Democracy Works Foundation engages political parties on strategic planning


Democracy Works Foundation has engaged political parties from Malawi as well Zambia on strategic planning for party institutionalisation.

The main objective of the two-day workshop was to orient participants on the fundamental building blocks for effective implementation of political party strategic plans.

Speaking after the opening of the workshop, Democracy Works Foundation Regional Director and Chief of Party of the Southern Africa Political Dr. Augustine Magolowondo said as an organisation they have been working in Zambia and Malawi towards strengthening capacities of political, strengthening the institutional capabilities of political parties with the aim of having the kind of political parties that are well organized, well functioning and that can effectively contribute to the deepening of democracy governance.

“So this particular workshop today is reflecting on the need to go beyond adoption of strategic plans and to start looking at how can we effectively implement these strategic plans so that there are not just documents that we can have on the table but they are documents that really guides the party and lead the party to better strengths,” said Magolowondo.

He added that political parties in both countries are on the way towards institutionalisation as in both countries there are political parties that have a long history such as Malawi Congress Party in Malawi and UNDP in Zambia and also some political parties that are associated with the democratisation process.

“So in many ways there are a lot of similarities you have political parties that are generally weak in terms of their institutional capacities and I think we also have political parties that are promising in terms of how they are doing their politics but they have a long way to go in terms of learning,” said Magolowondo.

Speaking at the workshop, Secretary General for UDF Kandi Padambo said parties should come up with mechanism where members themselves feel that they own the party because institutionalisation means that the members of party must feel that they own the party as opposed to the perception that parties are owned by individuals or the leaders of the party.

“Once we have taken ideas from this workshop we are going to make sure that those ideas are presented down the structure of party from the leadership down to the grassroot membership so that people understand what is really meant when we talk of party that is institutionalised or when we talk of political parties as institutions,” he added.

On his part Charles Kaisala from Zambia’s UPND party said political parties create policies and shape up the public opinion and the strategic plan is a process from the leaderships perspective to align that party in terms of the vision of political party and also how to carry out objectives of implementing those policies.

“So this workshop is so important because we are trying to contextualise the institutionalisation of this strategic plan so that as political parties we are able to carry out our mandate and make sure we deliver our promises to the people,” explained Kaisala.

Democracy Works Foundation has been providing support political parties in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia to develop their strategic plans, with the view of contributing to the evolution of vibrant, well institutionalized and better functioning political parties.

Political parties which were at the workshop include Alliance for Democracy (AFORD), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Peoples Party (PP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and UTM from Malawi and also the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), the New Hope for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), the Patriotic Front (PF), Party for National Unity and Progress (PNUP)and the United Party for National Development (UPND) from Zambia.

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