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Posts from the ‘Zambia’ 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:


An unconventional convention

The small, but ambitious Zambian opposition party, NAREP, kept the doors wide open to the public during their 2nd national convention in December 2016.

By Bent Nicolajsen, Danish Liberal Democracy Programme (DLDP).

It is Saturday morning in a fairly simple assembly hall in a school in of the suburbs of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. The hall is filled with delegates from most corners of Zambia. It is only the second time for the seven years old National Restoration Party to hold a prober convention. Prayers and national anthem has been handled, and the president of Narep, Elias Chipimo Jr., is opening the convention.

Mr. Chipimo is not only welcoming Narep-delegates from 10 out of 11 provinces. He is also acknowledging the presence of several handfuls of journalists as well as various independent observers. It is not the order of day in Zambian politics, that political parties having important meetings like conventions open the doors to the public. That is just one of example of how Narep is trying to preach and practice a different approach to politics in Zambia and in Africa at large.

Venstre - Zambia - NAREP - dec 2016

In his opining speech, Elias Chipimo, mentions three objectives of the convention. First of all, the convention shall decide on a new constitution for Narep. Secondly, the convention will elect a new leadership of the party. Finally, a new strategy for nationwide local mobilsation will be launched.

The passing of a new party constitution is not just a walk in the park for the party leadership. Delegates are not satisfied –among others things with the fact, that they will not get a direct say on who is going to hold which positions in the National Executive Committee. But the leadership shows a great degree of flexibility and the draft constitution is amended to accommodate the wishes of the many vocal delegates who were not happy with it. This move from the leadership changes the atmosphere at the convention completely, and delegates feel that they are being listened to.

With the constitution in place, the gathering can now go on to elect new leaders. Elias Chipimo is reelected for the position as party president with a clear majority but not unopposed. This is democracy at work. A new national executive committee is also elected. The election is happening in a very correct and transparent manner and according to the independent observers present, Narep cannot learn much from the Electoral Commission of Zambia – rather the other way around.

Venstre - Zambia - NAREP - dec 2016

After the election the newly elected National Executive Committee attends a mini-workshop. The new NEC-members share their expectations to the tasks and cooperation in the Committee. They have a discussion on the roles of the NEC and write letters to themselves, which will be kept for one year. At that time the NEC-members will be able to re-visit their hopes and aspirations as newly-elected NEC-members.

The convention ends at a very active note. The Party President, Mr. Elias Chipimo, introduces a new mobilization strategy. The strategy seems to be a very useful tool for the local structures in their preparation for the 2021 general election in Zambia. And since Elias Chipomo is an unconventional leader at an unconventional convention, is he not just speaking to the masses, he is facilitating a process involving the participants.

Life as an opposition party in a first-past-the-post-system like Zambia is not easy. Narep does still not  have any representatives elected at the local or national level. On the other hand, the convention –and the way it was conducted – was important step forward for a small party with big ambitions.

Venstre - Zambia - NAREP - dec 2016

More information

Read more about the Danish Liberal Party’s (Venstre) partnership with NAREP in Zambia.

Contact Programme Manager at the DLDP, Bent Nicolajsen:

Contact Project Coordinator at DIPD, Mathias Parsbæk Skibdal:

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!


Annual Report 2015 – Postcards from the Field

Postcards are not long and detailed, but they highlight the excitement you feel when experiencing something unusual and memorable. This year we asked all our partners to tell one brief story for the Annual Report, to get a sense of what they think has made a difference.

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Trust, trust and trust

One aspect made a special impression on a delegation of high level politicians from Kenya and Zambia visiting Denmark in June 2015: Trust, trust and trust. The participants were also exposed to the Danish practice of bicycles, pig farming and not least election campaigning.

Report by: DLDP programme manager Bent Nicolajsen 

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