#InclusiveDemTalk: Strategies for Maintaining Inclusive Political Processes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
On Friday, April 24, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) hosted a Twitter chat on inclusive political and electoral participation. The hourlong chat provided IFES teams and partners, civil society leaders, policy advocates, donors, development organizations and practitioners with an opportunity to share experiences, best practices and lessons learned for empowering marginalized groups such as youth, women, persons with disabilities, indigenous people and displaced persons in political life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The #InclusiveDemTalk Twitter chat was organized as part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) #DemocracyIs communication campaign, which highlights the impact of practitioners and advocates worldwide. IFES joined USAID’s campaign to celebrate the themes of “Inclusion and Empowerment” and “Free and Fair Elections.” Participants joined the conversation from countries around the world including Canada, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine and the U.S.
A1: We acknowledge the systematic inequality which may not be widely recognized, understand local context and specific needs of marginalized groups to help facilitate their access to political/ electoral processes accordingly. #InclusiveDemTalk #DemocracyIs— Cakra Wikara Indonesia (@CakraWikara) April 24, 2020
During the chat, participants shared strategies to overcome barriers to participating in political and public life as a result of COVID-19. Participants noted country-specific recommendations for working with local and national governments and tweeted about ways in which marginalized groups are taking the lead to combat disinformation by only sharing accurate and credible information about COVID-19 with their peers and family members, communities and networks.
@USAIDDRG's strategy promotes participatory, representative, and inclusive political processes and government institutions. @USAID programs address barriers to political participation and other freedoms for women, #personswithdisabilities, LGBTI, indigenous peoples and others.— USAID/DRG (@USAIDDRG) April 24, 2020
The conversation covered key issues related to ensuring democratic principles and rights during COVID-19, as outlined in USAID’s paper on COVID-19: Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Issues and Potential USAID Responses. See below for some important takeaways from the conversation and, in case you missed it, you can access the full #InclusiveDemTalk. Thank you to everyone who participated – your efforts to maintain inclusive political practices during this pandemic and beyond are inspiring and critical to building democracies that deliver for all. Be sure to follow @IFES1987, @IFESYouth, @IFESDisability and @IFESGender to stay current on IFES’ inclusion programming!
A4: @IFESUkraine works with university-level civic educators & students to combat #disinformation around #COVID19 as part of a broader effort to strengthen eLearning for democracy. https://t.co/nCvy5JBW6v #COVIDxDemocracy #InclusiveDemTalk #DemocracyIs pic.twitter.com/V7FOdTpPNN— IFES Youth (@IFESYouth) April 24, 2020
Learn more about IFES' work during the COVID-19 pandemic.