National Observatory for Democracy and Government

 The National Observatory for Democracy and Governance was officially constituted in June 2006. It was conceived as a space for “knowledge management”, which is necessary for the construction of citizenship. This space should also be capable of providing instruments for deliberation and political debate, as well as strengthening democratic processes in the country.

The observatory is a joint effort of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CDC), the Institute for Development and Democracy (IPADE) and the Research Communication Center (CINCO). Their goal is to use their own experiences, in addition to their systematic and comprehensive analysis on Democracy and Governance in the country, based on three relevant aspects of the democratic process:  

  • Style of governance

  • Electoral system and political culture

  • The administration of justice and legislative output 

Alongside these important aspects, the Observatory takes into account two transverse axis for the construction of citizenship in terms of strengthening democracy: citizen participation and gender equity advocacy, and the defense of human rights for all Nicaraguans. 

Research methodology

The Observatory has raised the challenge of becoming an ongoing monitoring system of the state of democracy and governance in Nicaragua, and a national reference that not only informs, but also promotes a debate and consensus between political, social and economical actors at different levels. In order to accomplish these goals, the team has identified three main strategies:

  • Researching by using a system of quantitative indicators and/or diagnostic reports

  • Providing training to specific leaders of civil society organizations

  • Disseminating information through national media, so that its finding generate public debate 

Publications

As a result of the research, the Observatory has produced the following publications: “Democratización en Nicaragua: partidos políticos y elecciones nacionales, 2006”, “Sondeo de opinión sobre reformas a la Constitución Política de Nicaragua”, “Tercer informe de monitoreo sobre el estado de la democracia en Nicaragua”, “Valoración global de los primeros cien días del gobierno del presidente Daniel Ortega Saavedra”, “Sondeo de opinión “Cultura política y valores democráticos” and “Primer Informe Nacional sobre Gobernabilidad”.

In accordance with the activities of the Observatory, the results of the First Report on Governance were presented and discussed with several actors of the Nicaraguan civil society through regional and national forums in four areas of the country. There were also debates with political and social leaders. The results were also published in the national media.