Our story began in South Africa, where we helped bring political parties together and support them in defining their new roles after the end of apartheid. The objective of politicians was clear: they wanted to create a united, equal and inclusive democratic society. However, there was no democratic culture to build upon, neither in their own country nor in the region.
So seven Dutch political parties stepped up to help develop the democratic culture among South African parties. This had such a positive effect on the level of trust and collaboration between them that Nelson Mandela strongly recommended that the Dutch political parties expand their work to other countries. This led to the establishment of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) in 2000, with seven founding Dutch political parties.
This multiparty identity gives us the legitimacy and opportunity to work on an impartial basis with all political parties in a country and encourage dialogue between them.
We now have 15 country offices and nearly 20 programmes around the world, in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Dutch Caribbean and the MENA region.
Founding Political Parties
NIMD maintains strong links with the seven Dutch political parties who founded the organization back in 2000. The NIMD Advisory Council consists of senior representatives from these parties, providing a direct organizational link between the founding political parties and NIMD staff and management.
Cooperation and contact is maintained with individual Members of Parliament to ensure policy experience is fully shared and opportunities and trends are identified. Dutch politicians and party staff contribute with practical experience, status and expertise from the world of party politics. They can also promote the organization on a senior political level. In the process, politicians and staff learn from the successes booked and challenges encountered by NIMD.
The founding political parties come from across the Dutch parliamentary spectrum, which cements our non-partisan credentials.