Political parties


Political party development is an essential element in the process of democratisation and in ensuring good governance. We work to develop policy based political parties and mass membership in new and emerging democracies; to encourage a peaceful transition of power and provide real political choice to the electorate. Our programmes aim to strengthen the organisational, campaigning and communications skills of local parties as well as to support internal democracy and to develop transparent, accountable structures.


The UK political parties establish contact with, offer assistance to and work with individual political parties or movements with which they have a political affinity. All three main UK political parties – the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats – have developed, with their WFD funding, comprehensive programmes of joint activity with their sister parties. The Smaller Parties represented in Westminster (DUP, Plaid Cymru, SNP and SDLP) also participate in the Foundation’s work in similar ways. In addition to this the UK political parties also work on a cross-party basis.

WFD’s commitment to the development of strong and mature political parties as a cornerstone of democratic development is reflected in the implementation of the practical cooperation programmes provided by the UK political parties. The UK political parties design their programmes in close coordination with the parties based on mutual respect and a real understanding of the challenges faced in new and developing democracies. Expertise is shared on a wide range of political areas specifically designed for each party. WFD provides support through the Westminster political parties on a broad range of themes including:

Party building and organisation development
Strengthening the organisation and capacity of the political parties we work with, including targeted work with women and youth groups.

Development of party campaigning and communications
Assisting with the development of campaigning and communication tools of parties locally, regionally and nationally.

Message and policy development
Assisting with the development of policy based platforms of the political parties we work with, providing real choice for the electorate.

Regional co-operation
Supporting like-minded political parties on a regional basis to develop stronger inter-party links and encouraging the exchange of ideas and best practice.

Development of national and locally elected representatives
Supporting the capacity of elected representatives at all levels in political parties, particularly in communicating with constituents, recognising the importance of building structures from grassroots up.