Towards a Dynamic and Participatory Political Party Environment
New and emerging parties in Egypt are struggling with a lack of capacity and organizational experience. To respond to these challenges in the transition towards multiparty democracy, DIPD has entered into a partnership with Egyptian and international institutions to support capacity building of political parties in Egypt.
The political party system in Egypt is in a state of flux. The January 25 revolution ousted the President of more than 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, and also led to a fall from grace of the ruling party since 1978, The National Democratic Party.
After the uprisings numerous new parties have emerged and Egypt appears to have taken an important step towards multiparty democracy. But the new and emerging parties are naturally struggling with internal organization and a lack of capacity.
With the two-year project entitled ‘Towards a dynamic and participatory political party environment’ DIPD seeks, in close collaboration with the implementing partners, to support new and emerging political parties to become strong, effective and democratic partners in the new multiparty democracy of Egypt.
Given the expected elections in the fall, the project’s primary target group is emerging and existing political parties or groups that envision running in the upcoming parliamentary election or supporting a candidate in the upcoming presidential election.
The project intends to support interested political parties through 5 activity areas:
- Building of a knowledge base of voter preferences, which can inform the electoral strategy of political parties and help them formulate their political programme.
- Establishing political debates and inter-party discussions to share experiences.
- Learn from different global transition experiences, which could be useful for political parties now embarking on the difficult process of establishing party structures.
- Training and dialogue on electoral systems, legal reform, constitution building processes and party organization.
- Establishment of political education programmes, so-called Democracy Schools, especially targeting the younger segment of the population
The project is implemented in close collaboration with International Idea, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), and – based in Egypt – Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, Centre for Parliamentary Studies at Cairo University, and finally the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI).
The five activity areas each represent a work stream with separate responsible organizations under the overall supervision of a Steering Committee.
DIPD has been in dialogue with these institutions over the last couple of months and representatives from the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI), International Idea and Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) took part in the DIPD conference and seminar on Egypt 26–27 May 2011.
The Role of DIPD
DIPD is both among the donors, part of the steering committee, implementing partner and will also play a part in communicating the project to the public.
In terms of activities, DIPD will take the lead on activities relating to gaining knowledge on other transitional experiences and support NIMD in establishing democracy schools in Egypt.
Also, DIPD intends to contribute to the training modules by establishing a working group of Danish political parties and the Danish Youth Council that will offer experiences in selected and mutually agreed thematic areas, such as the role of the youth or development of a functioning decentralized party structure.
Finally, the project included a delegation of Egyptian political parties who observed the Danish elections and experienced first hand how Danish democracy works in practice at election time. The delegation of 11 representatives from political parties, civil society and media visited Denmark in connection with the Danish Parliamentary election 15 September 2011.
See also: Egyptian Delegation