Over the past fifteen years, NIMD has gained experience in assisting political parties in diverse settings around the globe. One specific context in which NIMD has increasingly been involved is that of fragile and conflict-affected settings: settings in which the political environment is extremely polarised and divided due to a lack of trust among political actors.
This lack of trust, together with the divisions between political groups that characterize such contexts, often has its origins in violent conflict. NIMD’s strategies on political party dialogue and capacity building are highly valued in these settings, where the strengthening of political legitimacy is viewed as a pre-condition for sustainable peace, stability and development.
Defining fragile and conflict-affected settings
NIMD’s use of the word ‘settings’ indicates that fragile and conflict-affected contexts often coincide with state borders but may also pertain to specific areas within a state, or to regions encompassing the borders of several states. Such settings are characterized by two interconnected and mutually re-enforcing elements: fragility and conflict-affectedness.
NIMD’s work in fragile and conflict-affected settings
Based on its overall experience with political parties, NIMD has identified six focus areas in fragile and conflict-affected settings:
1. Building trust between political rivals
2. Supporting the conversion of former armed movements into political parties
3. Fostering inclusive political settlements
4. Working in synchronicity with international conflict-resolution and peace building interventions
5. Advancing women’s political participation
6. Understanding the impact of Illicit networks on politics in fragile and conflict-affected settings
Looking to the future
International support for the development of political legitimacy in fragile and conflict-affected settings is crucial, but it must also facilitate sustainable local ownership of the political processes. NIMD has developed significant experience with how to engage political parties in such settings. Together with our partner network, we invest in key processes like capacity building, trust building and consensus building.
NIMD wants to further develop specific tools and deepen its skills and expertise to enhance its work in fragile and conflict-affected settings. We are keen to broaden our international network and develop partnerships with other expert organizations that can provide complementary expertise on key focus areas for political party assistance in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
We are always open to new partnerships, linkages and political networks. Please contact us if you would like to discuss and share experiences or explore possible future collaborations.