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Doing Development Democratically

Development actors do not need to see democracy as the cherry on top of development, only to be added at the final moment. While donors have tended to steer clear of the “messy business of politics”, preferring to work around democratic institutions, parliaments in many countries have quietly aided the effectiveness of development programs by ensuring that legislation is “fit for purpose.” Rather than bypassing democratic institutions, donors can support development by working with them – strengthening both development and democracy in the process.

As part of the Global Democracy Coalition Forum ahead of the Summit for Democracy, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) are organising a webinar to explore how countries and donors can go about doing development democratically.

Using a discussion-style format, the event will ask panellists to reflect on:

  • Why are democracy and development so often perceived to be at tension with each other and why is it a problem?
  • How does this perceived trade-off affect the design of aid programmes and what impact does it have on their effectiveness?
  • If the international community were to embrace ‘doing development democratically,’ what would have to change about the way we current support development and democracy?


Moderator: Graeme Ramshaw, Director of Research, Evaluation, Learning and Technical Expertise, Westminster Foundation for Democracy


Susan Dodsworth, University of Queensland

Phanindra Adhikary, International IDEA, Nepal

Tom Wingfield, Abt Associates

Lisbeth Pilegaard, Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy