In September 2017, WFD marked its 25th anniversary with the launch of a new Strategic Framework. This will guide the development of the Foundation between 2017 and 2022.

WFD’s vision is the universal establishment of legitimate and effective, multi-party democracy. Delivering on this vision is beyond the scope of any individual organisation. Democratic processes are shaped by many actors including citizens and social movements, government, political parties, media, civil society organisations, universities, private sector organisations and traditional authorities.

WFD’s traditional focus – supporting more effective political parties and parliaments – will remain central to our mission: in 2017-18 alone, we delivered parliamentary programmes in over 30 countries and political party programmes in dozens more.

Over the next five years, there is great potential for WFD to do more: institutional strengthening of parliaments and political parties is critical but rarely sufficient to transform political systems. Lasting change requires multiple actors to overcome significant obstacles – political, institutional, technical, logistical, and financial – to achieve their goals.

We intend to engage more directly with civil society, electoral and other independent institutions. We will support them to strengthen their skills and work together to bring about greater accountability, more credible elections, improved policy making, increased citizen participation and more inclusive representation.

Key themes will include equality and women’s active participation in public life, the representation and inclusion of young people, people with disabilities and LGBT+ people into politics. WFD will continue to support efforts to ensure human and political rights of all people are respected, and government representation is increasingly diverse.

WFD will build on its existing work recruiting, training, and deploying UK election observers and launch new programmes to strengthen electoral institutions, including election management bodies, civil society organisations, domestic observation networks, political parties, legislatures, and, when appropriate, media.

We will aim to work long‑term through electoral cycles. In addition to expanding who we work with and which processes and themes we specialise in, WFD will continue to transform how we work:

  • We will bring together practitioners who share similar experiences to learn from each other and develop new methods.
  • We will conduct political economy analyses (PEA) and use local knowledge and priorities to design and adapt our programmes.
  • We will transform our training work, moving to a model of learner-led design that includes simulations, mentoring, secondments, hands‑on support, and other forms of learning by doing.
  • We will use regional and network programmes to enable learning between countries with similar traditions and challenges.
  • We will also adopt new approaches to monitoring, evaluation, and learning – including process tracing and outcome matrices.

Collaboration with other organizations with different skillsets and methods will be increasingly important and help us to complement our action and address challenges from different angles. This will include a focus on partnering with other UK-based organisations.

As a member of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), we remain committed to working closely with leading European democracy assistance organisations and institutions. Following the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) of April 2018 in London, we will also expand our partnership with institutions from the Commonwealth.

Strategic Framework The front cover of the WFD strategic framework
Our Strategic Framework 2017-2022 sets out our vision and ambition, theory of change and methods.


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