DIPD enters partnership with Egyptian NGOs
Together with Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) and Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI), DIPD has decided to support two Egyptian NGOs – Cairo Center for Human Development(CCHD) and Egyptian Democratic Academy(EDA) – in their efforts to create political academies for Egyptians – youth in particular – who want to learn and practice democratic principals. The general objective of the programme is to support the development of a democratic culture and deepening of democracy in Egypt.
The two NGOs have already offered crash courses in democratic ideas and principles that can help young Egyptians in their efforts to contribute to shaping the future political system in Egypt. A majority of people who fought to free themselves from dictatorship lack knowledge and know-how to engage themselves in the build-up of a new and democratic Egypt. As stated by one of the NGO’s:
“Some of us did their best to launch intensive short training programs on democracy and democratic experiences and institutions; however, this is not enough. Transition to democracy requires progressive, yet radical institutionalization of democratic values and practices.”
In order to support the process of democratization the NGOs have found it important to build up human capital capable of contributing to the planning and implementation of the comprehensive restructuring process that will be the backbone in the build-up of a democratic Egypt.
The programme is inspired by NIMD’s Democracy Schools in Indonesia. In the spring of 2012 the two NGOs, NIMD, DEDI and DIPD went on an inspirational tour to Indonesia where they were introduced to the way the programme has been carried out since 2004. As in the case of the Egyptian partners, the NGO running the “democracy schools” was established by a group of dedicated individuals who have been actively involved in the toppling of the military dictatorship in 1998.
Long term training
The funding offered is meant to cover a pilot phase managed by the two NGOs in two different areas of Egypt. While the two NGOs have earlier provided short courses on democratic principles, they have not so far had the capacity or resources to offer long term programmes. During the pilots, training will be offered to selected participants during weekends and evenings over a period of six months. This is in order to be able to combine democracy theory with concrete tools and thereby provide the students with enough knowledge and know how to be able to enter political life – in one way of the other.
The two NGOs have both received funds for a pilot phase which is expected to test the methods, the target groups and the capacity of the two NGOs to carry out a larger programme. EDA is piloting in the Upper delta, which is characterized by being a rural area. CCHD is placing their pilot project in Giza district in Cairo where you will find almost all classes of the Egyptian society. The target groups also differ. EDA is targeting educated, politically active young people while CCHD targets youth from 18 – 30 years old with a minimum of a high school degree.
EDA was established in 2009. It has hosted several meetings of different political movements before the Egyptian revolution. Among these movements are the 6th of April Movement (which was one of the strong forces during the revolution). EDA was established by a group of youth from different political movements and parties and is one of the first NGOs in Egypt working in the field of democracy.
CCHD is a civil society organization and was established immediately after the revolution. The aim of the NGO is to promote the culture of democracy in Egypt. The NGO has organised several workshop, seminars and conferences with focus on the democratic development in post revolutionary Egypt.