NIMD-AWEPA Strategic Partnership on Lobby and Advocacy with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Read the joint NIMD-AWEPA statement on the Strategic Partnership from 18 September 2017 here.

NIMD and AWEPA are strategic partners of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for their lobby and advocacy programme. The subsidy framework for this programme is called ‘Dialogue and Dissent’.

The Strategic Partnership programme aims to strengthen civil society organizations in low- and middle-income countries in their role as advocates and lobbyists. CSOs can only operate effectively if politicians are open to their input and able to translate their arguments and wishes into actual policy decisions. That is where NIMD and AWEPA come in: we work on enhancing and facilitating the dialogue between civic and political actors, whereby NIMD focuses on strengthening the political parties and AWEPA on capacitating the parliaments and parliamentarians in these countries.

The NIMD-AWEPA-MFA Programme is called “Conducive Environment for Effective Policy Influencing: the role of Political Parties and Parliaments” and started in January 2016. The programme will be implemented over a period of five years (2016-2020). In addition to the NIMD-AWEPA alliance, 24 other strategic partners have been selected by the MFA for their Strategic Partnership programme.

The NIMD-AWEPA alliance

Parliaments, parliamentarians and political parties play an essential role in shaping the enabling environment in which sustainable policy change and inclusive development can take place and in making sure that lobby and advocacy efforts by civil society fall on fertile ground. Moreover, these political actors have a clear role in engaging citizens in this process, and to do so, they need to improve their dialogue with their electorate and other civic organizations and the broader civil society. The NIMD-AWEPA network of political and other societal actors and local partners brings these approaches together.

NIMD engages in long-term partnerships with political parties in the countries where it works. NIMD invests in trust and confidence building between the parties and facilitates dialogue processes between them and between them and civic actors.

In the Strategic Partnership programme AWEPA focuses on the capacity building of parliamentary staff, members and committee. This is done, for example, through public hearings, consultation mechanisms and community outreach visits between parliamentarians and civil society. AWEPA also provides legislative support in order to support law amendments that might be needed as a result of consultations with civil society.

All efforts are aimed at jointly achieving sustainable change at national, local and international level. Through this process, the programme seeks to facilitate democratic changes in the political system, parliaments as well as in the parties and the political context of the countries.


The following country programmes of NIMD and AWEPA are part of the Strategic Partnership Programme with the Dutch MFA: Benin, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Furthermore, under the Strategic Partnership programme, NIMD also carries out programmes in: Ghana, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Georgia, Indonesia and Myanmar.