University of Pittsburgh wins grant to develop new approaches to advance USAID’s political party programs 

June 3, 2009 
Contact: Higher Education for Development
(202) 243-7680

WASHINGTON, DC (June 3, 2009) – The Higher Education for Development (HED) is pleased to announce a new award of $685,000 to the University of Pittsburgh. HED has awarded the funding provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to update the Agency’s conceptual framework for political party support and develop new tools to assess and evaluate political party programs. These analytical works will guide the development of future programs and help advance USAID’s technical knowledge and leadership in the field of political party assistance.

For nearly two decades, USAID has provided assistance to countries across the globe to support the development of democratic political parties under the operating assumption that the emergence of a competitive political party system is both a consequence of the political freedoms of citizens as well as an indispensable component of democracy.

Director of USAID’s Office of Democracy and Governance at USAID Dorothy Douglas Taft said: “This grant provides an exciting opportunity for our office to gain from the scholarship of leading US academics, as well as the experience of our partners, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, on how to improve our work on political party programs and democracy support worldwide.”

“Higher Education for Development has long been enthusiastic about this project,” said Dr. Tully Cornick, executive director of HED. “We are confident that the University of Pittsburgh team has a deep understanding of the work that needs to be done and their research and analysis will make a significant impact to advance political party development worldwide.”

Scott Morgenstern, professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh, said, “We are thrilled about working on this important project. It combines our academic interests with USAID’s experience to develop practical approaches for aiding political party development around the world.”

This work supports USAID’s continued dedication to advance the effectiveness of global U.S. Government efforts to promote the transition to, and consolidation of, democratic institutions, civic values and good governance. For more information about USAID and its work in support of democracy, please visit

HED engages higher education institutions in the United States and abroad to advance social and economic development through human and institutional capacity building. Since 1997, HED has managed more than 350 higher education partnerships in 66 countries. For more information about HED, please visit