Our work in Jordan
The core aim of NIMD’s work in Jordan is to capitalize on the current democratic momentum and strengthen the country’s democratic culture. This is done through facilitating dialogue between politicians and youth, enhancing the political knowledge and skills for politically-aspiring women and young people, and providing overseas experiences that link budding young leaders in Europe and the Middle East.
NIMD’s programme in Jordan has two distinct elements; the Jordan School of Politics and the EU-funded “EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions & Development (EU-JDID)” programme.
NIMD works in Jordan through a country office in Amman, and we work in close cooperation with local political actors, including the Ministry of Youth (MoY) and Jordan’s Ministry of Political Party Affairs (MoPPA). We also engage with Jordan’s established political parties, aspiring young leaders, and similar relevant organizations operating in the country.
The Jordan School of Politics (JSoP) was launched in early 2019 following the establishment of NIMD’s country office in Amman. JSoP is targeting political parties’ youth members and aspiring young politicians through cooperation with MoPPA and the MoY.
JSoP’s training programme covers core political knowledge such as political and democratic theory, electoral systems, political parties, and constitutional theory.
Participants also are given technical skills and knowledge such as media training, communication for political parties, and policy analysis. Gender equality and women’s political participation are mainstreamed in JSoP’s training programme. JSoP also hosts exchange trips with other NIMD programme countries, such as Tunisia, facilitating education and dialogue on an additional level.
As well as building trust and democratic values through formal meetings and training, JSoP hosts ‘Dinners Politique’. Each Dinner Politique is an Iinformal, open-ended meeting that allows Jordan’s politicians speak freely and openly with JSoP students.
NIMD is part of a four-year project, starting in 2017, entitled “EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions & Development (EU-JDID)”, which aims to support Jordan’s reform process towards the consolidation of deep democracy.
The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium led by the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and composed of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), the French Agency for Media Cooperation (CFI) and NIMD.
NIMD’s activities under EU-JDID include (but are not limited to): bespoke training programmes for women and young politicians, strengthening the capacities of MoPPA and the MoY to resolve party disagreements and misunderstandings, and providing institutional trainings for senior members of parliamentary political parties. Through EU-JDID, NIMD also assists with gender equality audits, strategic planning, and other aspects of typical democratic governance.
Through these activities, EU-JDID will facilitate a fair, inclusive and open debate on Jordan’s democratic future. The programme aims to ensure MPs, women, youth candidates, and many marginalized groups can take part in such a debate.
Dialogue meetings held
Democracy School Graduates
Pieces of cross-party legislation facilitated
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan began implementing gradual democratic reforms in 1989 with the return of parliamentary life. Reforms gained momentum in 2011, following the political events of the Arab Spring. Jordan’s monarch, H.M. King Abdullah II, kick-started this process, and has continued to support top-down democratic reforms of various kinds. Today, Jordan remains a parliamentary monarchy; however the political party system is still developing.
Political challenges in Jordan mainly relate to the economy, corruption, scarcity of resources such as water, and the large population of refugees in the country. These challenges are made harder to overcome with the lost opportunity of low women’s political participation, and the majority of young Jordanians being disengaged from politics. Jordan has some way to go to make governance more inclusive and accountable. The country also faces severe international political pressure thanks to its proximity to countries such as Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Israel, where each faces its own challenges with direct impact on Jordan’s economy and security.