Strengthening Political Parties in Samoa

0
98

A successful and strong political party is dependent on a sound and solid foundation that ensures an endurable, sustainable, meaningful, and responsible engagement with Constituents.

Starting this past Monday, 25th July until the 29th  of July both the FAST Party and the HRPP Party members met at the Taumeasina Island Resort for training delivered by the Resident Program Director of the International Republican Institute (IRI), Ms. Amie Woeber and team of specialist Political Consultants.  Participants included the Members of Parliaments, and caucus members and supporters from both the FAST and HRPP parties

The training focused on Building Internal Party Structures with topics ranging from Knowing the Roles of the Government and Opposition Parties; Strategic Planning; Building Internal Party Democracy; Creating Inclusive Data-Driven Policies; Candidate Recruitment and Party Retention; Strategic Plans for Women & Youth Wings to Effective Fundraising.

This training came about after the successful hosting of the Leadership Online Training School for Women in Polynesia “Democracy Needs Women” in July 2021. The Prime Minister, Honorable Fiame Naomi Mataafa was a keynote speaker and shared her interest with the organizers in developing political parties in Samoa.  Discussions ensued since then, which resulted in this training.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Tuala J Ponifasio, “we welcome this training for our political parties.  It’s a timely workshop, which has relevance to the functions of political parties and how they conduct themselves to achieve party goals.”  He added that this training “broadens our perspective on how to sustain and maintain resilient political parties through a changing political environment, and to formulate inclusive policies to benefit the party and in particular our people.”

The International Republican Institute (IRI) is a US-based non-profit, nonpartisan, nongovernment organization dedicated to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide. Since 1983, IRI has worked to develop democratic ideals that promote freedom, self-government, and the rule of law. IRI strengthens democracy by empowering citizens, bolstering democratic governance, and making leaders more accountable to their people. Today, IRI carries out a variety of programs in 40 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa by providing technical assistance in the areas of political party strengthening, campaigning and advocacy, developing civic institutions and supporting open, free, and fair elections and marginalized groups where needed.

IRI has been working to strengthen democratic governance across 12 Pacific Island nations, including Samoa, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), since 2019.

This is the first time a training of this kind has been held in the Pacific and was conducted virtually.  There will be a follow-up training on the week of the 8th August 2022, and the trainers will be here from the USA to conduct this one.