Democracy Education

Democracy Education

Our Goals

Every democracy needs transparent and accountable political actors. Together, they shape the functioning of a democracy and translate the formal rules and structures into practice and behavior. Developing the skills and knowledge of a country’s political leaders, civil servants, democratic influencers, and other civic actors builds the foundations of a successful democracy and ensures democratic traditions are passed on and thrive in future.

At NIMD, we support politicians and aspiring politicians with the skills, knowledge, and networks needed to navigate fast-changing political environments. We do this through a variety of training programmes, schools, courses, and initiatives tailored to the specific needs of a country, community, or institution. This can take place at every level, from young aspiring politicians making their first steps in public service, to long-established politicians looking to develop their knowledge and skills set.

Our Democracy Education programmes go beyond the classroom. By bringing participants together from across the political and ideological spectrum, these initiatives ensure lasting networks and connections that bridge divides and help combat polarization in future.

All our Democracy Education initiatives follow our inclusivity principles, and in particular, we strive to:

  • Have an equal balance between men and women in our Democracy Education programmes
  • Ensure under-represented groups have access to Democracy Education, making them as accessible as possible for people from across society
  • Reach beyond large urban areas and into rural areas where connections with central governments may traditionally have been weak
  • Provide a safe space where participants from different political, social and educational backgrounds can come together to exchange ideas, with participants’ views respected
  • Provide space for debate and dialogue between participants and politicians and policy makers
  • Adhere to our principles of impartiality, so that all political parties and ideologies are represented in our Democracy Education programmes

Our Approach

Democracy Schools

At the heart of NIMD’s Democracy Education approach are our renowned Democracy Schools, which bring together established politicians and future leaders from across the political spectrum.

While we tailor each school to the specific needs of a country, the curricula aims to equip participants with the skills and knowledge to become responsive political leaders. We offer the participants a comprehensive package that includes the study of political culture and key political and democratic theory. We also offer coaching on practical political leadership skills such as negotiation, profiling, dialogue and debating.

 

Just as importantly, by working together across party lines, the participants build relationships and learn to trust one another, laying the foundation for a broad and strong network of democratic leaders who can make a lasting impact on politics.

One of the key values we share at the Democracy Schools is the importance of dialogue, and our graduates continue on their political careers with a renewed understanding of the how tolerance and trust building help forge more equal and inclusive democratic societies.

Other Initiatives

Democracies are dynamic and fast changing, requiring evolving political knowledge and leadership skills to respond to political developments and challenges. NIMD can deploy a wide range of Democracy Education tools, with our flexible approach meaning we can draw on our extensive experience in the field and respond quickly to needs and goals.

NIMD works in close collaboration with governments, institutions, political parties, and civil society organizations to ensure that our Democracy Education programmes meet the needs of the target groups. These training sessions are often over the short-term with a specific goal in mind. Some examples of tailored trainings include:

  • Equipping staff of electoral bodies with skills and knowledge ahead of elections
  • Running training programmes on gender inclusivity, which can be tailored to male and female parliamentarians
  • Ensuring politicians working on peace and reconciliation have the knowledge and understanding specific to conflict and peace building
  • Organizing exchange programmes between different countries so knowledge and experience can be shared across our Democracy Education platforms
  • Organizing mentorship, coaching and psycho-social support for the participants of Democracy Schools

Alumni mobilization

NIMD is proud of the success of our Democracy School alumni, with graduates going on to stand in elections and win seats in parliament and at local government level. Our female graduates in particular have felt empowered to extend their political ambition, running for office for the first time or mobilizing for greater female participation.

The benefits of our Democracy Schools do not end when the participant graduates or the training finishes. At NIMD, we are determined to keep fostering cross-party networking, collaboration, and dialogue, and central to this is ensuring the development of alumni networks.

We support our alumni in a variety of ways, offering practical advice on setting up alumni networks, organizing regular alumni events, and assisting alumni groups in setting up dialogue platforms.

Practical Examples

The Colombia Democracy Schools

NIMD Colombia runs Democracy Schools in some of the most volatile regions in the country, where activists frequently face violence and abuse. But by coming together and sharing their experiences, a new generation of Columbian leaders are building their strength, knowledge, and skills. Read More

The Ethiopian Democracy Academy

In March 2020, the Ethiopian Democracy Academy opened its doors to a diverse group of Ethiopian politicians and activists, with the aim of training the future leaders and emerging politicians who will help shape Ethiopia’s political future. Read More.

Meet the Team

Reem Judeh
Senior Programme & Knowledge Advisor

Reem Judeh is the Senior Programme & Knowledge Advisor who is the focal point for NIMD’s Democracy Education programme. With more than 20 years’ experience in international cooperation and social justice across multiple fields in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, Reem has extensive skills related to good governance, democracy support, women peace and security, minority rights and civil society space.

News

Opinion & analysis 15-09-2022
Inclusive Democracy in Mozambique: Strengthening women’s political participation
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News 24-08-2022
Myanmar: The Resilience of Democratic Values in a Conflict Setting
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News 10-08-2022
Political change: How to continue striving for inclusive democracy in Colombia
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News 15-06-2022
The Tunisian School of Politics: A long-term commitment to defending democratic values
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News 19-05-2022
NIMD publishes its 2021 Annual Report
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News 27-04-2022
Meet the graduates of Iraq’s first Democracy School
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News 22-04-2022
Ukraine shows democracy must be seen as a strategic asset
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Stories 01-02-2022
Myanmar: Optimism and opportunities in the post-coup landscape
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Stories 24-01-2022
Sowing the seeds of reconciliation in Ethiopia
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News 14-12-2021
NIMD launches Democracy School in Venezuela
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Stories 05-11-2021
Portraits of Courage in Colombia
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News 25-08-2021
Jordan: NIMD participants present recommendations for more inclusive policies
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Stories 30-06-2021
The Tunis School of Politics: A lifelong connection
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News 16-06-2021
Empowering women in local administration: A new project in Jordan
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News 13-04-2021
NIMD and WEO launch new Democracy School in Iraq
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News 08-04-2021
The Tunisian School of Politics plays a role in democratic development
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News 25-02-2021
The new NIMD School for Dialogue, Innovation and Leadership in Colombia
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