More than just consulting:

EU UN Expert

BiRD’s vision includes bridging the gap between the practice of development consulting and project management on the one hand, and that of the scientific community on the other.

BiRD follows a process oriented and participatory approach to promote sustainable democracy.

africans participate in democratic elections

Fostering democratisation at the beginning of the 21st century

Democracy and human rights have become almost universally accepted values. The collapse of Cold War ideologies eased their spread throughout the world, also paving the way for democratisation in the countries of Eastern Europe and Africa. Since then, most of the former autocratic regimes have undergone fundamental transition processes, often involving political, economic and social change at the same time.

While some countries have succeeded, others, particularly in Africa, have experienced set-backs in their transition towards democracy, and some of them have descended into conflict or war - often involving a high number of human casualties and the widespread destruction of infrastructure and property. International debate and co-operation therefore focuses on conflict prevention and post-conflict peace building - with democratic principles and human rights becoming ever more important as conditions for sustainable peace and structural stability.

While we do not compromise on the adherence to internationally recognised standards, our approach towards democracy is process-oriented. Democracy usually requires more than one election cycle to take root, indeed it can take serveral generations. Democracy is not limited to the participation in elections. It rather means active popular participation between elections and in national, regional and local institutions. Assisting young democracies or countries in transition therefore requires a particular sensitivity on the experts’ part without losing sight of first principles in culturally sensitive environments.

Capacity building is a mutual learning process. A participatory approach, placing emphasis on the process of actually making democratic institutions work, has turned out to yield the most sustainable results. In order to achieve this goal, BiRD co-operates closely with national and international research institutions and scientific advisors. A significant number of our associated consultants are working for renowned research facilities or universities in Europe and elsewhere.