Freedom and Democracy
Democracy is vital to good governance. It provides the processes and institutions through which a state is accountable to its citizens.
Elections are the ultimate forum of accountability for leaders, and all aspects of the process—the electoral machinery, the party system, and the logistics of the vote—need to function well if elections are to be free and fair.
Democratization—the process of making the transition to democracy—also depends on an effective legislature that is supported by strong constitutional and procedural systems and that is sustained by capable legislators, a free media, a strong civil society, and effective citizen engagement.
When democracy is weak, the needs and rights of the population are not represented and consequently are often overlooked or denied. This is particularly true for the rights of the most marginalized members of the population, such as the poor, minorities, women, and children, which further marginalizes them and prevents them from contributing to, or benefiting from, social and economic progress.
CIDA’s Deployment for Democratic Development works to ensure that all citizens in developing countries are able to actively and meaningfully participate, directly or through civil society or elected representatives, in the exercise of power and in the public decisions that affect their lives. DDD assistance in democratization includes strengthening democratic institutions and practices, such as electoral and legislative systems; citizen engagement (particularly of women); and the role of non-governmental organizations (civil society) in the political process.
DDD freedom and democracy initiatives aim to:
- Build open and accountable political systems: electoral and legislative assistance, decentralization, federalism, and local government, political parties, and competition
- Create a democratic environment: independent media and transparency, development of civil society, education for democratic culture, building inclusive societies
DDD freedom and democracy initiatives:
Bolivia – Strengthening Bolivia’s Electoral Registry
Burkina Faso – Ensuring a Gender Approach to Microfinancing
El Salvador - International Conference on Ethics in Democracy
Guinea - Supporting the Electoral Process in Guinea
Guinea Bissau – Strengthening the Electoral Process
Guyana – Strengthening Media Governance
Mozambique - Improving Access to Public Services Information
Peru - Supporting the Office of the Ombudsman
Rwanda – Protecting and Managing the Environment to Improve the Lives of Rwandans
Tanzania - Changing Public Service Behaviour: Social Marketing Campaign