What we do
Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s goal is to assist the development of inclusive democracies by working with overseas parliaments, political parties and civil society – a role it has played for close to a quarter-century. Central to WFD’s vision of assisting the emergence of legitimate, representative democracies are effective parliaments and multi-party politics – the twin pillars of responsible governance. WFD works with countries undergoing a transition to democracy by providing expertise in developing parliaments, political party structures and civil society organisation – the vital institutions of a functioning democracy.
HOW WFD SUPPORTS DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION
WFD works to strengthen parliamentary capacity at national and sub-national level. It does this through training, sharing expertise on a peer-to-peer basis and building institutional capacity. WFD supports both members of parliament and parliamentary staff. Each programme is tailored to the needs of the specific parliament and may include, for example, strengthening financial oversight, accountability, human rights, communications, induction training, committee work, policy development and legislation.
Political parties are pivotal to a healthy functioning democracy. Without well-functioning parties, governments and legislatures have little chance of representing society in a meaningful way. WFD draws directly on the expertise of all Westminster’s political parties which work on both a sister-party and cross-party basis to develop local political capacity, accountability and participation. This is a unique feature of WFD’s work.
At WFD, we want to better understand the inherent challenges we face in strengthening parliaments and political parties. WFD’s research and learning experience is crucial to improve the quality of our programmes. Our work is underpinned by a solid evidence base which ensures we operate in the most effective way possible.
WFD is in partnership with the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) at Oxford University. The Political Economy of Democracy Promotion research project is a new and exciting collaboration which will draw on the respective strengths of WFD and DPIR to identify conditions under which democracy promotion activities are successful, and how such interventions can be improved.
The Westminster Foundation for Democracy manages the recruitment and training of British election observers for European Union (EU) Election Observation Missions (EOMs). Deploying EOMs is a critical component of the EU’s overall efforts to help countries run free and fair elections, a crucial part of the democratic process. The United Kingdom is an active contributor and last year provided a total of 16 observers for EU EOMs.