The Inter-party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) platform is a safe space to promote important and honest discussions between political parties in Uganda. The platform brings together all of Uganda’s parliamentary political parties. As equal members of the platform, these parties all have an equal voice. The parties are also represented in the IPOD council, the platform’s main guiding body. As such they jointly decide on the way forward for the organization.
Over nine years of work in Uganda, IPOD has successfully served political parties across the country as an open forum for political debate, training and cooperation.
The dialogue platform, founded and facilitated by NIMD, a has played a significant role in structuring multiparty dialogue in Uganda, despite a challenging political environment. Participating parties are continuously enhancing their internal decision-making structures in order to bring coherent party positions to the forum. IPOD’s central principle of operating on a consensus-based system is translating into more collaborative behaviour between the parties, indicating a wider political shift towards a democratically-minded political culture.
Now in its eighth year of operation, IPOD is scaling up its efforts in supporting a vibrant multiparty democracy in Uganda. The participant parties have reviewed IPOD’s performance in 2018 and the organization has plans in place for parties to engage in dialogue with the Uganda Electoral Commission (IC) ahead of elections in 2021. IPOD has also been mandated by the Prime Minister’s office to assist in coordination of the National Dialogue Initiative, aimed at securing consensus on electoral reforms between Uganda’s parties.
IPOD’s member parties are:
- the Democratic Party (DP)
- the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)
- Justice Forum (JEEMA)
- the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC)
- the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
In 2010, the then six parliamentary parties established an informal interparty dialogue process with NIMD’s support. Establishing this platform marked a turning point in multiparty politics in Uganda as both the ruling party and opposition committed to regularly engaging with each other in a dialogue process aimed at addressing challenges facing Uganda.