For a world where freedom and democracy thrive.
It is clearer than ever that human dignity and social progress are closely linked to democratic freedoms.
But democracy is not easy or inevitable.
We live in a period of increased risk to democratic freedoms around the world.
Reversing the 15-year downward trend in global democracy requires new approaches and more ambitious efforts.
WFD wants to contribute to a more coherent and integrated approach to democracy support, characterised by closer partnerships between government, activists, and implementers.
Our strategy outlines our role in this vital effort. It sets out:
- An analysis of the challenge we face
- What the appropriate UK and international response should be
- How WFD can contribute to this work
- Our vision, mission and values
- Our goals for 2022 to 2025
- What WFD will do to achieve those goals
Watch as our CEO, Anthony Smith summarises the WFD strategy in 60 seconds.
The challenge we face
Securing democratic progress feels both more important and harder to achieve than ever. We need to turn things around, with more ambitious efforts to reverse the fifteen-year downward trend in global democracy.
In his blog, our CEO Anthony Smith sets out our analysis of the challenge we face, and how we must rise to meet it.
Our vision, mission and values
WFD’s vision is of a world in which freedom and democracy thrive, and where inclusive and accountable governments serve people fairly and effectively.
WFD's mission is to mobilise British and international expertise to support people around the world to strengthen democracy in their country. We help them address problems their citizens face while building long-term democratic resilience.
We will always reflect WFD’s values of accountability and integrity, excellence, people-focus and being mission-oriented.
We believe in open, inclusive, representative, accountable, responsive, multi-party political systems.
Our partners include parliaments, political parties, electoral bodies, civil society organisations and others that are addressing critical policy and governance challenges. We provide analysis and learning; mentoring and knowledge sharing; and facilitate connections with other relevant national or local leaders.
Our people don’t just implement our programmes; they are our programmes. WFD staff in the places we work are local to those places. They build and maintain long-term, trusted relationships with parliaments, political parties, and civil society organisations that are sensitive to local politics. This is critical to good democracy support programming.
Our goals 2022-2025
Deliver impactful programmes and policy support
We will support those working to strengthen democracy through impactful programmes and policy support.
Through our programmes, we will contribute directly to promoting inclusive political processes, enabling accountable political systems, supporting the protection of freedom and rights, and fostering pluralist societies.
WFD will invest in policy-relevant research and provide valued policy and advisory support to funders, programme managers, and partners. We will find new ways of working with security, economic, investment, and development organisations to consider their impact on democracy.
Convene supportive coalitions for democracy
WFD’s engagement with international partners and national leaders will strengthen public commitment to, and mobilise resources for, supporting democracy around the world.
Through engagement with other organisations, WFD will help accelerate international action to reverse the decline on global democracy.
WFD will provide information to UK parliamentarians about global democracy and demonstrate its relevance to citizens and UK national priorities.
WFD will secure more third-party funding to deepen our existing work and incrementally increase our geographic presence.
Reinforce our outstanding organisation
WFD’s systems, culture and values will support our people to have a direct impact on democratic governance in their countries and globally.
Through our commitment to a strong culture built on wellbeing, professional development, and our values, WFD’s staff will be enabled to deliver outstanding work that increases our impact and expands our engagement.
Through the development and delivery of outstanding systems that are agile and better aligned, WFD’s staff will be equipped with the tools to efficiently manage the resources of our donors so they can focus on delivering impact.
Selected key themes
Political parties and political pluralism
Political parties play a critical role in democracies, garnering and amplifying the views and voices of citizens.
At its best, digital democracy can help break down barriers to citizen participation and access to information, creating higher levels of accountability, transparency, and equality in decision-making.
Disinformation and political discourse
Disinformation and the growth of technologies able to rapidly disseminate false information are directly impacting political trust and increasing polarisation.
Democratic resilience requires democratic institutions and practices that can withstand internal fluctuations and challenges as well as external influences that undermine core democratic standards and destabilise the agreed social contract.