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Each Democracy School is a non-partisan, impartial platform. A broad range of political actors, from both opposition and governing parties, are selected to participate.
The schools provide a safe space where participants from different social and educational backgrounds can come together to exchange ideas. We guarantee all participants’ views will be respected and we provide safeguards to ensure this. Agreed codes of conduct, limited media communication, and safe and appropriate locations are key to this approach.
NIMD always strives for a mix of ethnic, regional, religious and other diversity identities in our Democracy Schools. This creates mutual trust and understanding that can pave the way for new inclusive politics for the country.
We actively support, encourage and pursue the political participation of women in our Democracy schools. Each school strives for gender parity among its participants.
Becoming a democratic leader requires a solid theoretical foundation. In order to prepare them for their future roles, we provide our participants with knowledge, encourage them to embrace democratic values and give them an enabling environment to practice and develop their skills.
All the schools offer comprehensive in-depth courses. To ensure that the schools really respond to local needs, they are hosted by NIMD’s national country offices or implementing partners. The curricula, teachers and case studies are tailored to the local audience and developed on the basis of a solid needs assessment.
All our Democracy School students go back to basics to learn about the foundations of democracy including the separation of powers, and the system of checks and balances.
As important background, the students cover the history of the social contract and political order, and the role and mandates of the state.
This section provides an understanding of Universal Human Rights, international treaties and natural law.
Students form an understanding of the main differences between proportional, mixed and first-past-the post election systems. They learn about the different types of parties and their formal roles, specifically in the context of their own country’s political structure.
The students delve into their own country’s history and learn to understand different cultural, social and political narratives. As part of this, they learn how specific elements of their political structure inform political behaviour.
Here students learn about what drives (in)equality in their society. They cover different viewpoints and narratives on the topic, including the role and size of government and wealth generation and/or (re)distribution.
This curriculum topic explains how things work inside a political party, from party constitutions, to by-laws and regulations, internal party democracy and internal elections.
After this module, students have a solid theoretical basis on how corruption, clientelism and patronage undermine political systems and how this can be tackled.
Democracy starts with dialogue. Dialogue between parties can be a catalyst for inclusive change. That’s why we show students how to engage in informal and inclusive dialogue with other parties, using transparency and confidentiality to build trust.
After the course, the students are able to build arguments and use these confidently in a public debates. They will learn how to use – and when to avoid – debating techniques.
As part of the training, students learn how to formulate party positions, draft election manifestos and use these manifestos for internal party management, public relations and campaigning.
Democracy School graduates are skilled in acquiring data and following this up with practical and detailed actions plans.
Politicians have to be able to engage the public and share their views and ideas. The schools provide insights and tips on word choice, dress, non-verbal communication, and how to capture and keep the attention of the audience.
Writing a clear and meaningful speech is an essential skill for aspiring politicians. The students learn how to formulate and deliver a message, balancing facts and statistics with engaging anecdotes and stories which listeners can relate to.
The students learn how to manage their relations with the press and respond to questions. They build on their skills as a spokesperson and gain insight into writing an effective press release.
“I have found the course eye opening and deeply practical. In particular, I gained a lot of technical knowledge with real-life applications.”
“I found it a very interesting experience, sharing and coordinating with young people from other political parties. They are the drivers of political change in Tunisia. They want our country to move forward. There were a lot of interesting and diverse training sessions and a nice cohesive atmosphere between staff and participants.”
“Before attending the Democracy School, I had never had the opportunity to work with people with different political convictions. Since attending the school, I have become more tolerant and sociable.”
"In Shan State, parties did not have the chance to be friendly before the School of Politics. Now that we have better relations and better connections, more cooperation is likely to happen."