The Win With Integrity Self-Assessment

About Win With Integrity

In order to earn citizen trust and serve as champions for inclusive democracy, political parties need not only to act in the best interest of the public; they need to demonstrate how they are achieving this by regularly assessing and reforming their internal processes to be more “integrity-based.” This video discusses the tool that NDI developed called: Win With Integrity: Earning Citizen Trust in Political Parties, a novel self-assessment and advocacy framework that guides parties as they evaluate internal structures, procedures and practices with a critical lens in order to rethink and reshape processes to improve party integrity.

By taking this assessment, you are making a commitment to investing in your party's integrity. Your answers will provide important information on how to improve your party.

For decades, in most parts of the world, getting involved in politics has been synonymous with supporting, joining or promoting a political party. Political parties are still part of forming the backbone of democracy and should continue to play key roles in democratic governance by representing citizens and aggregating their concerns into policy, and by vetting, selecting and influencing political leaders. However, corruption, state capture, populism and opaque party  organizations undermine public confidence in parties around the world, fueling political instability. Citizens increasingly perceive parties as elite-driven and unrepresentative of the broader citizenry; unwilling to include and empower women and other historically underrepresented communities; uncommitted to transparency and accountability; and generally untrustworthy.

To develop, prosper and survive in the world today, parties need better tools, plans and models to become more citizen-centered, inclusive, ethical, transparent and accountable. But first and foremost, they need to be truly committed to their core values and create a culture of integrity, openness and fairness, because as the saying goes, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We at NDI hope that this political party integrity assessment can be a useful instrument in that toolbox of change.

Birgitta Ohlsson

Signature of Birgitta Ohlsson
Director of Political Party Programs, National Democratic Institute
Former Swedish Minister and Member of Parliament 

Political Party Integrity

When parties choose to design their systems, purpose and ethos around the principle of integrity they can realize meaningful changes in the way that political parties are regarded by voters. Internal political party integrity is broadly defined as:

  • Citizen-Centered Political Organizing. Party integrity involves acting in the best interests of citizens. A party elected into office has been given the opportunity and the privilege to serve through politics. Integrity is also about being service-focused: party leaders, elected officials, and rank-and-file and grassroots members come to politics and governance as public servants.
  • Embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Party integrity recognizes and seeks to address institutional, social, cultural and individual barriers of historically underrepresented communities (e.g., women, young people, persons with disabilities, sexual orientation and gender expression minorities, and ethnic and religious minorities). Integrity requires providing an enabling environment for these groups to meaningfully participate and be taken seriously in decision-making bodies and serve in other senior leadership roles.

  • Inclusive Decision-Making. Party integrity builds and enforces mechanisms that ensure all party members (including historically underrepresented communities) and branches within the party structure have the opportunity to deliberate options, contribute ideas and influence party decision-making.

  • Ethical, Transparent, and Accountable Behavior and Practices. Party integrity builds systems and practices of ethical and accountable behavior for party leaders, elected officials, and rank-and-file and grassroots members that make the party function. It also extends to how the party treats others (i.e., political competitors) outside of the party. Further, integrity includes rigorous management of public
    funds and citizens’ donations and preventing and rejecting acts that could lead to personal financial gain at the expense of public trust or judicious financial accountability.