The Arcadia Foundation’s nonpartisan objective is to create awareness of the importance of democracy, good governance and democratic institutions. The Foundation assists to give people a voice in regard to the way they are being governed – help people participate in their respective democracies by giving them the tools and training to do so.
Over the last decade, government reformers, the international aid community, civil society leaders and indeed investors have realized that good governance is crucial for peace, stability and development. It is furthermore vital in order to create a conducive environment for investment. In developing countries, aid donors understand that good governance is a fundamentally important factor that increases the successful implementation of aid flow, and its impact on the area.
There are today many more countries that have democracy in place. At any point in their history, most developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia suffered from authoritarian regimes, in which the military was deeply involved in political matters. Today however, even amidst increased democracies worldwide, there is great suspicion and disillusionment with governments that claim to be democratic because the ‘democracy’ that they have implemented has not delivered economic development to its citizenry, nor does it respect their human rights. On the contrary – corruption and human rights abuses run rampant and the respect for free and fair elections is in serious question. This in turn erodes people’s faith in the democratic process, creating unrest, economic crises, religious conflicts and even civil wars.
The Arcadia Foundation believes democracy and its values need to be championed in a manner that enhances democratic participation in elections, respects human rights and promotes economic development, ultimately resulting in peace and stability in the region.
The Arcadia Foundation programs include:
The Arcadia Foundation will strengthen the separation of powers, civil liberties, civil rights, rule of law and minority rights, with the objective of making governments lacking these democratic values and ideals accountable for their actions. It requires a collaborative approach with government and citizens, which we initiate, to pursue common political, economic, cultural and social goals.
The Arcadia Foundation designs programs that increase public participation in the decision-making process; fosters dialogue among and between political parties and civil society organizations and among and between government agencies. We promote responsiveness, transparency and accountability in government at both the national and local levels.
Our objective is to ensure governments uphold and respect every right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Any kind of abuse, whether physical or psychological, shall be addressed in a serious manner and will receive our undivided attention.
RULE of LAW
Every government is obliged to enforce rule of law fairly and effectively. In line with international guidelines, Arcadia promotes the guiding principles of promoting an independent judiciary, independent media, and an informed an engaged civil society that are key to achieving an adhered-to rule of law.
Therefore, the Arcadia Foundation promotes judicial independence where it does not exist; promotion and support to judicial enforcement; support and building of transparency and accountability , and access to information mechanisms. Arcadia Foundation encourages coalition building, whistle-blowing and indeed grater openness in government.
Constructive engagement between citizens and their government is an essential ingredient of a representative democracy; citizens must articulate their concerns and governments must listen to them. To be successful, such a representative democracy needs to be populated by citizens who know their rights, responsibilities and bring with them a variety of open opinions.
The Arcadia Foundation strengthens the capacity of civil society organizations to mobilize citizens to participate in democratic politics in a constructive and effective manner. Our civil society programs enhance citizens’ to develop civic initiatives, advocate for change and demand government accountability. We offer civic education to citizens and civil society organizations in the developing world to increase their knowledge of and ability to affect their political systems.
The Arcadia Foundation provides support in election planning and administration, electoral law development and voter education. The Foundation seeks to bring transparency to observers and investors alike by involving civil society in the process (through observer training, negotiations with national election commissions,etc.) Furthermore, we incorporate anti-fraud mechanisms.
The Arcadia Foundation develops, advances, and encourages and funds projects such as this which will promote democracy. We develop and have developed strong relationships with international NGOs to advance democracy. When appropriate, we receive gifts, trusts, bequests and funds as a beneficiary or as an agent to hold, manage and distribute said gifts, trusts, bequests and funds for purposing the objectives of political activists and their works through the Arcadia Foundation.