The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) has created unique assessment tools to look at country-specific democracy. The State of Democracy (SoD) and State of Local Democracy (SoLD) are assessment frameworks intended for international use. International IDEA’s recently released report on Mongolia’s successful utilization of the SoD assessment framework reveals how countries can use SoD to implement post-215 development goals with a country-specific agenda.
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, founded in 1995, works to improve and promote democracy globally. The intergovernmental organization has offices all over the world that collaborate to share comparative knowledge on sustainable democracy. Recently The Hunger Project‘s Executive Vice President John Coonrod presented on participatory local democracy at a workshop hosted by International IDEA at their headquarters in Sweden.
As part of their work to promote sustainable democracy, International IDEA has created assessment methodologies that can be implemented and utilized by citizens or governmental bodies. These assessments use “context-specific indicators” that allow each country to adapt the assessments and make them uniquely their own. In 2003, after hosting the Fifth UN International Conference of New and Restored Democracies, Mongolia decided to utilize the SoD framework to monitor their democratic progress. Mongolia’s successful utilization provides three main lessons for the post-2015 agenda. Firstly, citizen-led and owned approaches help governments translate international agendas to be country-specific. Secondly, SoD aided in Mongolia’s creation of it’s own Millennium Development Goal, as well as democratic governance indicators (DGIs). Thirdly, SoD-inspired DGIs were successful in monitoring democracy and democratic governance as part of a national mechanism.
While Mongolia was the first country to adapt the SoD framework in 2003, the Netherlands followed suit in 2006. The differing nature of these two countries shows SoD’s relevance and effectiveness in diverse environments. International IDEA is confident that the adoption of SoD frameworks will be a key tool in implementing and monitoring the post-2015 development agenda.
To read the full policy brief on citizen-led democracy assessment approach, click here.