Rula Ghani, first lady of Afghanistan speaks at a Symposium on Women’s Rights and Empowerment. Credit: Norway MFA/ Kilian Munch
In the last 30 years, Afghanistan has emerged from Soviet occupation, fallen into a crippling civil war, and faced brutal and oppressive rule by the Taliban. During this violent period, women were barred from public life. They were prohibited from working, banned from running for political office, and even shot for attending school. But since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s women have made significant strides for equality.
Nigeria’s Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) put digital communication, specifically Twitter, at the core of its communication about its 2015 presidential election findings. Well-identified audiences, the use of charts and maps, and a connected population allowed TMG to get its findings in front of a significant number of interested citizens in real time.
In March, TMG observers across Nigeria tested systems that were used on election day to independently verify election results. Using coded text messages, the observers sent massive amounts of data to a national information center for analysis. Credit: TMG-Nigeria
Nigerians went to the polls last month to choose their next president. The outcome was a largely peaceful transition of power between the ruling and opposition parties, and technology played a key role.
Road fractured after Nepal earthquake. Credit: Krish Dulal
All NDI Nepal staff and their immediate families are safe and accounted for. Currently, we have 20 national staff members, two resident international staff and their dependents, and two visiting international consultants in-country. At the time of the quake, many of our staff members were in Dhulikel – about an hour away from Kathmandu – conducting a training program with parliamentarians and political leaders.
NDItech, NDI’s Technology Programs team, sat down via Google Hangouts with NDI’s Asja Kratovic, resident program officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), to discuss the recently released Imate Rijec website. The site brings together the voices of politicians and citizens on some of Bosnia’s most pressing social and political issues.
The earth faces unprecedented ecological challenges. Human activity has now pushed the earth beyond four of the nine planetary boundaries first identified in 2009 by Johan Rockström, a recognized expert on natural resource management from Stockholm University. Breaking through one or more of these boundaries, Rockström says, may be catastrophic because it triggers abrupt environmental degradation at a continental or even global scale.
Time to throw up our hands in despair, right? Wrong.
Political parties have a bad reputation in the eyes of many citizens, but they remain the fundamental institutions that represent citizens in democracies. Developing political party capacity has always been -- and shall continue to be -- a key component of NDI’s democracy support work. The Political Party Peer (PPPeer) Network has worked to improve collaboration and dialogue among political party assistance organizations, cultivating a global community of practice.
In most countries, elections, even imperfect ones, provide channels for citizens to influence the political process in profound ways, beyond the act of voting. While casting a ballot allows citizens to express their dissatisfaction with their elected leaders by removing them from office, often enough, the new representatives do not perform much better than their predecessors. Fortunately, voting is only one way that citizens can use elections to influence decisionmaking on public policy and service delivery.