Multi-Party Office

Multi-Party Office

Conservatives WFD political party programme
Multi-Party office and WFD logo
In 1999, WFD helped establish a shared service to provide pooled administrative and project-management capacity to the political parties with fewer seats in the House of Commons, which would have otherwise been unable to implement international programmes. 

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.

Liberal Democrats logo

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats (LibDem) supports the Africa Liberal Network (ALN), Africa’s largest affiliation of liberal political parties, with workshops and trainings throughout the year. The Multi-Party Office continues to successfully deliver the Women’s Leadership Programme in collaboration with D66 and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. The programme is designed to support women from liberal parties across Africa in their roles in parliament, political parties, and other public spheres. The programme includes training them on a range of skills relevant to enhanced effectiveness in elected office, such as issue-driving, negotiating, debating and public speaking. The MPs and Senior Party Members/Officials who participate in these leadership programmes have deepened understanding of the essential aspects of leadership by exploring them with peers and experts. Furthermore, they are equipped with exquisite skills and an enlarged network of new friends and a peer group of women politicians across Africa.

Building on its longstanding sister party relationship, previous engagements include the Young Leaders Programme with the Democratic Alliance (DA) of South Africa. This was a capacity strengthening programme that focused largely on policy development and enhanced communication skills. The LibDems supported a delegation of the top graduates to attend the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Congress in Amsterdam where they engaged key European liberals and international youth organisations. One of the key results of the programme was the deepened connection between the DA and the wider liberal family as well as a sense of wider international context and an opening into the world of international liberalism 

Video: ALN Women's Leadership Programme

This video highlights the importance of promoting women's political leadership, the goals of the ALN women leadership programme (WLP), and introduces the 2023 WLP cohort.

Video file
Plaid Cymru logo

Plaid Cymru

Recognising that violence against politically active women in politics is widespread, and that no country or political party is immune from the problem, Plaid Cymru implemented Violence against Women in Politics project in Argentina. The project led by Liz Saville Roberts MP, focused on the prevalence and scale of the problem, including the online abuse of politically active women; existing mechanisms that address the issue; and gaps in the system with recommendations for strengthening structures in both Argentina and the United Kingdom. The party also produced a research paper on the online abuse of UK politicians, as a clear warning to young women considering entering politics.

Building on the gains of the project in Argentina, the Multi-Party Office leveraged the support of all seven political parties in Westminster to organise an international summit on Violence against Women in Politics in London. With 54 speakers from over 20 countries, including high-profile speakers from across the UK political spectrum, as well as leading international activists, experts and academics, the objective of the summit was to identify and build consensus around practical measures that bodies with authority and responsibility can take to prevent and address violence against women’s activism and leadership in politics and public life.

Democratic Unionist Party logo

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) executed a project with the Conservative Party of Georgia (CPG) on the development of a credible and comprehensive disability policy. The CPG created a working group to review the research report commissioned by the project and to begin focused consultations with relevant stakeholders in advance of drafting a policy document.

Green Party logo

The Green Party of England and Wales

In the Balkan, MPO in partnership with the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) strengthened the capacity of newly elected Green representatives to deliver Green policies and legislative changes in their role at the municipal level and to promote sister party alliances.

MPO organised a study visit for Belgrade City Councillors from the Ne Davimo Beograd. The objective of the visit was to share experiences and understand how to promote policies around Energy, Public Transport and Housing. They had educative sessions with Baroness Natalie Bennet of Manor Castle, a former GPEW leader and member of the House of Lords and other elected members of the London Assembly, Islington Council, and Bristol City Councillors from the GPEW. Green Party communication, branding strategies for effective local organising, and how to attract and mobilise young people in the party including volunteer management were all key learning points for the delegates. In addition, they were exposed to how peer councillors take up issues of interest with the executive and how multi-party dynamics work within city councils to advance important party policies.

A portrait of Dobrica Veselinović, a Serbian activist and politician"The study visit was an excellent opportunity to learn and exchange many lessons that will lead us to develop our own quality-driven, values-based methodology in supporting and running deliberative processes in our city. We envision a world where citizens’ assemblies are well-designed, held to high quality standards, and executed with confidence, ease, and joy. Capacity building is an essential ingredient of making that happen.”

Dobrica Veselinović, Serbian activist and politician

Recognising that until only recently, Green politics in Serbia has mainly developed through activism and the fight for environmental protection, social rights and democracy, MPO supported the delivery of a Green Political School in Serbia. The school brought together young green actors who were equipped with knowledge on building strong political movements as well as introducing them to green policies. The participants learnt more about green politics' theoretical and practical foundations as well as practical campaigning skills. The political school is the first step in preparing and educating future local councillors for local elections.

The Green Party of England and Wales has been working with the Eastern Africa Greens Federation (EAGF) since 2013. The Multi-Party Office executed the Green Talent Accelerator in partnership with the EAGF. The programme identified emerging leaders and provided personalised support to those seeking to hold public office. Furthermore, it promoted democratic values and contributed to the advancement of the parties within the network. Participants were drawn from Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The Green Accelerator Programme builds upon previous work with the EAGF where GPEW organised campaign training for EAGF members in the run up to elections in Kenya and Rwanda. Political parties developed campaign strategies, pledges, key messages, and communications material. The Multi-Party Office in addition, supported the development of a regional campaign strategy on the Green Economy, developed a Youth Strategy, as well as a Women’s Group Action Plan. 

Alongside the programmes in East Africa, the Young Greens of England and Wales developed the Green Academy in North Macedonia with the youth wing of the Democratic Renewal of Macedonia (DOM) party, known as MODOM. Drawing on the Young Greens’ own experience of their 30 Under 30 youth training initiative, they worked with MODOM to develop a programme focused on political activism, campaigning, and public speaking skills. It included sessions on LGBTIQ+ issues and environmental sustainability, led by representatives from the Young Greens and local civil society organisations.

Cross-party programmes

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. WFD supported the amalgamation process through the Civil Society Institute in the Baranivska region of Ukraine. With the appointment of a local council, the MPO facilitated experience sharing sessions on the UK’s local government management and rural economic development. The local councillors and community leaders in the Baranivska region were assisted in the development of the district’s strategic plan and budget. Other areas of learning included lessons on building trust; mechanisms for citizen participation; ways to increase economic activity and youth employment in a rural environment as well as how to develop a shared community identity. 

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