What we do
When a country is moving forth with democratic reform, it is vital that the future generation of political actors are ready to seize that momentum and develop the skills, knowledge and networks needed to build an open, inclusive and tolerant political space.
In Jordan, gradual democratic reforms began in 1989, with increased momentum following the events of the Arab Spring in 2011. But while there are now around 50 political parties in the country, political structures are still developing and parties are often dominated by personalities rather than policies.
Since 2017, NIMD Jordan has been working to strengthen the democratic culture and institutions, implementing programmes that build the skills of aspiring young politicians, encourage greater participation of women, and lay the groundwork for greater collaboration and cross-party dialogue in future generations.
NIMD Jordan launched the Jordan School of Politics (JSoP) in 2017, targeting political parties’ youth members and aspiring young politicians.
The training covers core political knowledge including political and democratic theory, electoral systems, political parties, and constitutional theory. Technical skills are also crucial, so students participate in media and communications training and policy analysis, enhancing not only their political leadership skills, but their debating and communications skills too.
Students come from across the political spectrum and all parts of Jordan, allowing for cross-party networks to develop and acting as a bulwark against future polarization. JSoP also hosts exchange trips with other NIMD programme countries in the region, allowing networks to develop over borders.
Gender equality and women’s political participation are integrated into all JSoP training programmes, and NIMD Jordan runs dedicated courses to develop the skills and knowledge of aspiring female politicians, such as the Women in Local Administration project.
Half of all JSoP graduates are now women, and as well as organizing training and networking events, NIMD Jordan facilitates the alumni’s access to government, making every effort to empower and amplify traditionally-marginalized voices.
Bridging divides between often works best in an informal setting, and NIMD Jordan is pleased to host regular Political Dinners, get-togethers between Jordan’s politicians and JSoP students where they can speak freely and openly in a relaxed setting.
These encounters encourage people to challenge their pre-conceptions and recognize commonalities, regardless of background or political affiliations.
And while disagreements are inevitable in politics, NIMD Jordan works with ministries and political parties to strengthen their mediation abilities, while also providing institutional training for senior members of parliamentary political parties.
- Over 120 graduates since 2019, with half of them female
- Over 18 policy papers produced by JSoP alumni in 2019, 2020 and 2021 selected for publication, with topics including decentralisation, youth, and party efficiency, women empowerment in political process
- Over 20 dialogue sessions between alumni and policy and decision makers over the past three years
- Held seven regional meetings connecting political activists from Jordan with peers in Tunisia, Iraq, and the Netherlands in workshops that included trainings and dialogues with political experts
- Young students of the Jordan School of Politics held dialogue sessions with members of the Royal Committee to Modernize the Political System and presented their proposals to the committee head, with many of their recommendations adopted
- Three initiatives by women who participated in NIMD programmes were presented to the Women’s Affairs Committee at the House of Representatives, the Women’s Sub-committee of the Royal Committee, and the head of the Royal Committee