Pakistan—Consolidating Democracy in Pakistan (CDIP)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2016-2020

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Pakistan

Solutions: Governance

The Consolidating Democracy in Pakistan (CDIP) Programme, locally called Tabeer, was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) and jointly implemented by DAI and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Strengthening Electoral and Legislative Processes (SELP). DAI managed the programme in a consortium with the British Council and the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT). It worked closely with the Election Commission of Pakistan, national and provincial assemblies, political parties, the media and civil society organisations.

The intended outcome of the programme was to contribute to the democratic system in which government institutions are more capable, parliament is more accountable, and the state is more responsive to citizens’ needs and aspirations.

CDIP worked in four thematic areas, with a cross-cutting focus on increasing the engagement and participation of women and other socially excluded groups: election management and election oversight; improving the transparency of parliamentary processes; improving the services and delivery of political parties; and improved policy dialogue, political debate, and public discourse.

Sample Activities

  • Support civil society groups to expand voter registration, electoral participation, and election observation.
  • Build the communication and legislative drafting skills of key parliamentarians to help them more effectively represent their constituents.
  • Engage with groups representing women, youth, and other marginalized populations to encourage their participation in policy debates and advocacy efforts.

Select Results

  • Trained 850,000 election and polling staff on the conduct and management of free, fair, and impartial elections.
  • Helped 1.1 million women and other socially excluded groups acquire their national identity cards for participating in electoral and democratic processes.
  • Assisted more than 800,000 citizens with registering in the electoral rolls through 14,000 display centres.
  • Briefed 400 mid- and senior-level officials from 13 political parties on relevant aspects of the Elections Act 2017, and on Pakistan’s international commitments.
  • Helped introduce parliamentary reforms such as question hour, backbench members’ hours, committee functioning, and constituency outreach.
  • Trained women parliamentarians on legislative effectiveness, leadership, conflict management, political negotiation, agenda setting, and communications.
  • Trained 230 mid- to senior-level journalists on best practices for election reporting, media ethics, human rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Helped an estimated 9.2 million people access the civic information portal (PakVoter), revamped and launched by CDIP to increase civic literacy on elections and democratic processes.
  • Helped develop the Election Commission of Pakistan’s Strategic Plan (2019–2023), which includes all critical areas of institutional and electoral reforms along-with an oversight committee to ensure management and monitoring of actions from the strategic plan.
  • Strengthened the Election Commission of Pakistan’s Gender and Disability Electoral Working Group to sustain and strengthen the agenda of women’s electoral and political inclusion in Pakistan.
  • Supported five political parties in establishing their policy and research wings, with a mandate to develop citizen-centric, issue-based policies for their constituencies.
  • Motivated 10 political parties to sign a Charter of Inclusion for women’s political empowerment in political parties as party members, office-bearers, candidates, and voters.
  • Facilitated 22 civil society organizations in engaging with state institutions for drafting the People With Disabilities bill with a legislative committee.
  • Helped register more than 184,000 women as voters.
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