IRI began its work in Peru when democracy was reinstated just after the turn of the century. Since then, the program portfolio supports rebuilding the Peruvian political system, specifically strengthening political parties and representation, the promotion of youth and women leadership, and the proactive participation of civil society.
Through direct work and local partners, IRI helps improve the Peruvian Congress’ ability to legislate in accountable and transparent ways, build the capacity of national legislators to be more representative and accountable in the decision-making process, and strengthen the role of Congress as an effective check and balance institution to the executive branch. In Peru, programming includes enhancing practices at the local level such as citizen oversight, participatory budgeting, and municipal strengthening for local authorities.
In 2018, IRI started a concentrated effort to improve the implementation of anticorruption standards through the identification of citizen priorities and the development of reforms related to transparency and the fight against corruption. Lack of political party cohesion, a disconnect between the legislative and executive branches, and an unwillingness to build coalitions within Congress and advance citizen-responsive legislation has eroded trust in Peru’s democratic institutions. IRI now works with government stakeholders to identify needs and provide technical assistance, while also working with civil society organizations to increase their capacity for advocacy, monitoring governance, and citizen outreach in order to meet regional and international commitments in anticorruption matters.
Programming in Peru continues to build consensus around a governance agenda among legislative actors. Trainings with newly elected officials to strengthen congressional party caucuses and technical assistance to develop legislative agendas will aid in the creation of citizen responsive policies.
Enhancing the ability of citizens, parties, journalists, and civil society to participate in Peru’s elections at all levels is a center piece of IRI’s programs. Through voter information campaigns, websites, and videos, IRI and partners strengthened citizens’ abilities to make informed decisions prior to the 2021 presidential and congressional election. This included information targeting minority groups such as youth, indigenous people, women, Afro-Peruvians, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQI+ community.
IRI works with youth in Peru to better advocate for the integration of youth policy priorities more effectively in the legislative agenda, as well as implementing activities to increase youth voter participation and knowledge. By creating and training a Youth Advocacy Network and enhancing the ability of newly elected members of congress to effectively communicate with constituents, IRI can bring youth and congress together for constructive policy dialogues.
Ongoing work includes programming on corruption at all levels of governance, migration trends and inclusion, political party leadership, and civil society support in the country.