On 30 January 2015, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy NIMD and AWEPA alliance was selected by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a strategic partner for the years 2016-2020. The partnership focuses on strengthening civil society organizations in low- and middle- income countries, as well as political parties and participants by NIMD, and parliaments and parliamentarians by AWEPA.
Both organizations welcome the decision of the Ministry. NIMD works with political parties and participants. AWEPA works with parliaments and parliamentarians. Together, the two organisations have a broad network which covers an important part of the political landscape. NIMD and AWEPA will facilitate the dialogue between political and civic actors, while helping to create political space for lobby and advocacy efforts.
In addition, this alliance will equip political actors with knowledge and skills to become better recipients of these efforts. CSOs can only operate effectively if they are recognized by society. Politicians need to be open to their input and able to translate their arguments and wishes into actual policy decisions.
The NIMD-AWEPA strategic partnership aims to create open and stable democracies in which political parties and participants by NIMD and parliamentarians and parliaments by AWEPA are strengthened in order to play their constitutionally mandated role better and to be more responsive to society.
According to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NIMD and AWEPA are complementary and have a strong track record in enhancing democratic dialogue and the niche approach of both organizations will add value to the Ministry and the other strategic partners in the programme ‘Dialogue and dissent’.
In the framework of the new Dutch policy agenda of foreign trade and development cooperation 25 strategic partnerships have been selected by the Foreign Trade and Development Minister Ms. Lilianne Ploumen for the new Dialogue and Dissent programme. The proposals aim to strengthen civil society in low- and middle-income countries for advocacy and lobbying. The programme will be carried out by means of strategic partnerships between the organisations selected and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will kick off in 2016, with a duration of 5 years.
‘Through these partnerships, we seek to contribute to the development of a pluralist and lively civil society – an essential condition for development and growth that benefits everyone, and for a resilient democratic society,’ Ms Ploumen explains. ‘There are many places where this kind of strong civil society is not a given.’