Strengthening Democratic Systems

Strengthening democratic systems

Foundational to a free and open Indo-Pacific is the ability of governments to create and sustain the conditions needed to attract greater private investment and withstand foreign coercion—conditions that are transparent, adhere to international rules and standards, and that uphold fundamental human rights and democratic values.

Yet, democracy is facing enormous headwinds across the region. Illiberal regimes are muzzling courageous journalists, threatening human rights defenders, and handicapping civil society.

USAID is at the forefront of U.S. Government efforts to address these challenges. We focus on strengthening democratic systems, including the integrity of electoral processes; the independence of media and information integrity; a robust civil society that is capable of government oversight, civic engagement and advocacy on behalf of citizen interests; advancing the rule of law and instituting anti-corruption measures; and citizen-responsive governance that upholds and protects human rights, including civil and political rights.

USAID is leading on the Indo-Pacific Transparency Initiative, an interagency initiative aimed at promoting sound, just and responsive governance, announced by Vice President Mike Pence at the APEC CEO Summit in Papua New Guinea in November 2018. 

USAID brings extensive experience to the table. Our past achievements in this area include:

  • In Sri Lanka, USAID has been working to strengthen the independent oversight capacity of Parliament, which successfully withstood a significant test in late 2018 when it refused to bow to pressure from the president to install a new prime minister outside of parliamentary procedure.
  • USAID worked with the Government of Nepal, parliamentary committees, civil society organizations and the public to develop 43 policies and hold 84 public forums that enabled legislators to solicit input on draft legislation. Our combined efforts ultimately helped to pass nine laws that improve the electoral process.

Last updated: June 20, 2019

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