The Arcadia Foundation’s non-partisan objective is to raise awareness about the importance of democracy, good governance and functioning democratic institutions. The Foundation assists to give aspiring political activists a forum to speak out in regard to the way they are being governed – helping people actively participate in their respective democracies by giving them the platform, the tools and indeed the training to do so.
Over the last decade, government reformers, the international aid community, civil society leaders and indeed international investors have realized that good governance is crucial for peace, stability and development. It is vital in order to create a conducive environment for investment. In developing countries, aid donors understand such governance is fundamentally important, and that if properly channeled, tangible change in the way people live their lives and work with their government can occur.
Today there is great suspicion and disillusionment with many governments in Latin America and Africa 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, ultimately stifling the much-needed investment that could help promote free enterprise and autonomous growth.
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, sparking economic potential in the region.
We 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.
This 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 a transparent forum online at arcadiafoundation.org where aspiring poilitical activists can share articles, videos and soundbytes with professors, political scientists, documentary filmmakers, a diverse community of like-minded attitudes, all wishing to 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 receives 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 nations which utilize an independent judiciary and have independent media, which equates to an informed and engaged civil society that is ultimately key to achieving an adhered-to rule of law. Therefore, the Arcadia Foundation has and continues to promote 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. Therefore, the Arcadia Foundation has and continues to promote 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.
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, et cetera) Furthermore, we incorporate anti-fraud mechanisms. 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 furthering the objectives of political activists and their works.