What we do
When a country has a long history of military dictatorships, conflict, and coups, building and sustaining a genuine multi-party democracy takes time, investment and effort. NIMD Honduras has been delighted to assist in this process, helping the country develop its democratic infrastructure and ensure the participation of people from all sectors of society.
NIMD has been active in Honduras since 2011, when the country was still reeling from a 2009 coup d’etat. The coup led to diversification of the political landscape, with more political parties emerging in a country historically been dominated by two forces.
Challenges included huge polarization in society as the country worked to come to terms with its past, historical animosities between political parties, and a lack of structure and expertise among the newly emerging political forces.
Helping people overcome those challenges and equipping a new generation – including people from traditionally marginalized communities – with the skills and knowledge to consolidate democracy is at the heart of NIMD Honduras’ work.
Women in Honduras face numerous obstacles in achieving representation in governance, including violence, a lack of opportunities, a machista culture, and lack of finance. However, the political landscape is shifting, with the numbers of female MPs, councilors, and local officials increasing.
NIMD Honduras works to help women realize their political potential though public information campaigns, training sessions, capacity building, technical assistance, and strategic planning support.
For example, we helped the Women’s Commission of Congress work alongside a consortium of civil society organizations to produce a joint legislative agenda, which will guide the work of the Commission for the coming years.
Honduras is a diverse country, and democracy only thrives when all sectors of society have a voice. NIMD Honduras works to help amplify these voices at the national and local level, through various campaigns and training programmes reaching out to under-represented groups, specifically women and young people.
We aim to strengthen the management and administrative capacities of political parties to help increase membership of under-represented groups, and initiatives include an online platform profiling candidates for the 2021 elections who represented marginalized groups.
We also work with political parties to help them build an internal culture that allows for and encourages members of underrepresented groups to participate.
One of NIMD’s first tasks in Honduras was supporting political parties. We assisted newer parties develop strategic plans, while assisting established parties become more receptive to diversity in their ranks. Facilitating dialogue between opposition groups and the government also contributed to consolidating the democratic culture. Today, our support to political parties continues, we help strengthen the national and local capacities to encourage transparency, inclusivity and respect for democratic values.
Our work in Honduras has also broadened to include aspiring politicians and political and civil society leaders, empowering people all over the country to cooperate constructively on issues of national interest.
NIMD Honduras also supports institutions responsible for electoral rules and procedures, helping them build their capacities to work more effectively towards genuine and credible elections that take place in a peaceful atmosphere. For example, NIMD Honduras provided guidance and technical assistance after 2016 reforms led to the establishment of two new electoral bodies, ensuring smooth transitions during an uncertain period.
And in the run up to the 2021 elections, we provided online training for electoral officials and supported the development of a strategic roadmap for technical arrangements, as well as helping mobilize young people across the country to assist with the collation and dissemination of results.
A lot of the capacity strengthening work is done with support from the EU through the PROdemos project (2018-2023).
We consider our Democracy Schools to be a central element of our work to build a democratic culture in Honduras. Our objective is to develop the knowledge and skills of young political and social leaders. Through the Democracy Schools, we target young leaders not only in the capital of Honduras, but across a number of territories.
As well as equipping people with the skills to help them advance their careers in politics or activism, the Honduras Democracy Schools also encourage a broad network of young and aspiring politicians from across the political spectrum. These networks help people advance their careers and work together to bring about lasting change.