The European Union (EU) funded programme ‘Support to Electoral Processes and Democracy – STEP Democracy’ – supports inclusive, peaceful and credible electoral processes and enhances the capacity of national stakeholders to strengthen Myanmar’s democratic transition. STEP Democracy builds on the achievements of the projects’ first phase (2015-2018) where the programme worked intensively with the Union Election Commission (UEC), political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs), through innovative approaches to supporting Myanmar’s democratic transition with tailor-made programming in line with the unique needs of each electoral stakeholder. Over this period, STEP Democracy fostered a deeper awareness of, and advocacy for, reform to the legal framework and played a key role in supporting the administration of credible elections, which were widely perceived to be the first step in Myanmar’s wider democratic transition.
The current phase of the programme continues to support political parties, CSOs and sub-national governments in reform processes that are more participatory, transparent, accountable, inclusive and reflective of stakeholder needs. STEP Democracy’s comprehensive elections program intensifies work with key electoral stakeholders, namely the national and subnational levels of the UEC, political parties, CSOs, sub-national governments and voters and first-time voters.
STEP Democracy is a unique programme designed to bring national and international expertise to a wide range of Myanmar’s electoral stakeholders, and which firmly entrenches local ownership throughout all phases of the electoral cycle. Its methodologies have proven to make knowledge transfer sustainable through comprehensive technical advice, capacity development, voter education, and dialogue promotion.
International IDEA, as the lead implementing organization, works with four international and three national organizations to implement the programme’s mission to contribute to a greater awareness of, and adherence to, democratic values and principles and increased inclusive participation in democratic practices. This mission builds on a lager vision to create a society founded on broad engagement in democratic institutions and processes.
STEP’s partners include the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD), Democracy Reporting International (DRI), and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD)/ DemoFinland, Scholar Institute, Paññā Institute and Badeidha Moe Civil Society Organization. STEP Democracy has a strong commitment to a flexible approach to democratic reform which is mindful of the rich history and cultural diversity of Myanmar.