Publications

Inter-Regional Report on Gender Equality and the Political Empowerment of Women

The report presents key instruments for promoting gender equality and political empowerment of women that are currently in place at the global and regional levels, highlighting the challenges, opportunities and successes that each organization has encounter in the implementation within their respective regions.

International IDEA, the Community of Democracies and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) present this report as an instrument to inform policymakers and relevant actors on what is the current situation of gender equality, what has been done in terms of the political empowerment of women, and what is expected from the global community in order to successfully advance Sustainable Development Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.

Click here to read the final report.

Reports from the Regional Consultations on Women’s Political Participation

To support women’s participation in politics, the Community of Democracies implemented “Advancing Women’s Political Participation” project, funded by the Republic of Korea and organized in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International IDEA.

As part of the project, five regional consultations were held on the margins of large international democracy-related events in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Consultation brought together politicians, state officials, civil society activists, academics, and members of international and regional organizations to discuss gender equality and strategies for advancing women’s political empowerment in the MENA region.

The reports consist of three sections:
1) challenges to overcome in the region
2) existing tools and mechanisms
3) best practices and recommendations on how to effectively advance gender equality and women’s political participation.

Democracy and Security Dialogue Final Report and Policy Briefs

Democracy & Security Dialogues Final Report and Policy Briefs

The Democracy and Security Dialogue, a year-long research project gathering the empirical evidence on the relationship between democracy and security, found that liberal democracy, when allowed to consolidate and flourish, is the best option for achieving domestic and international peace and security.
The project’s final report and a series of policy briefs covering a range of security-related issues from civil war to terrorism were commissioned by the Community of Democracies’ Permanent Secretariat and prepared by researchers with the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program and the Institute for Security Studies. This research, which was complemented by consultations with policymakers, academic experts, and civil society in India, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Sweden, and the United States, examines these linkages in substantial detail and makes specific recommendations for strengthening security through democratic means.

 

The Importance of Ensuring an Enabling Environment for Civil Society as it Relates to the Sustainable Development Goals

In December 2016, the Community of Democracies engaged PartnersGlobal to develop the study to address the linkage between an enabling environment for civil society and the successful realization of the SDGs, particularly SDG16.

This study was commissioned specifically by the Community of Democracies’ Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society to help strengthen its advocacy work on civil society space, and in support of the Community of Democracies’ priority around the same issue.

The objective of the study was to explore the links between an enabling environment for civil society, sustainable economic and social development, and the fulfilment of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Voluntary Supplemental Indicators for Goal 16 for inclusive, just and peaceful societies

To achieve the SDGs, the world community has agreed on a set of indicators to measure progress. This process has identified a range of indicators that tap critical aspects of the SDG Agenda, but for several of the goals, and perhaps particularly for SDG 16, the current crop of indicators still falls short of covering the full letter and spirit of the goals.

Answering the specific call for such efforts set out in the Agenda 2030 Declaration, this voluntary supplemental indicator framework develops a set of SDG 16 indicators to better measure critical aspects of peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. We draw on a range of international normative frameworks to inform the supplementary indicator framework, but put special emphasis on the Community of Democracies Warsaw Declaration. SDG 16 will affect progress towards the other SDGs, and a supplemental indicator set for SDG 16 will therefore also supplement the other SDG indicators. In deciding between indicators, we rely on the following criteria: relevance, simplicity, feasibility and policy actionability.

For the development of the supplemental indicators, the Community of Democracies, with the technical assistance of Dr. Havard Nygard (Senior Researcher, Peace Research Institute Oslo), engaged in a consultative process convening a Group of Experts who provided key input and assisted in reviewing the proposed voluntary supplemental indicators for the 12 targets under Goal 16. Additionally, this process benefited from comments received on behalf of members of the Community of Democracies at two presentations made in Governing Council meetings.

This initiative was made possible thanks to the generous support of the governments of the United States, Sweden, and Japan.

Toolkit on the Safety of Journalists for the Personnel of the Diplomatic Missions.

The Working Group on Freedom of Opinion and Expression (FOE) seeks to foster collaboration among the Community of Democracies’ participating states and civil society organizations to promote freedom of opinion and counter the trends that suppress it.  It is impossible to overstate the role played by independent journalists and media actors in the globalized world. Their work is crucial to informing the public about global human rights struggles. Without their work, an informed, active and engaged citizenry, and democracy, is impossible.

The FOE working group is committed to promote the vital link between protecting free speech and democracy. To do so, the Working Group in September 2017 produced the first ever TOOLKIT ON THE SAFETY OF JOURNALISTS FOR THE PERSONNEL OF THE DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS.  The Toolkit’s key objective is to provide guidance on the safety of journalists and media actors to diplomatic personnel who might come into contact with journalists in distress.

In creating the toolkit we discussed with diplomats and journalists about what information would be most helpful in their work.  The results include information on how to respond in a careful and sensitive way to journalists’ needs in moments of crisis and what different legal instruments are available to the individual journalist and diplomatic personnel.

The toolkit will also help promote a common approach by all embassies that provides more awareness and systemic support for protection of civilians. As local contexts and needs of individual journalists vary, the Toolkit – while providing a common approach – should not be treated as one-size-fits-all guidance, but rather as a toolbox that provides various options and solutions from which diplomatic personnel can choose when developing an approach tailored to local context and needs.

The toolkit will help diplomats create a safer environment for journalists and, in turn, help protect freedom of speech and our democratic institutions.

Improving Electoral Practices

 

Over the last decades, a significant expansion in the number of democracies was registered around the world. Authoritarian regimes have given way to democratic institutions, with responsive governments and increasingly open societies. Specific attention has been paid by the international community to electoral processes, considered to be one of the cornerstones of democracy. In the light of these developments, the Community of Democracies, through its newly established Working Group on Elections, and International IDEA http://www.idea.int/ are proud to present an innovative project- Practical Approaches to Improve Electoral Processes.

Conducted by International IDEA in cooperation with the Community of Democracies, and supported by the Government of the Republic of Korea, the objective of the project is to produce a publication that presents initiatives of selected countries to improve professionalism of Election Management Bodies (EMBs), regulation of political finance and promotion of equal participation and representation of women and marginalized groups, which are among the recommendations of the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security. The publication highlights lessons learned and share good practices in these areas of electoral processes that could benefit democracies in transition.

In particular, the study addresses constitutional and legal frameworks, as well as current practices in the conduct of elections, seeking to identify achievements, strengths, and challenges. Special experts and consultants are recruited to perform the research in eight country case-studies: Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Spain and Tunisia. The countries were selected taking into account geographical balance, level of democratic development and type of electoral and governmental system.