2023's essential democracy content


2023's essential democracy content

Here is a selection of stories, analysis, and tools from the past year. Scroll down and you might find some inspiration for your New Year's resolutions.
Three people sit round a large piece of paper adding post-it notes and writing notes

Supporting action to end violence against women in politics 

In late November 2023, hundreds of proponents of democracy from across Asia convened at the inaugural Democracy Action Partnership (DAP) event to identify a way forward for ending violence against women in politics. WFD launched the DAP with support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) as an official side event to the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum.

A woman with a microphone stands in front of an audience. Behind her a screen says Bangsamoro Parliament

From arms to elections in Bangsamoro

Following decades of conflict in the southern Philippines, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) is guiding the region towards a peaceful and inclusive autonomy. WFD is working to support the democratic aspirations of the BTA.

A group of young people in Kenya sitting in a circle, discussing

Young leaders in Africa pave the way for accountable politics

With half of the world’s population aged under 30, the survival and flourishing of democracy is highly dependent on the engagement of young people. WFD worked with the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Oslo Centre to support 40 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa to reach their changemaking potential. 

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the Ukrainian flag flying above the dome on a sunny day

Supporting democracy under attack in Ukraine 

Post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) is the practice of monitoring the implementation and evaluating the impact of legislation, to ensure that it benefits citizens in the way originally intended by lawmakers. In Ukraine this year, WFD has been supporting the country's parliament to continue this important work despite the war.

The front cover of the cost of politics in Zambia report

Addressing the rising cost of politics

The cost of politics is how much it costs to run for office and the funds you need to maintain that office. In many countries, this cost is soaring. That's a problem. We published research in 2023 on the cost of politics in Zambia that is helping to inform the way forward.

Two people holding up a roof, a woman holding up a heart with a thriving society inside, a woman crossing a bridge to a better future
Bringing women's leadership journeys to life 

Democracies need everyone to be represented in decision-making. We all lose out if women are left out. We marked International Women's Day in 2023 by releasing a series of illustrations to help communicate about women's leadership journeys and how to support them. 

The front cover of the white paper displaying the title International development  in a contested world: ending  extreme poverty and tackling climate change

Democracy and the UK international development white paper 

The new white paper on international development, published in November 2023, shows an understanding that democracy everywhere matters and for development. Our CEO Anthony Smith wrote about why it matters that democracy is higher up the UK aid agenda.

The front covers of the report and framework

What does democracy have to do with climate adaptation?

Everything. 2023 underlined the urgency not just of responding to climate change, but of making sure we can adapt to its consequences. We need to do so in a way that includes those who are most affected. Our report and assessment framework explore why and how to do that. 

A woman stands at a lectern in front of a microphone, the backs of the audience's heads are in the foreground. She stands next to a sign that says strengthening democracy around the world. The words Inaugural Lecture on the State of Democracy are on a screen next to her.

Dictators unite – so should democracies

Belarusian democratic opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya's 2023 Annual Lecture on the State of Democracy in the World illuminated the devastating human and global security consequences of authoritarianism.

The front cover of the report which has the words how not to engage with authoritarian states in large letters above the names of the authors and the WFD and FCDO logos

How (not) to engage with authoritarian states

With democracy under threat, but disengagement from authoritarian regimes impractical, it is not surprising that our report on how to engage with autocratic regimes without doing democratic harm received well over 7,000 downloads this year.