Amsterdam, The Netherlands – The Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) came together with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) to kick off the Strategic Partnership programme, on 4 and 5 February 2016.
Key staff of both organisations attended the two-day strategic meeting and contributed to the various sessions which were scheduled. The Strategic Partnership programme focuses on creating a environment conducive to effective lobbying and advocacy by strengthening the policy-influencing capacities of civic actors, political parties, parliaments and parliamentarians.
Opening words were provided by AWEPA Chief Administrative Officer Mr. Theo Kralt and NIMD Executive Director Mr. Hans Bruning, who spoke about the objectives of the Strategic Partnership programme, its geographic scope and the cooperation of the consortium NIMD-AWEPA with the NMFA in this regard.
An overview of the steps to be taken and an outline of the inception phase of the Strategic Partnership programme were presented by AWEPA Deputy Director Bilateral Progammes Ms. Kris Debref and NIMD Senior Programme Manager Ms. Karijn de Jong.
Furthermore, among other subjects, the planning of the programme for the year 2016 was reviewed and will be further discussed and worked out with the local partners of AWEPA and NIMD.
Mr. Jan van Renselaar and Ms. Jannie de Graaf from the NMFA joined the kick-off meeting and shared their views and expectations on the programme. They both highlighted that the NMFA will work closely with the AWEPA-NIMD consortium in this process for democratization, transparency and accountability.
Subsequently, a monitoring and evaluation training for AWEPA and NIMD staff took place with break out groups per country. Topics discussed included the measuring of indicators and enrollment of the programme baseline.
The AWEPA-NIMD strategic partnership aims to create open and stable democracies in which political parties and participants, and parliamentarians and parliaments are strengthened by NIMD and AWEPA respectively, in order to better carry out their constitutionally mandated role and to be more responsive to society.