International IDEA, with the support from the European Commission, has been contributing to increasing effective evidence-based and coordinated support for democracy across the world through the Supporting Team Europe Democracy (STED) project. Within this project, the Summit for Democracy (S4D) emerged as a unique opportunity to place democracy at the center of the global agenda.
As part of this process, International IDEA has piloted Summit for Democracy research and engagement with citizens and civil society in four countries representing four continents: Kenya, Moldova, Nepal and Paraguay.
International IDEA conducted a survey to help identify knowledge and community perceptions of the S4D, with special attention to young people’s opinion on their leaders’ S4D commitments and suggestions on key democracy issues that need addressing. The findings of the survey confirmed the importance of this exercise. In three out of four countries (Kenya, Nepal and Paraguay), the knowledge of the S4D process—less than 25 per cent of all participants had any kind of knowledge on the S4D—and the respective countries’ commitments on democracy was very low. In these countries, it is particularly important to raise awareness of civil society on the commitments made during the first S4D so they can meaningfully engage and monitor these commitments. This could be achieved through publishing the S4D commitments on the heads of state webpage or organizing a roundtable debate with civil society and the parliament, as important accountability actors at national level. Only in one of the four countries, Moldova, the survey showed that around 60 per cent of people interviewed knew about the S4D and the commitments made by their President, Maia Sandu. A probable explanation for the higher awareness among civil society of the country’s commitments is due to the fact that these were based on the internal reform agenda of governing coalition and in line with Moldova’s nine conditions set by the European Union in June 2022. Therefore, aligning the S4D commitments with national priorities of the government ensures higher awareness and involvement of different actors in society.