Since, the Multi-Party Office (MPO) has supported the Liberal Democrats, the Democratic Unionist Party, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party to undertake international engagement and development programmes around the world.
Programmes implemented by the smaller political parties in the UK House of Commons complement main Foundation programmes and the work of larger parties. By partnering with small opposition parties in countries dominated by one or two major political parties, Multi-Party Office programmes help build truly multi-party democracies. They share political experience that is relatable and can be adapted to local context by minority political parties campaigning on specific issues or representing a certain region or group.
Multi-Party Office programmes are partnerships that share experiences, learning and best practice. Smaller UK parties work with their sister parties and regional networks to enhance internal party rules and procedures, strengthen party branches, improve membership outreach practices, adopt evidence based and inclusive policy development processes, and increase opportunities for participation by historically marginalised groups.
"The importance of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy is not only through initiatives strengthening democracies but also in the support and inclusion of women and minority groups within these political systems. The Foundation has a profound impact because of the trust it has earned through active engagement with and commitment to over 40 nations. Especially at a time where democratisation appears to be faltering around the world, the Foundation remains of vital importance to our world and the UK's place within it."
In 2018, the Liberal Democrats continued their work with the Africa Liberal Network (ALN), Africa’s largest affiliation of liberal political parties, with workshops and trainings throughout the year. In May 2017, the ALN and a Lib Dem consultant provided campaign training and mentoring to a female Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate and her 10-person team in Kenya in the run-up to the 2017 election.
Find out about the ALN Women’s Leadership Programme 2020.
Building on its longstanding sister party relationship with the Democratic Alliance (DA) in South Africa, the Lib Dems undertook a two-day training in July 2017 for the DA Young Leaders’ Programme class of 2017. The training, attended by 19 participants from across South Africa, covered the areas of policy development and presentation skills. The Lib Dems supported a delegation of the top graduates from the 2017 class to attend the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Congress in Amsterdam in December 2017. A series of meetings with key European liberals and international youth organisations were arranged for the graduates, with the purpose of deepening the connection between the DA and the wider liberal family and to give these two young people a sense of the wider international context and an opening into the world of international liberalism.
The WFD Multi-Party office leveraged the experiences and regional expertise of the UK political parties to support the decentralisation process in Ukraine through a joint project with WFD’s Research programme. A workshop was held in July 2017 in the Baranivska region of Ukraine, where WFD had been supporting the amalgamation process through the Civil Society Institute. With a new local council appointed, the MPO facilitated the sharing of UK experience of local government management and rural economic development. The local councillors and community leaders were assisted in the development of the district’s strategic plan and budget. The two Scottish delegates shared lessons on building trust and mechanisms for citizen participation; ways to increase economic activity and youth employment in a rural environment; and developing a shared community identity.