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As of 2017, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy has parliamentary strengthening programmes in about 22 countries and political party programmes in around 40 countries. We have a track record in improving policy, increasing citizen participation, promoting accountability, and bettering representation. But we don’t have a monopoly of knowledge on what works best.

This is why WFD is looking to contribute to public knowledge about effective democracy-strengthening, making the details of our work available to researchers, and funding a post-doctorate research fellow at Oxford University who will take this work forward throughout 2017. But there’s more to it than that. We want others to contribute too.
Read on

“What is democracy if it doesn’t lead to development for the people?”

Resisting a “deconsolidation of democracy” requires attendance to the specific needs of individual contexts, taking people out of poverty and centring the underserved majorities of women and the young. - free thinking for the world

“What is democracy if it doesn’t lead to development for the people?”

Resisting a “deconsolidation of democracy” requires attendance to the specific needs of individual contexts, taking people out of poverty and centring the underserved majorities of women and the young.

Myanmar’s unique challenges

One year after Aung San Suu Kyi took office, Myanmar’s transition to democracy remains incomplete, and the country faces serious challenges

A controversial law takes aim at Ukraine’s anti-corruption NGOs

New moves to make the work of Ukraine’s NGOs “transparent” only highlights how the fight against corruption is being undermined. 

Love in a time of fear: an interview with Dashni Morad

‘The Shakira of Kurdistan’ discusses feminism, Kurdish unity, and healing the scars of war.

Democracy is in danger, only technology can save it

If the intensive use of the information and communication technologies does not go hand in hand with sovereignty over the data we produce, the social and political consequences can be dire. Español Português

Seeing democracy as an ecosystem

To strenghten parliamentary institutions, we should learn some lessons from natural ecology.

Lebanon’s refugee policy reform is too little, too late

The removal of a hefty registration fee on Syrian refugees masks a policy of exploitation by the Lebanese government.

The hidden agenda of Trump’s Muslim ban

The Islamophobia industry uses lawfare to skew the conversation about Islam. Its fingerprints are on the President’s executive order.

Trade union building in Myanmar

Basically all unions demand a stronger sanctioning capacity for the Arbitration Council.

The gendered realities of peace and security in northern Nigeria

Nigerian women, who suffer most from poverty, climate change and violence, are valuable agents of change. Why is this not recognised?

Ukraine and the cancer of corruption: a conversation with Svitlana Zalishchuk

The rising star of Ukrainian politics tells openDemocracy that deep-rooted corruption is the greatest threat to the nation’s democracy 

The real divide: between plebeian and patrician visions of democracy

The collapse of the Roman Republic offers salutary lessons for those who wish to strengthen democracy. We should heed the lessons of history.

Are the people good enough?

Responses to the Brexit vote have revealed a disturbing current of anti-democratic sentiment. We need to challenge these attitudes and commit to a deeper form of democracy.

The seeds of the next Arab Spring

A new report suggests that Arab youth continue to be neglected – and that demographic shifts are incubating another political crisis.

The Lady in the broken mirror: the politics of identity in Myanmar

Global icon Aung San Suu Kyi faces the everyday challenges of governing a nation whose ethnic tensions threaten to tear it apart.

Who will support democracy now?

As the United States retreats from democracy promotion, it falls to the European Union to nurture democratic values.

No blank checks for Europe’s populists

The populist turn in the West since the global economic crisis is undermining Europe’s liberal democratic model. But are illiberal ideas really as popular as they seem?

Message discipline propelled Trump to victory

Trump's slogan 'Make America Great Again' was the key to his victory. Amidst information overload, message discipline triumphs.

From countering to preventing violent extremism

Fighting extremism isn’t just about military and intelligence solutions. What strategies should governments and civil society groups pursue?

Bring Back Our Girls: unbowed, unmoved and unperturbed

The abduction of 276 Chibok girls in 2014 shocked the world. But it gave birth to a movement that heralded a new kind of advocacy in Nigeria.

Observing the elections of the future

How will changes in technology impact on the ability of election observers to monitor the democratic process?

Cash for Votes: political legitimacy in Nigeria

Corruption runs deep in Nigeria - among parties, candidates and voters. What can be done to develop a democracy free of bribery?

Redressing the UN's gender gap: how do the SG contenders compare?

Following an informal vote held at the UN in New York today, the UN Security Council will vote by acclamation tomorrow to choose Portugal’s António Guterres as the next UN Secretary-General. 

'Disciplined Democracy' – Lessons for Cuba from Myanmar

Myanmar’s recent transition to ‘disciplined democracy’ holds valuable lessons for Cuba’s democracy activists and civil society.

Realising their potential: how women became leaders in rural China

A grassroots programme in China has successfully trained young women to run in local elections, and dismantled negative perceptions and discriminatory rules that hindered their political participation.

Why we need women leaders – and how we can get them there

Even now, in 2016, we mustn’t be complacent or naïve in thinking that the argument is won.

Are women the key to peace in Myanmar's 69-year war?

Women in Myanmar are not only the victims of war -- they can be smart negotiators and understand the conflict just as well as men. Why have their voices been excluded from the peace process for so long?

Democracy after Brexit: We are at a 'point of decision'

After the Brexit vote, many are questioning the UK's model of democracy. openDemocracy asked Professor Paul Cartledge, Cambridge University historian and author of Democracy: A Life, to put the system in context.

Is it enough to give women political power?

Women have been trailblazers in Africa, but who knows about it? We must recognise that storytelling is just as important a weapon in the fight for gender parity as political representation.

Iceland: portrait of the pirate as a young politician

Halldór Auðar Svansson, 34, is the first Pirate Party member to be part of a majority coalition, in Reykjavik. He talks about the Pirate Party movement, e-democracy and the necessary generational shift among professional politicians. 

Rebuilding democracy in Iceland: an interview with Birgitta Jonsdottir

In the first of a series of interviews by Phil England examining the situation in Iceland and the possible relevance of developments there to the UK, Phil talks to Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jonsdottir.

Westminster Foundation for Democracy guest week: Gender and political progress

Are quotas for female African leaders enough? An interview with Icelandic Pirate Party co-founder Birgitta Jonsdottir. A call to action for British women after Brexit. Coming up in our week focused on gender and political progress.

To overcome planetary challenges, we must establish a world parliament

Only a world parliament can provide the democratic legitimacy and the planetary perspective required for developing global laws.

Rules of the game: negotiating obstacles in the 'closing space' of parliamentary strengthening

Development Alternatives Incorporated, like all organisations engaged in parliamentary strengthening work, is selective about where it chooses to operate. How does it assess  and surmount  potential obstacles?

Is Europe's old order too big to fail?

Are the two major party blocs that have dominated European politics since the immediate post-WWII period too big to fail? The evidence suggests not — so what are they going to do about it?

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