Our work in Ethiopia
The overall objective of NIMD’s programme is to contribute to the consolidation of democracy in Ethiopia. Specifically, the programme fosters dialogue between parties, strengthens the capacities of government institutions and political parties, and promotes the political leadership of women and young people. NIMD currently operates with national politicians and in one state legislature, Caffee Oromiya, and there are plans to expand to other states as our work takes root.
Currently, NIMD has capacity-building programmes running with the National Parliament, Caffee Oromia, and the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), as well as Ethiopia’s political parties themselves. Some of the activities conducted so far include:
- Capacity building for political parties on policy making and manifesto making.
- Supporting the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) in their relations with political parties.
- Research on ‘the role of the representative’ for the House of Representatives.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) in June 2018 (and its subsequent update in 2020) allowed us to expand our programme to working on dialogue processes with political parties in Ethiopia. The Chair of NEBE, Ms. Bertukan Medikssa, has further been mandated by the Prime Minister to organize political dialogue on reforms. Accordingly from July 2019, NIMD is supporting the EU-funded Ethiopian Political Parties Dialogue (EPPD) programme. Currently we do this by:
- Providing technical assistance to the political dialogue between all Ethiopian political parties on electoral and political reforms.
- Supporting NEBE’s 2019 review of its civic voter education programmes and strategic plans.
- Providing capacity building trainings for political parties on skills to support further interparty dialogue (for example dialogue and conflict resolution).
- Supporting legal reforms (electoral and political party laws) necessary to conduct free and fair elections.
In 2020, NIMD opened the Ethiopian Democracy Academy (EDAC). Run with support from the EU, EDAC seeks to empower a new generation of Ethiopian politicians through a context-specific training course in areas such as federalism, political economy, and human rights law. EDAC therefore hosts special courses for politicians usually at the start their careers, aged between 25-40.
EDAC hosts participants for three-week long training courses, during which they can study, work and relax together in a setting that encourages collaboration between the different parties. EDAC participants come from political parties across Ethiopia, meaning each group will host a diverse range of views and background. EDAC strives for at least 40% representation of men and women respectively in all its courses.