case studies

Appendix 2: Considerations when designing a political party dialogue process

Acronyms and abbreviations




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Political Party Dialogue: A Facilitator's Guide

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