To break the current trends of shrinking democratic space and increased inequality, it is important to ensure that the emergency powers - although vital in protecting health - are not used to shrink the democratic space.
More than 500 political and civil leaders, Nobel Laureates, and organisations have signed an open letter to defend democracy, warning that the freedoms we cherish are under threat from governments using the COVID-19 crisis to tighten their grip on power.
Since COVID-19 first arrived in Sierra Leone, the Government has taken key measures to counter the pandemic including declaring a state of public emergency, issuing a ban on public gatherings, and travelling, and suspending all religious activities. In Parliament, the Speaker asked political party leaders to only have half of their members in the chambers, [...]
There’s no ‘right’ way to adapt elections to COVID-19 – but there is a right way to make those decisions
As governments decide to postpone elections or alter electoral processes because of COVID-19, it is crucial that they have a transparent debate about doing so. Importantly, they must consult key stakeholders or public trust in the electoral processes can be severely damaged and democracy weakened.
"We want to be involved in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa." 90% of young East Africans who responded to a survey on how COVID-19 has impacted their lives agreed with this statement. COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways. In East Africa, where over 70% of the population are young [...]
In Kenya, WFD is carrying out its Inclusive and Accountable Programme (IAP) in partnership with Senate and National Assembly. The programme aims to improve the ability of the Parliament of Kenya to effectively address corruption and promote inclusion and accountability, helping it become a more open and efficient institution that responds to citizens’ needs. Through [...]
In Nigeria, in addition to funds mobilised by government to fight the pandemic and support citizens, the private sector and the international community has contributed money and materials to support the fight against COVID-19. However, it is important that democracy is promoted, by ensuring accountability and transparency in the use of the funds, inclusion, equality, [...]
A balance between ensuring the safety of people and safeguarding their rights ought to be possible by keeping human rights standards at the forefront of the public health agenda and any national, regional, or global strategy to fight the pandemic.
On the 8th May 2020, Sierra Leone experienced a 90-minute light on its journey to hope and unity through a National Conference focused on discussing strategies that will urge all political parties and the government to tone down unhelpful rhetorics, utterances and actions. The country’s democratic pillars of good governance, respect for human rights and protection of national [...]
One factor seems to dictate the extent to which governments have been able to respond successfully to the pandemic: political trust. In fact, existing research suggests that political trust may be the glue which holds democracies together. But, outside of Western democracies, we don’t know all that much about political trust, or about how political institutions like parliaments might built it up. WFD is looking into it.