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Posts from the ‘Kenya’ Category

DIPD’s Work on Youth in Politics Is Rated as Promising Practice

In an independent review of more than 76 global programmes in support of youth, DIPD’s engagement in promoting youth in politics is considered promising practice that can inspire both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and other organisations.

The Danish MFA undertook the review to inform the Ministry on how to optimize and operationalise Denmark’s new development cooperation strategy and its particular focus on youth.

In the new strategy Denmark has committed to give young people “… the opportunity to enhance their participation and influence in society as involved, committed and equal actors with the ability and opportunity to take developments into their own hands.” The strategy outlines that these objectives are to be achieved through various measures within policy, programme and partnerships. The review was undertaken in view of these two main strands.

Minister for Development, Ulla Tørnæs, presents a review of MFA’a youth engagements.

While DIPD’s youth programmes are not directly part of the MFA’s youth portfolio, DIPD’s method of work was included by the review team, discussed by the international youth panel involved in the review and rated as promising practice:

Promising practice: Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD); strengthening youth involvement in the political parties through inspiration and exchange between political parties’ youth wings.

DIPD supports democracy through support to political parties in developing countries with funding from Danida, partly through the Danish political parties and partly through direct support to multi-party democracy initiatives. DIPD has identified the strengthening of youth involvement and participation within the political parties in developing countries as one of a limited number of areas where Danish support can add specific value. In cooperation between DUF and DIPD, a guideline on ‘how to build a youth wing’ has been developed by young Danish youth wing members, used as training and inspiration material. Exchange activities between the young members from Denmark and Egypt, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, Palestine, Myanmar, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya and Bolivia has been implemented. DIPD has both directly implemented and funded a number of projects, through Danish political parties, their youth wings and youth members in developing countries to increase focus on and strengthen youth as political actors. A recent evaluation found that ‘project activities gave the young participants new skills and self-esteem, particularly among young women in traditionalist societies’.

Extracts from: Youth Leading the World 2030: A review of Danida’s Youth- Related Engagements, Final Report, 2017, p. 12

Danish and Egyptian youth share experiences on the Nile.

DIPD employs a systemic approach to working with youth in politics that engages party leadership and agenda setting through advocacy, focuses on party structures and processes that facilitates or hinders youth engagement, and finally capacitates youth and facilitates multiparty youth dialogues and platforms.

With this approach the institute and the Danish political parties together with youth and partners are very well placed to initiate and facilitate change relating to several of the main recommendations in the review. The recommendations, which DIPD can make a particular contribution to, are listed below:

  • Unleashing young people’s agency – Support formal and informal youth-led organisations, networks and movements to lead, initiate, design and implement their own initiatives – Several of DIPD’s programmes are supporting leadership development of youth and the establishment of youth wings or youth platforms that can take independent action and agency.
  • Prioritise youth-to-youth exchanges between Denmark and developing countries, particular between youth-led organisations and movements. In DIPD’s work exchange between party youth in cooperation countries and party youth in Denmark is a center piece. Mutual learning and peer dialogue has taken place with youth in Egypt, Malawi, Kenya, Myanmar and Palestine – just to mention a few.
  • Support linkages between youth and gender movements, and promote the nexus of the two – In several of DIPD’s programmes – for example in Malawi and Myanmar – the strategies on youth involvement interact with measures to involve more women in political parties. Often the agenda setting work is focused on both youth and gender.
  • Champion Youth priorities in National Policy Dialogues with Governments in Priority Countries – while it takes time and concerted action to facilitate youth dialogues on national policies, it also takes national opportunities for policy input to make it fly. In Myanmar the current formulation process of the National Youth Policy is an ideal opportunity for DIPD to facilitate input from the youth through the DIPD supported Multiparty Youth Dialogue Platforms. In several other countries, such as Kenya and Malawi, similar processes are or have been underway.

In DIPD’s updated Global Strategy for 2018-2021 Youth in Politics will continue to figure prominently.

Danida report on youth engagements.

More information

Read more about DIPD’s youth engagement in Myanmar.

Read more about DIPD’s youth engagement in Egypt and watch FUTURE DEMOCRATS – a film about the Danish-Egyptian Youth Network.

Read more about The Socialist People’s Party and the Liberal Party’s joint partnership in Malawi.

Contact Project Coordinator at DIPD, Mathias Parsbæk Skibdal:


Issue-based? The issue is Kenya

By Sara Rønning-Bæk, board member Danish Liberal Democracy Programme

A small delegation from the Danish Liberal Democracy Programme (DLDP) recently returned from a visit to Center for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) – Kenya.  During the visit the partners focused on the important issue of how to develop and practice issue-based politics.  

For the past six years, DLDP has collaborated with CMD on a project that deals with the urgent, yet long-term, issue: issue-based politics. The project also focuses on the fact that both youth and women still have a long way to go when it comes to having the same rights and opportunities as men in politics. Especially ethnic divides influence the social structures in every part of the political environment in Kenya. The solution is not at all simple.

As the delegation participated in a week of numerous valuable meetings, the issue of issue-based politics became obvious: everyone knows WHY and WHAT, but nobody seems to know quite HOW to develop and practice issue-based politics. A youth seminar, centered on two main activities, had a total of 50 active, young people from many different parties attending and participating in the discussions on issue-based politics. The delegation asked the participants to be specific on the tools for developing issue-based politics. Hence, the dialogue became very relevant in answering the question of HOW to practice issue-based politics. One issue, which was used as a case, was the strike of the Kenyan doctors, which at the time had been going on for two months.

Among the official activities, the delegation also got the chance to meet with a women’s lobby group, an anticorruption organization, visit voter registration centers in the slum area, Kibera, the Danish Embassy and a number of civil movements, trying to create the change that everyone is so passionately talking about. All of these actors agreed that there is still a long way to go, but one thing, which was more dominant and encouraging for the future of the DLDP-CMD project: they care about the main issue. They care about Kenya.

More Information

Read more about the DLDP-CMD partnership
Contact Program Manager for the Danish Liberal Democracy Programme, Bent Nicolajsen, at

Visit the homepage of The Danish Liberal Democracy Programme
Visit the homepage of CMD Kenya
Visit the homepage of The Liberal Party of Denmark (Venstre)


To friends and partners of DIPD


DEPPYN: Maiken Kristensen (LAU), Mahmoud Said (Egypt Freedom) & Ahmed El-Sayed (Egypt Freedom)

Dear friends and partners of DIPD.

Among many inspiring events during 2016, we would like to mention a few highlight: Danish youth politicians visited Myanmar; two regional Women in Politics seminars in Myanmar and Nepal; politicians from Danish municipalities conducted trainings in Kathmandu; party representatives from Palestine, Swaziland, Bhutan, Tanzania and Bolivia visited Denmark.

However, it has been a year of much suffering around the world. The Nordic and Global Political Party Peer Meeting took place at Utøya, where 69 young people meeting in the Social Democratic youth wing were killed in 2011. Welcoming us, the former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, stressed the importance of protecting the democratic space and values that underpin our work.

Let that be a reminder to all of us that we are part of a global community committed to finding peaceful and democratic solutions to the challenges facing societies and humanity.

On behalf of the DIPD Team, I wish you an enjoyable and peaceful holiday period!


Multiparty dialogue makes a difference

As DIPD continues its support to multiparty dialogue processes in Myanmar, it provides opportunities for sharing experiences in how multiparty dialogue can make a difference for countries undergoing political transitions. To this end, DIPD provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences between two of its partner countries, Kenya and Myanmar, through the visit of the Chairperson of the Centre for Multiparty Democracy—Kenya (CMD-Kenya), Honourable Omingo Magara to Myanmar.

The CMD-Kenya, a partner of the Liberal Party (Venstre) in Denmark, has convened multiparty dialogue on numerous occasions during the country’s complicated political transitions. Dialogue supported by CMD-Kenya helped Kenya overcome violence in the wake of the 2007 elections and also helped build consensus during Kenya’s constitution-making process. Like Myanmar, Kenya faces significant challenges in building unity across ethnic groups and managing a lengthy and complicated political transition process.

Myanmar, which held its first peaceful and credible elections in 60 years in November 2015, is currently embarking on dialogue to build peace and set a framework for multiparty dialogue on the political transition. The country still faces challenges from a number of armed insurgencies operating in minority ethnic regions. The ruling National League for Democracy campaigned on a platform of constitutional reform, but there is still a lack of consensus over the timing and scope of the reform process, with the military holding a virtual veto power over constitutional amendment.


Bilateral Meetings with Major Political Forces

During the visit of the CMD-Kenya Chairperson, the Myanmar Multiparty Democracy Programme organized meetings with senior political party leaders from four major political forces: the NLD, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the party representing the former military regime, the Nationalities Brotherhood Federation (NBF), and alliance representing ethnic parties, and the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), another alliance representing ethnic parties. The Chairperson also held a session that brought senior leaders from parliamentary parties together to discuss how dialogue can contribute to an inclusive democratic transition, based on the Kenyan experience. Hon. Omingo Magara also discussed how the structure and practices of the CMD-Kenya provide a non-partisan and inclusive forum for dialogue and party capacity building on a range of topics.

Highlights of the visit included a meeting with USDP Party Chairperson and former President U Thein Sein, who shared experiences on how the former ruling party ushered in political, economic and social transitions, and oversaw smooth elections leading to a peaceful handover of power. In response, Hon. Omingo Magara related experiences of how Kenya negotiated a political transition through multiparty dialogue with the culmination of a new constitution in 2010 and peaceful elections in 2013.

During a discussion with the UNA, the alliance members shared their numerous initiatives to advance multiparty dialogue and shared their challenges in building a truly inclusive dialogue in the context of Myanmar’s tremendous diversity. The Chairperson of the CMD-Kenya discussed negotiation strategies and how trust and inclusiveness can help make dialogue successful in the long run.  “Nothing is negotiated until all is negotiated”, the Chairperson repeatedly underlined an important principle in consensus building in a politically charged environment.


Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue

At the final dialogue of senior leaders of parliamentary parties, party leaders shared a number of concerns regarding the upcoming peace and political dialogue framework discussions. Parties were able to reach consensus on the importance of making the upcoming discussions as inclusive as possible, and also recognized the importance of having a neutral convener and for trust and openness to make upcoming dialogue a success. The participating leaders asked many questions on the Kenyan experience, including how Kenya held leaders accountable for promises made during multiparty dialogue and how the Kenyan constitution protects minority interests. Hon. Omingo Magara was able to engage participants in thoughtful reflection and frank discussion and the parties generated useful ideas for how to approach upcoming dialogue.

“This [dialogue and sharing of best practices] is very useful for us. One time is not enough — there needs to be a platform for consistent dialogue between the party leaders to regularly communicate with each other and discuss issues…”, Htoot May from Arakan National Party has commented.

DIPD will through its multiparty democracy programme in Myanmar continue to convene multiparty dialogue initiatives in order to support political parties to engage constructively in the upcoming dialogue processes in Myanmar as well as in the democratic transition.

Independent Evaluation of DIPD

DIPD is currently conducting a global independent evaluation of DIPDs work with thematic focus on Youth in Politics and including both multiparty and party projects for in-depth assessment.

Photo: Evaluation visit in Palestine.

The evaluation is a learning evaluation and will among other focus on how DIPD implements its strategy “ Ideas that inspire”, how effective the projects are and which overall change paths are pursued. Moreover, the evaluation will look at how the party to party and multiparty projects work with capacity development of political parties to perform in a representative and accountable manner and how the partnership approach of DIPD is functioning.

The youth projects function as an entry to assess how DIPD operates. In the multiparty pool Egypt and Myanmar have strong youth components. Moreover, the party project in Kenya focusing on youth is conducted with a multiparty platform. Also in Palestine (Red-Green Alliance & International Forum of the Left), the engagement is with three different political parties on the left seeking to establish a joint youth platform.

Strong youth components also exist in the project in Palestine, whereas Tanzania (K) and Swaziland are less pronounced. Finally, youth forms part of a broader agenda in Egypt (S); Zambia (V) and Tanzania (RV), Bolivia (SF). On this basis it has been agreed that project visits be made to Palestine and Kenya, and that the youth component in Myanmar and Egypt be studied in depth through skype and other means.

The evaluation team is comprised of Jørn Holm- Hansen, Senior Researcher, and Marit Haug, Researcher, at the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research. An evaluation consultation visit has just been conducted in Palestine. In their meetings with relevant stakeholders they were accompanied by the youth coordinator of Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) Kenya, Range Mwita, so as to offer expertise to the evaluation team and to have peer- to –peer and south-south learning.

Throughout the process the evaluation team is working closely with an Evaluation Group established by DIPD, which includes participants from the Danish Political Parties. Moreover, the political party expert Michael Wahman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri, has offered to act as peer reviewer. The evaluation report is expected to be available in October 2016.

For more information:

Contact Hanne Lund Madsen, Senior Advisor, DIPD at: