s Western aid providers broaden and deepen their anticorruption assistance, they inevitably confront the domain of political parties in aid-receiving countries. Political parties are often enmeshed in corruption, both in attempting to gain power and in exercising power once they have it. Efforts to find systemic methods to reduce corruption without addressing the party domain are incomplete. More generally, attempting to support positive political reform, including greater accountability, without engaging with political parties leaves out a key set of actors in the overall political process. Yet many aid providers are wary about working with political parties. They are not sure what is possible to do with parties, which are often unfamiliar organizations for them, and also are concerned about being too political. At the same time, however, a significant body of international assistance to strengthen political parties has been carried out over the past 15 to 20 years, largely by Western political foundations. Understanding this area of assistance is crucial for aid providers that are concerned about anticorruption and just now addressing the party domain. This two-part article seeks to facilitate such an understanding by providing an overview of the world of international party assistance. The first part considers the standard method of political party assistance, its main features, its strengths and weaknesses, and current areas of renovation. The second part – Party system aid – examines the emerging body of assistance relating to political party systems, assistance that goes beyond a focus on strengthening individual parties to tackling the question of political party strengthening on a broader, more systemic basis, that includes all of the major parties and the ways they relate to each other and to major political institutions.
Fuente: Anti-corruption Resource Centre – U4