Political Party Program Evaluation in Morocco
May 01, 2010
The U.S. Government (USG) has been supporting the development of political parties in Morocco for more than a decade. The program under evaluation was implemented by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) and was funded by USAID (Morocco and Washington), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the State Department‘s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). This program was made up of 17 separate projects from 2003 to 2010, with time frames ranging from three months to two years, and funding from $110,000 to $2,470,000. Project activities focused on strengthening political parties, supporting election-related activities, increasing the participation of women and youth, and strengthening locally elected officials and parliament for a total program cost of $12,255,699 (IRI:$3.5m; NDI $8.7m). USAID/Morocco commissioned this study to assess the impact of these programs, to draw lessons learned, and to make recommendations for future USAID political party programming.
The evaluation found that despite a challenging political context, NDI and IRI were able to work with the parties and to contribute to party development in Morocco. Through training and advice, they helped the major parties to navigate some of the significant requirements of the political reforms adopted in the 2000s, such as fielding greater numbers of women candidates and holding more participatory party congresses. At the project-level, activities resulted in some noteworthy outputs. Attributing impact at the program level is difficult due to the large number of external factors and limited program inputs in some cases. Institutionalizing the government‘s reforms, ending ―political nomadism,‖1 developing stable responsive parties, changing entrenched attitudes, and reversing voter alienation will require a more sustained and integrated effort than has been provided to date and one that focuses directly on root causes of these problems, many of which are structural.