Many countries with scheduled elections this year face a difficult choice in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: how to balance public health considerations with holding a free and fair election. Learn more from NDI Senior Associate and Director of Electoral Programs Pat Merloe and Program Director Julia Brothers as they talk about democratic back-sliding during this crisis, electoral integrity, and ways civil society organizations can still make a difference.
As much as COVID-19 is a health and economic crisis, at its core, it is also a governance crisis.
NDI President Derek Mitchell and new Director of Democratic Governance Kristen Sample delve into ways governments and the international community have risen (or not) to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NDI’s Chris Fomunyoh is once again joined by Ambassador Johnnie Carson as they discuss the steps that can be taken to strengthen democracy. They continue their conversation with their thoughts on the key challenges and opportunities facing Africa this year.
In fragile states, democracy needs, even more, strengthening in times of pandemics as citizens and institutions are exposed to increased vulnerabilities. In some cases incipient dialogue and reconciliation networks may break down as social groups turn inward as a self-protection reflex, cultural barriers might exclude women and other marginalized groups from receiving healthcare, and armed groups might exploit the situation to increase their influence.
Women in Zambia during the 2016 General Elections.
It is hard to overstate the impact of digital transformation on democracies and the daily lives of citizens around the world. The developing world is coming online at an extraordinary pace; there are places in which NDI works that are receiving the most significant innovation of the 20th century – electrification – at the same time as that of the 21st – instant global communications. Past technology revolutions such as the printing press or broadcast media have transformed democracy and politics in rapid, profound, and hard to anticipate ways.
Chris Fomunyoh, Senior associate and regional director for Central Western Africa at NDI is joined by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, a proud member of the Board of Directors of NDI with a 37-year career in the US foreign service focused on Africa. 2020 looks like it’ll be an exciting year for Africa with emerging opportunities for some countries to consolidate their democracies, but what backsliding could undermine recent gains in democratic governance?
Global activists speaking at the United States Institute of Peace.
What are the challenges of democracy and governance work and how you build inclusion, especially amongst youth? DemWorks is back at the US Institute of Peace to continue the discussion on the role of governance in the prevention of violence and to fight violent extremism. NDI’s Lauren van Metre is once again joined at the US Institute of Peace by activists Emna Jeblaoui (Tunisia), Jacob Bul Bior (South Sudan), Samson Itodo (Nigeria) and Aluel Atem (South Sudan).
In Jordan, youth under the age of thirty comprise more than 70 percent of the population. But the growing youth population has faced limited opportunities to engage in politics, leading to rising apathy and low civic participation among young Jordanians. For any democracy to succeed it must deliver for citizens through accountability, transparency and inclusion of all people in the democratic process.