Political Party Capacity Development

Political Party Capacity Building

Political parties may be guided in their structure and functioning by external regulations, such as the Constitution or laws and regulations, by internal party rules, such as the Party Constitution, or by both. Practice, however, may differ from written Party Constitutions or internal rules. Given that political parties perform such important tasks in democracies today, their internal functioning becomes very important. Aspects of this include the policy-formulation and general decision-making process of the political party, the involvement of members and party groups, and the accountability of the party leadership.

In contemporary political spaces, the influence of local structures in political parties has, or at least is said to have, a significant influence on the eventual policies that drive the work of the party forward. Too often little attention is given to the development of strong political parties. More concern is often paid to the establishment of governmental bodies and civic organisations. Both institutions are important.

For the Democracy Development Program, our work is intended to influence the manner of discourse, the implementation of policy, and the oversight and accountability mechanisms available for citizens. Local Political party structures, beyond mobilising support for the party concerned, also can provide the space for lobbying (of their own party, if in power), and advocacy (if their role is opposition in that space).

Intended Outcomes:

The programme aims to enhance leadership abilities through developing the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviour of individuals who are members of political parties. The participants will therefore be enabled to ensure the optimal development of the organisational needs of their political parties and guide them on the way forward.

It is expected that participants from political parties will have a clear understanding of:

  • The meaning of political parties, their roles, political systems and party systems.
  • Organisational development and party structures.
  • Coalitions and how they work
  • The causes of intra- and inter-party conflicts and ways of managing these conflicts
  • Development-centered lobbying and advocacy

Intended Participants:

Political party leadership, branch executive members, volunteers and ground forces.

July 31, 2023

DDP 2023 Political Summit

On 27 July, the Democracy Development Program hosted the 2023 Political Summit under the theme: “Coalitions: Tracking the fundamental challenges and opportunities ahead of the 2024 […]
May 28, 2023

Understanding South African Voters

The Democracy Development Programme  hosted a workshop titled: A Reflection on the Nature of electoral participation, and Interrogation of the Typical South African Voter and their […]
May 12, 2023

Political Parties Workshop: Understanding Coalition Governments in South Africa

The Democracy Development Programme hosted a workshop titled: A Reflection on the State of South African Coalitions: Building for 2024. The workshop aimed to take a […]
November 15, 2022

DDP Annual Local Government Conference

The DDP hosted its annual local government conference at Elangeni Hotel on 10 November 2022. The theme for this year’s conference was: Local Government in focus: […]
August 25, 2022

Women, Democracy, Leadership and Political Accountability

Almost two decades into the 21st century, women are still not accorded a place of prominence in politics, particularly in Africa. However, South Africa has made […]
July 18, 2022

DDP 4th Annual political summit: Crisis in political participation

Concerns over declining levels of political participation, particularly in traditional activities such as voting and political party membership, have led many to argue that political apathy […]
October 6, 2021

Observers Refresher Workshop

The Democracy Development Program will be conducting an election observer refresher training.  Election observers play a crucial role in ensuring that the elections are transparent, free, […]
July 23, 2021

DDP Political Summit 2021: Restoring Public Trust Towards a Robust and Active Participatory Politics

The sharp decline in trust in government is serving to underline that trust is an essential, yet often overlooked, ingredient in successful policymaking. Without trust in […]
May 19, 2021

Ethical Leadership and Good Governance: Towards an Ethical and Development-Oriented Public Services

The National Development Plan argued that ethical leadership and good governance are the cornerstone to creating a state that is capable of delivering developmental outcomes to […]
March 1, 2021

Communications for effective political campaigning.

New digital technologies, including social media, create a new paradigm in political campaigns. Movements powered by social media have toppled governments and helped others to win […]
November 20, 2020

Local government in crisis: how it can be fixed

Part 1 This three-part Mail & Guardian webinar series was sponsored by the Democracy Development Program (DDP). The first webinar featured Aubrey Matshiqi, Independent Political Analyst; Kavisha Pillay, […]
September 30, 2020

Political Party Representatives workshop

The DDP hosted an online workshop for political party representatives working in the branch executive structures, and other volunteer structures in communities. This workshop was attend […]
August 26, 2020

Repositioning Local Government Finance Towards Improved Service Delivery

It is a well-known fact that most municipalities in the country have serious financial problems, which inter alia contribute to bad or no service delivery.  The […]
March 13, 2020

DDP Forum to Debate Funding

The Democracy Development Program in Partnership with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) hosted a Public Forum […]
June 6, 2019


By Dr Paul Kariuki (DDP Executive Director): CITIZEN PRESSURE CAN END CORRUPTION The last 12 months have been anxiety-causing months for African countries. We have seen […]
June 6, 2019


Councilor Jonathan Annipen of the Minority Front has been attending and participating in a series of DDP interventions. And he shares how the relationship with DDP […]
May 14, 2019


By: Mbali Manaka – This consultation was convened by the Democracy Development Program, to identify biggest areas of concern for political parties in KZN and their […]