Evaluation of Democracy Support through Swedish Political Party Affiliated Organizations

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Swedish support through Party-Affiliated Organisations (PAOs) was initiated in 1995. The support should contribute to the development of well-functioning democratic multi-party systems and support sister parties or related political movements or organisations. This evaluation was commissioned to add knowledge, highlight lessons learnt and provide support for improvements based on an assessment of, firstly, the relevance and efficiency of the revised strategy, including the new funding mechanism, application process, and their broader implications for the second programme period, and secondly, the relevance and effectiveness of the methods used for supporting women’s political influence (WPI). In line with the ToR, these two areas were assessed through largely separate processes, and the results presented in two separate reports with partly different audiences.

Part 1: The revised Strategy, funding mechanism and application process: This part of the evaluation focused on the relevance and efficiency of the revised strategy, including the new funding mechanism, application process, and their broader implications for the second programme period. Information was mainly collected through interviews with key informants selected through purposeful sampling. A workshop with Sida and PAOs was organised to validate the evaluation team’s tentative findings and seek direct inputs to the formulation of conclusions and recommendations. A validation seminar was subsequently held to present and discuss the first draft of this report, before the report was finalised and published. 

Part 2: Methods for supporting women’s political influence: Women’s political influence is a multi-faceted concept. For individual female politicians it is often a question of being given relatively higher positions. At a more general level, it is about the possibility to advance policy and legislative propositions that would favour women’s political influence (e.g. a quota law), and may hence involve both female and male politicians. At the level of individual women in society, it can be about being knowledgeable and able to vote freely and to participate in political activities without restriction or threat. Similarly, the extent to which poorer women are able to seek political engagement will in many cases depend on the social and economic conditions that they face in their everyday life. Data was collected in two steps: 1) through a comprehensive global mapping of the geographical distribution of PAO programmes as well as a mapping of approaches and methods to further women’s political participation and gender equality, and 2) three case studies (Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia, Bolivia, and the Programme for Young Politicians in Africa (PYPA) and Empowering Women in Politics (EWIP) programmes). An Academic Expert Panel was formed to compare findings with available research on different methods for promoting women’s political influence and a workshop with Sida and PAOs was organised to validate the evaluation team’s tentative findings. The evaluation shows that, in general, PAO programmes place strong emphasis on women’s political participation and gender equality. This is evident from the global mapping of approaches and methods as well as from the three case studies carried out as part of the evaluation.

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