Promoting democracy and the rule of law in the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa Democracy program, begun in 2003, also addresses situations where fundamental and universal principles are often set aside in the name of political stability and presumed cultural incompatibility. The overall objective of the MENA Democracy program is to promote democratic values, liberal institutions and open government through the development of political mechanisms of consultation that recognise non-governmental actors, NGOs and civil society as a legitimate and necessary counterpart for dialogue with State institutions on issues of democratic reform.
The program is carried out both at national and at regional levels, in cooperation with several governments, non-governmental and institutional partners, aiming to develop effective and durable consultation and dialogue mechanisms on issues relating to democracy, human rights, the Rule of Law, justice, reconciliation and accountability.
Within the framework of its MENA Democracy program, NPWJ also carried out specific projects aimed at promoting democracy and human rights protection through incorporating Transitional justice, accountability and reconciliation (TJAR) in decision-making on conflict resolution and stability, development and reconstruction planning in Bahrain, LibyaSyria, and Tunisia (in partnership with Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center), as well as to support civil society, democratic transition and respect for human rights  in Iraq and in Iran. NPWJ has also launched a specific campaign against silencing dissent and accountability for human rights violations in the Gulf region.
Policy framework
NPWJ is working to facilitate the dialogue between public institutions and non-governmental actors as well as promote the role of civil society and organised citizens as legitimate counterparts in the political discourse on democracy, human rights, the Rule of Law, justice, reconciliation and accountability in the MENA region. Activities will be based on three main fundamental criteria:
Openness and inclusiveness: Activities will have an open and public approach aiming at reinforcing the mutual recognition between civil society and public institutions.
Local ownership: Activities will reflect policy priorities and methodologies identified on the ground by national democracy and human rights advocates and will focus on the needs, priorities and methodologies as perceived by local CSOs.
In-country strategies: Activities will aim at providing actionable suggestions and proposals which can be useful to elaborate in-country strategies toward the reinforcement of the reform processes at a regional and national level. 
For more information, please contact mena@npwj.org, Gianluca Eramo, Director of Operations (geramo@npwj.org) or Frej Fenniche, MENA Regional Representative (ffenniche@npwj.org).