Over at Democracy Arsenal, Michael Cohen picks up on Dan Twining’s suggestion that democracy assistance programs should focus on strengthening Pakistan’s civil society and political institutions.
And we have the tools in our arsenal to do this – there is the National Endowment for Democracy, there is the UN Democracy Fund and there is the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which arguably could be doing more to support local actors, but does have in place a smart NGO consultative element. But above all what is needed is a better understanding, in policy circles, of what drives democratic outcomes; an empowered and energized citizenry and institutions not individuals.
After 25 years of the institutionalization of democracy promotion in USFP we have a far better sense of what works and what doesn’t. What happened this week in Pakistan is a good example of what works and who are the key actors in driving democratic outcomes. I hope that folks are paying attention at Foggy Bottom and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.