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International IDEA's Democracy Forum 2000

forum2000-1.jpg (18889 bytes)"Democracy and Poverty: A Missing Link?"
Rosenbad, Stockholm, Sweden 8-9 June 2000

Agenda     pdf-file for downloading

Thursday 8 June
Friday 9 June

09.00 - 10.30 Opening Session

Chair and welcome: Mr. Bengt Säve-Söderbergh, Secretary-General, International IDEA



H. E. Mr. Cassam Uteem, G.C.S.K, President of the Republic of Mauritius

Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director of the Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

Mr. Len Good, President, Canadian International Development Agency


10.30 - 11.00 Coffee

11.00 - 12.30 Review of Donor Efforts to Promote Democracy 
and Alleviate Poverty

Chair: Dr. Thandika Mkandawire, Director, UNRISD

Overview of the Forum Objectives: Dr. Patrick Molutsi, Senior Executive, International IDEA

Democracy and Poverty - An Overview of Issues, Lessons and Trends: 
Dr. Paul Hoebink, Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Commentary: Prof. Else Oyen, Comparative Research on Poverty (CROP), Norway

Voices of the Poor - Focus on Governance: 
Dr. Deepa Narayan, Team Leader, Voices of the Poor, World Bank

Experiences in Poverty Alleviation and Good Governance: 
Ms. Eimi Watanabe, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP



12.30 - 14.00 Lunch

14.00 - 15.30 Accountable Governance and Poverty Alleviation


How is a government accountable for its policies and actions to its people, including the poor? Does it provide the poor and the excluded with a voice?

Chair: H.E. Mr. Osvaldo Hurtado, former President of Ecuador

Report from the Regional Workshops:

Dr. Muhammad Salih, Institute for Social Studies, the Netherlands

The Government Perspective: 
Mr. Rauf Hakeem, Member of the Parliament and Deputy Chairman of Committees, Sri Lanka

Experiences and Concerns from a Field Project: 
Speaker to be confirmed from Central Europe


The objective of this session is to link poverty alleviation to accountable governance. Poverty reduction is dependent on the government’s assumption of its essential role of being responsive and accountable in ensuring equal rights to everyone and allowing all citizens to influence public policy.

The session begins with synthesis reports from the four preparatory regional workshops organized before the Forum. This will be followed by inputs on the topic from the viewpoint of overseas development aid recipients outlining issues that a government faces in between the pressure from their electorate and the donors. Then practical experiences of poverty alleviation programs in relation to governance issues will be discussed.


15.30 - 15.45 Coffee

15.45 - 17.30 The Role of Rights in Poverty Alleviation


Do all citizens, including women and minorities, have equal rights? Do people need to be made more aware of their political and economic rights? What opportunities do democracy and poverty alleviation programs offer to the security of citizens and the protection of rights and what are the challenges and threats to citizens’ rights?

Chair: Mr. Tony Worthington, Member of Parliament and Chair of the All-Party Committee on Overseas Development, United Kingdom

Report from the Regional Workshops:

Dr. Richard Sandbrook, University of Toronto, Canada

Interest Groups Influencing the Government:

H.E. Ms. Otilia Lux de Coti, Minister of Culture, Guatemala

Democracy and Poverty in the Arab World:

Mr. Georges Koussayfi, Co-author of a study on the Arab World commissioned for International IDEA, Lebanon

This session aims to illustrate and outline how equal rights should provide better opportunities for the poor. Evidence presented in the session shows that it is not enough that people have rights, but these rights have to be enforced. In order to maintain democratic political habits and rights empowerment of the poor, women and minorities are essential.

Friday 9 June


09.00 - 10.15 Participation as a Tool to Alleviate Poverty

Are the priorities of the poor taken into consideration in the implementation of poverty alleviation programmes? How does political participation improve life - skills?

Chair: Mr. Richard Holloway, Civil Society Support and Strengthening Program, Indonesia

Report from the Regional Workshops:

Ms. Simi Kamal, Chief Executive, Raasta Development Consultants and The Citizen’s Agenda, Pakistan

Experiences and Lessons Learned from Participatory Approach in Swiss Development Assistance:

Mr. Walter Fust, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland

Young People and Social Exclusion in the Central Europe and Former Soviet Union: 
Ms. Federica Mogherini, the Youth Forum

This session aims to present experiences and lessons learned from programs with a participatory focus - whether centered on democracy promotion or poverty alleviation - and outline concrete ways forward. By participation poor people can put pressure on decision-makers and public officials to promote their specific interests and influence policies. Participation also increases people’s skills and enlarges their networks.


10.15 - 10.30 Coffee

10.30 - 12.30 Looking Ahead


How can democracy promotion and poverty alleviation programs be integrated at policy, resource allocation, program and implementation levels? What actions are required from governments, bi- and multi-lateral agencies and civil society to achieve this goal?

This session will start with simultaneous workshops that aim to suggest approaches and strategies for integrating democracy assistance and poverty alleviation. Different interests and viewpoints of governments, multilateral, bilateral and civil society actors will lead to elaborate recommendations based both on their own experience and previous discussions at the Forum.


Simultaneous workshops:

  1. Accountable Governance

  2. Citizenship and Rights

  3. Participation

  4. Corruption and the Role of Donors

  5. Micro-credit Programs: Lessons Learned

12.30 - 13.45 Lunch

13.45 - 16.15 Looking Ahead: Reports from the Workshops

Chair: Mr. Roel von Meijenfeld, Director of Programmes, International IDEA

Panel: Rapporteurs from the workshops


Concluding Remarks: Mr. Bengt Säve-Söderbergh, Secretary General, International IDEA

This session will begin with reports from the workshops. The aim of the session is to arrive at concrete recommendations on policy, resource allocation and implementation.

Democracy Forum 2000



International IDEA
Tel: +46 8 698 3700, Fax: +46 8 20 24 22
International IDEA, Strömsborg, S-103 34 Stockholm, Sweden