Traditionally, political party programs have focused on providing various forms of technical assistance to party activists and leaders. However, without strong incentives for change, greater organizational capacity alone rarely leads to more inclusive, responsive, and accountable political parties. As a result, assistance providers have started to supplement technical assistance to parties with interventions to incentivize more responsive, inclusive, and accountable parties. For instance, through issue-based voter education, debates, citizen platforms, and political process monitoring efforts, civic groups have tried to push political parties to: increase their focus on policies; involve citizens in policy processes; and improve service delivery. Although the theoretical foundations for these approaches appear strong, comparative lessons learned and best practices from practical experiences are limited. A deeper understanding of the efficacy of these approaches is needed to strengthen the effectiveness of political party programming.
To address these research questions, CEPPS/NDI will:
Promoting More Policy-Focused Parties Through Civic Organizing
The final, published product examines the conditions under which civic organizing – such as anti-vote buying campaigns, citizen policy platforms, and other forms of advocacy – can help promote more policy-focused, citizen-centered political parties.