Partners

The Association of Managers of Guatemala (Asociación de Gerentes de Guatemala, AGG) was established in 1959 as a nonprofit organization by members of the business community interested in promoting free enterprise, individual potential and responsible public and private administration. The AGG’s primary mission is to improve management in the private and public sectors. To date, the group has  trained more than 200,000 men and women leaders. Since 1982, the AGG has worked to promote the democratic participation of Guatemalans during general elections. The Association has sought to provide current information to voters on the diverse political options taking part in the electoral process to not only increase participation but also enable Guatemalans to cast informed votes. To achieve these goals, the AGG has provided a neutral platform for activities including forums and debates with all political options aspiring to lead the country, which are broadcast nationally on radio and television. In the last two election processes, more than 1.5 million Guatemalans drew on AGG information when voting.  The association has organized individual forums for candidates as well as debates for president, vice president, Congress, and policy advisors in addition to the mayor of Guatemala City. These events have taken place both in Guatemala City, the capital, as well as in the interior of the country on the departmental level. The AGG has also organized activities to reach out to engage youth through the Youth Perspective program. Through all of these activities the AGG has helped introduce a culture of debate among the principal contenders for public office.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

Established in 1996, the Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) is a non-governmental organization in Sierra Leone that seeks to increase citizen participation in governance through advocacy, capacity building and civic education in order to build a more informed civil populace and a democratic state. The CGG specializes in issues of decentralization and local governance, democratic participation, corruption, human rights, gender, peace-building, poverty reduction, and budgeting. The organization also conducts scientific research, opinion polls on developmental issues, and analysis of policies. Its “Mwananchi Leh Wi Tok,” or “let us talk,” program encourages government accountability and responsiveness to citizen interests by fostering citizen participation through voice and accountability. The program, which has a special focus on women and youth, works with eight local organizations in six districts in Sierra Leone to facilitate dialogue among diverse sectors, including the media, civil society, elected representatives and traditional leaders. The CGG formed part of coalition that sought to organize debates for the 2012 presidential elections.  Initially, it was an effort to bring presidential candidates from the two lead political parties and the coalition later decided to include the third party that has seats in Parliament as a way to balance the discussions but this event did not materialize. CGG has now renewed its efforts to promote debates as an integral part of the democratic culture in Sierra Leone.  | Website |

The Center for Free Elections and Democracy (Centar za slobodne izbore i demokratiju - CeSID) is a non-partisan and non-profit organization that brings together citizens to contribute to the establishment and promotion of democratic values and institutions in the Republic of Serbia. The organization engages in educational and research programs, election observation and monitoring initiatives and projects that analyze and provide recommendations on addressing challenges to democratic governance. CeSID also aims to raise public awareness about the importance of free and fair elections, human rights and the process of decentralization. The Center was established primarily to organize impartial election observation in Serbia, including media monitoring, observation of voting and parallel vote tabulation. In the spring of 2012, CeSID launched its “Reč na reč” debates program to bring people throughout Serbia in direct contact with their elected representatives in national and local institutions and to provide them with the space to discuss issues of true local importance. Although the debates are local, CeSID works with the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation (RTS) to have nation-wide impact. In 2012 and 2013, the combined audience of three televised parliamentary “Reč na reč” debates exceeded an estimated five million viewers, while the combined audience of five post electoral local and regional town hall debates exceeded an estimated four million viewers.  | Website |

Based in Serbia, the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (Centar za Istraživanje, Transparentnost i Odgovornost, CRTA) is a non-governmental organization established in 2002. Originally called the Liberal Network, the group aims to contribute to the successful transition of Serbia into a developed democratic society through the promotion of active citizenship.  The  CRTA is an organization of youth with wide experience in civic activism, journalism and politics who share an interest in ensuring decision makers are accountable to citizens. Activities include monitoring the work of public officials, advocating for transparent and responsible government leadership, and educating on the concepts of civic and public responsibility. For the 2012 pre-election period, the CRTA organized the “Truth-o-Meter” debate program, “Let’s be Honest”,  which was part of a broader elections project called “Candidate, the Truth” suported by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and The National Endowment for Democracy. The project was launched with the aim of increasing the accountability of local politicians, building a culture of debate and political dialogue and greater participation of citizens by increasing interest in the election process. Over 45 days, the Truth-o-Meter team covered 5,000 km and held 14 debates – one national, two regional, one for youth and 11 municipal debates. The forums involved 75 political party representatives, 70 members of the media and were attended by 1,600 citizens. Five Truth-o-Meter debates were also organized after the elections to promote accountability by elected officials. | Website | Facebook |

Based in Argentina, the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento, CIPPEC) is a private, non-profit organization that strives to create a more just, democratic, and efficient state in Argentina to improve the quality of life for all Argentine citizens. CIPPEC was formed in 2000 by a diverse group of young professionals, from various fields and with differing political points of view, with the goal of helping make Argentina a more just and developed country and improving the quality of public policies in Argentina and Latin America. Specifically, they envisioned that CIPPEC would help turn sound ideas into concrete policies in the areas of education, public health, justice, transparency, public spending, institutions and public management. Today, 30 years after Argentina’s return to democracy, CIPPEC is focused on helping to solve some of the country's greatest challenges: deterioration of education and public health; scarce access to justice; weak political institutions; corruption; and fiscal insolvency. CIPPEC has organized candidate debates for mayor and the congress, as well as issue debates, and in 2013 organized the first online debate held in Argentina. | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

Based in Colombia, the Civic Social Foundation for Cartagena (Fundación Cívico Social Pro Cartagena, FUNCICAR) was established in 1993 by a group of local businesspeople who were concerned about increasing government corruption and decreasing governability in the city. The organization aims to strengthen democratic processes in Cartagena and the Caribbean region of Colombia. FUNCICAR’s principal areas of work are citizen participation and oversight, good governance and improving institutional capacity, and strengthening electoral processes through citizen engagement. In this third area, the organization has led the Bolivar Political Debates Commission (Comisión de Debates Políticos de Bolivar) and organized candidate debates for mayor and governor.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

Located in Washingon, D.C., the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

To meet its ongoing goal of educating voters, the CPD is engaged in various activities beyond producing and sponsoring the presidential debates. Its staff prepares educational materials and conducts research to improve the quality of debates. Further, the CPD provides technical assistance to emerging democracies and others interested in establishing debate traditions in their countries. In recent years, the staff worked with groups from Bosnia, Burundi, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Lebanon, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and the Ukraine, among others. Finally, the CPD coordinates post-debate symposia and research after many of its presidential forums.”  | Website |

Founded in 1989, the Consortium for Economic and Social Research (Consorcio de Investigación Económica y Social, CIES) is comprised of 48 universities or education centers in Lima and 12 regions across Peru. CIES' mission is to contribute to the development of the country by increasing the level of national debate on key economic and social policy proposals. Its purpose is to strengthen the Peruvian academic community to produce and disseminate useful knowledge for analysts and decision-making actors in the public sector, civil society, the media, private sector and international institutions.
 
In 2008, CIES formed an Advisory Council of the Public Sector (Consejo Consultivo del Sector Público, CCSP), integrated by ministers and senior officials, to collect knowledge  from the government and include it on its Annual Research Competition for the leading social scientists in Peru. CIES has promoted more than 600 investigations, more than 200 publications and a wide range of seminars, debates, workshops and academic exchanges focused on economic and social policy.
 
Since 2006, CIES has developed five editions of the project " Peru Elections: Centering the Electoral Debate" with three objectives: to strengthen the role of political parties as actors representing social sectors and proposing government programs; promote socio-political dialogue and increase the level of electoral debate by strengthening the discussion of policy proposals and to provide to newly elected authorities proposals to improve the management of public policies.The project has developed: 60 public policy documents;13 national and regional electoral debates -- most co-organized with the National Jury of Elections (Jurado Nacional de Elecciones, JNE) -- and; more than 100 seminars and workshops in Lima and different regions focusing on political parties, media, the government and civil society.In 2006, CIES held debates among presidential candidates for the first time in Peruvian history.
 
The project has been a reference for similar initiatives in Ecuador (2006), Colombia (2010), Argentina (2011 and 2015), Paraguay 2013 and Honduras 2013. In addition, information about this initiative has been presented at international seminars in Lima and Istanbul in 2011 as well as Washington, D.C., (to the Commission on Presidential Debates, CPD) and Buenos Aires in 2015.

Based in Paraguay, the Development in Democracy Foundation (Fundación Desarrollo en Democracia, DENDE) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004. DENDE is a public policy research and advocacy organization that aims to advance growth and democratic development in Paraguay. Its main initiatives provide leadership training for diverse political and economic leaders throughout the country, focusing on negotiation, strategic and institutional planning, decision making, communication and public policy development. The organization is also part of the “Paraguay Debates” initiative that carried out a series of grassroots forums and citizen surveys that helped identify policy priorities for the country. These events helped shape the issues discussed at the 2013 presidential debates, which DENDE organized in partnership with the Center for Regulations, Norms and Studies of Communication (Centro de Regulación, Normas y Estudios de la Comunicación, CERNECO). In particular, DENDE negotiated with the press, civic organizations, technical staff and presidential candidates to establish the specific thematic proposals for the debates. The two debates, which were unprecedented in the region, included the four leading presidential candidates in the April elections. They were broadcast live by all national broadcast channels, 80 cable channels, one digital channel and more than 500 radio stations across the country.  | Website | Facebook |

Based in Ghana, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was established in 1989 to promote good governance, democracy and a fair market economy. The organization works in Ghana, the West African sub region and the entire African continent to advocate for economic, social, political and legal institutions that function openly and freely, as means to achieving sustainable economic growth and human development. The group encourages the rule of law prevails, the protection of and respect for democratic institutions and the full exercise of rights and freedoms by citizens.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

Based in Haiti, the Intervention Group in Public Affairs (Groupe d’Intervention en Affaires Publiques, GIAP) consists of media professionals working to encourage dialogue on political candidates. It sponsors opportunities for the press and the public to ask candidates questions about their strategies, their programs and their visions of their role within government institutions. Through these exchanges, citizens will have an opportunity to know the candidates and make more informed decisions during elections.  | Website |

The Jamaica Debates Commission's (JDC's) mission is to assist in the strengthening and growth of the democratic process by encouraging and supporting the dissemination and discussion of political views in an open and unbiased manner so as to enable the Jamaican electorate to make informed decisions. The Commission believes that by staging and widely distributing national political debates it will encourage political parties and the public to identify and focus on the issues of national importance.  | Website |

Based in Guyana, Merundoi Incorporated is a non-governmental organization specializing in Behavior Change Communication through public education, primarily through its radio serial drama “Merundoi,” street (forum) theater and  inter-personal and community outreach activities (listening & discussion groups). The NGO’s work currently focuses on public health issues such as reducing the transmission of HIV/AIDS, environmental issues such as safe waste disposal, social issues such as domestic violence, and governance. Merundoi Incorporated staged the “Presidential Forum 2011,” a candidate debate, in collaboration with The Guyana Press Association, the Guyana Media Proprietors Association, the Guyana Council of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities and the Independent Media Workers of Guyana.  | Website | Facebook |

Based in Tunisia, Munathara is an open Arab debate initiative. The group aims to provide an independent, innovative, fair and representative debating forum open to the opinions of all people, regardless of social status, gender, education, or even location. Munathara organizes both online debates and live panel debates in various Arab cities. They invite the public to take part in their forums by submitting opinion videos on their current debate topics and include the authors of top-ranked videos in live panel debates. The group believes it is everyone’s right to be heard and engage in constructive debate to find solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

Based in the United States, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Since its founding in 1983, NDI has worked with local partners in 125 countries and territories, bringing together individuals and groups to share ideas, knowledge, experiences and expertise. Partners receive broad exposure to best practices in international democratic development that can be adapted to the needs of their own countries. NDI’s multinational approach reinforces the message that while there is no single democratic model, certain core principles are shared by all democracies.

The Institute’s work upholds the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also promotes the development of institutionalized channels of communications among citizens, political institutions and elected officials, and strengthens their ability to improve the quality of life for all citizens.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) is a coalition of broadcast organizations, civil society organizations and professional groups who are committed to the deepening of democracy in Nigeria and the entrenching of an enduring democratic culture through organized television debates since the return to democratic rule in 1999. Since then, the group has put together debates to enable the Nigerian electorate have an opportunity to hear first hand from aspiring presidential candidates, their intentions and aspirations through an equal opportunity platform. NEDG has since transformed into a broad based non-partisan, non-profit making organization with the primary mandate of organizing and hosting live televised debates for all presidential, vice presidential and gubernatorial candidates in Nigeria.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

The Open Debating Society of Afghanistan Organization (ODSAO) was established in 2012 as the first registered debate organization in Afghanistan and has debate initiatives throughout the country. The group seeks to develop a contingent of experienced debaters and provide Afghan youth with unique opportunities to build self-confidence and gain important critical thinking, research, analytical, and public speaking skills as the future leaders of Afghanistan. Through debate, ODSAO activities promote a culture of tolerance and mutual understanding through informed dialogue on social issues, policy reform, peace and stability. ODSAO’s founders are experienced debaters and have participated in international debate trainings and competitions in such countries as Malaysia and South Korea."  | Website | Facebook |

Founded in 2002, Promo-LEX is a human rights and advocacy organization whose mission is to contribute to advancing democracy in the Republic of Moldova through promoting and defending human rights, monitoring democratic processes and strengthening civil society. Their activities range from providing free human rights legal aid and assistance for disadvantaged groups to organizing trainings for local civil society organizations on designing and implementing programs. Promo-LEX also carries out  internationally-recognized qualitative and quantitative election observation projects through a network of election observers. For the pre-term parliamentary elections in 2009, the group organized an electoral debate campaign, “Vote consciously – Vote freely.”  The campaign included 11 debates throughout Moldova and convened candidates from eight political parties. And in 2011, Promo-LEX organized a series of youth debate trainings and competitions.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

Based in Peru, Transparency (Transparencia) is a private, non-profit and nonpartisan organization founded in 1994 to work for the consolidation of democracy in the country. The organization’s vision is to help the country live under a stable, democratic government, in which all citizens are able to freely exercise their rights. Specifically, Transparency: promotes the active participation of civil society, especially during elections; develops and promotes legal initiatives in areas related to public participation, strengthening of institutions, political parties and the electoral system; conducts campaigns and civic education; promotes the participation of women in politics and the equality of opportunity between men and women; and provides independent information on elections, including parallel vote counts and election observation. The group consists of a general assembly, a technical secretariat and staff and a network of local volunteer committees throughout the country. Transparency has organized candidate debates alone and in partnership with other groups for a range of elected offices including the presidency.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

The Trinidad & Tobago Debates Commission (TTDC) is an independent, autonomous, not-for-profit body striving to embed a culture of debates in T&T’s democratic process. Established in association with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce, the Commission’s mission is to strengthen the democratic process by staging debates on matters of national importance to assist the electorate in making informed political choices. The TTDC is governed by a group of seven distinguished, impartial and public service-minded individuals, whose role is to: determine the appropriate timing, rules and topics for debate; arrange the active participation of appropriate debaters; select and engage an appropriate moderator and panelists; and direct the production of debates to ensure quality and relevant standards are met. The TTDC has successfully organized live televised debates for the Local Government elections in 2010 and 2013 as well the Tobago House of Assembly elections in 2013.  | Website | Facebook | Twitter |