Intended for the donor community and democracy and governance practitioners, this publication (download) outlines lessons and recommendations for using citizen-centered approaches to promote more policy-focused political parties. Based on lessons learned from programming in Belarus, Liberia, Slovakia and Uganda, the publication offers the following recommendations to strengthen future programming.
- When designing programs, consider how a wide range of factors might create risks or opportunities for citizen-centered approaches to improving party policy processes. (The publication outlines a matrix of issues to consider.)
- Based on analyses of the operating context, set realistic expectations for progress toward more policy-focused political parties.
- Plan for medium- to long-term efforts that incorporate a variety of interventions, use multiple entry points in the political cycle and that can be sustained over time.
- Consider how entrenched social norms may influence power relations and party responsiveness to demands from marginalized groups. In addition, when mobilizing people around a shared identity (e.g. gender), carefully weigh how intersecting identities (e.g. gender, age, religion, and race) may affect prospects for uniting people around a single, shared, identity maker.