In Ghana, NIMD supports a programme that has delivered a home grown democratic reform agenda.
The day to day management of NIMD's Ghana programme is carried out by a professional secretariat located at the office of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which was founded in 1989 as an independent, non governmental organisation. Through the IEA and NIMD, the political parties in Ghana established an institutional means of inter-party cooperation which resulted in 2008 in the acceptance by all political parties of the Democratic Consolidation Strategy Paper (DCSP) and its subsequent launch. All parties signed up regardless of the outcome of the parliamentary and presidential elections in December 2008.
The DCSP presents a five year reform programme, focusing on issues like the rebalancing of powers (between the executive, legislature and judiciary), a review of the constitution, anti-corruption measures, enhancement of the role of women and young people in governance, the institutionalisation of political parties, the transfer of presidential powers, a review of the role of chiefs and traditional authorities, the professionalisation of the media, and an improvement in relations between institutions of the state and civil society.
The NIMD funded Ghana Political Party Programme played an important role in the political transition, first by bringing leaders together upon the announcement of the 2008 elections and afterwards by urging the losing party to accept defeat gracefully. Secondly, a transition law was prepared by IEA that regulated the smooth transition of power from the NCC to the NDC government. The 'Presidential Transition Bill', prepared by the IEA, which includes the lessons learned from the 2009 transition of power, was enacted in the first quarter of 2012.
The Ghana programme makes a concerted effort to reinforce the link between political parties represented in the Ghana programme and civil society organisations at both national and decentralised level, with the purpose of jointly lobbying for a re-balancing of political powers, through the constitutional amendment process. Both political and civil society organisations are important and powerful stakeholders in the legal and constitutional reform process.
• Convention Peoples Party (CPP)
• New Patriotic Party (NPP)
• National Democratic Congress (NDC)
• Peoples National Convention (PNC)
• In partnership with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), NIMD supports a political party programme that has delivered a depolarisation strategy, an enforced code of conduct and a presidential transition bill which contributed to peaceful and fair elections at the end of 2008, and a smooth transition of power in 2009. Political parties conducted an intra-party analysis of the 2008 election results and lobbied together for the implementation of their reform agenda, the Democratic Consolidation Strategy Paper (DCSP). Its recommendation to start a constitutional review has been taken up by the government, resulting in the establishment of a Constitutional Review Commission which includes representatives from all parties and the IEA.
• Consensus reached on national political reform agenda.
• DCSP finalised and adopted by the government as a national strategy for democratic consolidation.
• Electoral Code of Conduct enhanced with Enforcement Body
• A series of televised debates with presidential candidates taking questions from the public helped enhance the legitimacy of the electoral process.
• Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
• Electoral Commission
• Law Reform Commission
• National Commission for Civic Education
• National Peace Council
• Finance, Constitutional and Legal Committee
• Royal Netherlands Embassy
• Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (G-RAP, an initiative of Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands and United Kingdom)
• European Commission