With the growing decline in trust of political institutions, is it time to shift the narrative and celebrate the successes of political innovation?At AU Watch, we believe that the great challenge of those of us involvedin public duty is to put political innovation on the agenda of public debate. We have come to realise that Africa’s political challenges requires a mix of modern and traditional ideas, which are authentically African. We help local political actors, at every level of society, as they build the democracies of tomorrow. We also consistently evaluate our own approach and tailor dynamic programmes that continue to respond to a country’s changing needs over time.
The interaction between flailing regional cooperation and domestic political instability requires looking for ways to improve national governance as an integral part of pursuing the Agenda 2063, and making sure that that African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance means something to the citizens. At our political lab, we seek to improve the legitimacy and effectiveness of national and regional governance and politics by seeking to better enfranchise citizens through: affirming the rule of law and fighting corruption; regulating the interaction between money and politics much more strictly; recognizing the public role of the media and treating the media system as a public good; developing and deepening participatory mechanisms; pursuing economic, not just political, enfranchisement by improving governance in economic organizations; reforming electoral systems that are unstable and
Innovation in Politics Awards.
Political crises in Africa is the most pressing threat of our time. Tackling it requires political leaders to step up and embrace innovative methods and thinking. And this is exactly the rationale behind our ‘Innovation in Politics Awards.’
The awards scheme seeks to find political projects that actually work and can therefore serve as best practice for others. Second, citizens can contribute to improvements in politics by becoming a juror and putting new role models in politics centre stage.The awards are designed to identify and recognise projects and politicians who are at the fore of political work in Europe, across a plethora of categories: digitalisation; rural development; education; democracy; human rights; community; ecology; economy; and quality of life.
HELP IMPROVE POLITICS IN AFRICA – BY PARTICIPATING IN THE INNOVATION IN POLITICS AWARDS!
We recognize and support those politicians who have the courage to break new ground, who are creative and achieve real results – regardless of party affiliation and regional level, and based on our European values: social balance, democracy and human rights. We bring their innovative work to the fore, so that it may serve as a source of inspiration.
CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA
The Innovation in Politics Awards are presented in five categories: Economy, Education, Democracy, Human Rights, Regional Development and Community.
Besides the core criterion Innovation, two other criteria apply to all nominated projects: Participation and Sustainability.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
You are welcome to join us in our efforts. We offer several forms of participation:
YOU NOMINATE THE PROJECTS. YOU CHOOSE THE WINNERS. WE TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING ELSE
A project can enter the ‘Innovation in Politics’ Awards in two ways:
Any citizen can nominate a project. If the project meets the formal criteria. The AU Watch will contact the politician in charge and encourage them to submit it to the awards.
PROJECT OWNER SUBMISSION
A politician can submit his or her own project through the awards website, if it meets the substantial criteria.
After a project is submitted, AU Watch evaluates it:
• Does it meet all formal criteria?
• Is information missing, e.g. pictures?
• If the submission is in a language other than English, it is translated for the jury.
After the submission deadline and once all projects are finalized, they will be presented to the citizens’ jury.
The projects in each category with the highest scores are announced as finalists. Out of these finalists, the highest-rated project in each of the nine categories are awarded the “Innovation in Politics Award” at a Gala.
The jury will evaluate all participating projects according to these four criteria:
To be considered for an award, a project must show, first and foremost, an innovative character, breaking new ground while meeting a challenge in its sphere of influence (municipality, region, country).
The innovation need not be a “world first”. What counts is a new approach in the country or region where the project was realised in recent years, and skilful adaptation to the local culture and needs.
Projects score additional points if they motivate citizens to participate in an extensive or special way, if they bring people together from different parts of society or with different political views. Moreover, if they strengthen trust in democratic processes and institutions.
Projects score additional points if they create lasting improvements in the lives of all those affected, and produce high output in relation to the financial input.