Our work in Honduras
NIMD started to work in Honduras in 2011, in the aftermath of the coup d’état. Our work originally focused on providing support to political parties. Today, support to political parties is still a centre focus of our work, but we also work with the full political sector, from aspiring politicians to political leaders. We work on their knowledge and competencies, so that they are empowered to cooperate constructively on issues of national interest.
Through the EU-funded PROdemos project, NIMD strengthens the national and local capacity of political parties to enhance their transparency, inclusivity, and democratic nature. For newer parties, this means helping develop strategic plans, while more established parties received support with issues such as involving more women and young people in the parties, as these groups tend to be underrepresented.
NIMD also supports institutions responsible for establishing electoral rules and procedures. We help these institutions to build their capacities all year round. As strong institutions, with the support they need, they can work more effectively towards genuine and credible elections that take place in a peaceful atmosphere.
For example, we work with the Clean Politics Unit (CPU), a body set up by congress in 2017. The CPU is charged with monitoring political campaigns and finances. Since its establishment, NIMD has helped the CPU with its strategic planning process and provided technical support.
We consider our Democracy Schools to be a central element of our work to build a democratic culture in Honduras. Our objective is to develop the knowledge and skills of young political and social leaders.
Through the Democracy Schools, which are part of the EU-funded PROdemos project, we target young leaders not only in the capital of Honduras, but across a number of territories.
After completing, the Honduras Democracy School, student have the skills to create and manage initiatives of change. They have a broad network of young and aspiring politicians from across the political spectrum, with whom they can work together to bring about the change they would like to see. And they have gained skills and knowledge to help them advance in their political careers.
Women in Honduras face numerous obstacles, such as violence, economic disenfranchisement and a lack of opportunities, in achieving representation in governance. However, things are looking better since the last election.
NIMD provides capacity building, technical assistance and strategic planning support to women politicians. For example, we facilitated a strategic planning process with the Women’s Commission of Congress resulting in the joint construction of a legislative agenda, the document which directs the work of the Commission for the coming years. NIMD worked together with a consortium of organizations in support of this legislative agenda.
We also work with political parties to help them build an internal culture that allows for, and encourages, members of underrepresented groups to participate. We support these parties by facilitating internal discussions and debates about how to get more female candidates on electoral lists.
Main contact Heleen Schrooyen Senior Programme Manager
In-country contact Saul O’Keeffe Communications Officer
For many years, the political system in Honduras consisted of two big parties and a few small ones. This changed dramatically with a coup d’état in 2009, which was widely condemned by the international community. The coup led to diversification of the political landscape, with the split of the Liberal Party (one of the country’s two big parties), and the foundation of a new anti-corruption party. In addition, the country became highly polarized between people supporting and opposing the coup, the results of which are still evident today.
In its report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (established to investigate the coup, its causes, and aftermath), emphasized the need for changes, both in the political party system and within parties themselves. Concerns over irregularities in the 2017 general election showed the country is far from democratic consolidation, and that dialogue between opposition groups and the government is key to future stability.