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The Middle East and North Africa

The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) is Denmark’s collaboration project with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) focusing on reform and democratization. Since the programme was launched in 2003, DAPP has been a central pillar in Danish foreign policy in relation to the MENA-region and aims to support processes of political reform and democratization and strengthen dialogue, partnerships and mutual understanding between Denmark and the Arab world.

Foto: Mikkel Østergaard

Danish-Arab Partnership Programme 
The programme has the two-fold objective of supporting processes of political reform and democratization and strengthening dialogue, partnerships and mutual understanding between Denmark and the Arab world. 

Read the full strategic framework document of the Danish Arab Partnership Programme 2013-16 here
Read more on the programme website here

Read the most recent review of the Danish Arab Partnership Programme (2014) here

The DAPP has the following double strategic objective:
• To promote reform and democratisation processes in the Middle East and North Africa.
• To improve dialogue, understanding and cooperation between Denmark and the MENA-region

In working toward these objectives, the DAPP focuses on four key challenges:
1. Human Rights, Human Freedoms & Good Governance
2. Women’s Empowerment and gender Equality
3. Knowledge Based Societies
4. Economic growth and Job Creation

From the inception of the programme, the thematic focus of the DAPP has been framed by the 2002 UNDP Arab Human Development Report. This ground-breaking report written by Arab scholars assessed the state of human development across the region and offered concrete suggestions to accelerate progress. The report identified the first three challenges as critical for human development in the region. In addition, the stagnating economies and high rates of unemployment, not least among young people, has in has in recent years proven to be an important fourth challenge for the development in the MENA-region. Thus, in order to support the ongoing processes of democratic transition, the programme has recently been expanded both in volume and in terms of its content and now includes direct democracy support as well as support to economic development and job creation.

Geographic focus
While the DAPP covers cooperation between Denmark and in principle all MENA countries, a number of Arab coun¬tries have been identified as key focus countries of the DAPP. Based on identification missions and dialogue with civil society and national stakeholders, it was originally decided in 2004 to focus country specific interventions in Jordan, Morocco and Yemen. In addition to these three countries, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia have been added as focus countries following the Arab uprisings.

Whereas partnership collaboration within the three original thematic areas can potentially take place within one or several of all the seven DAPP focus countries, collaboration aiming at enhancing economic growth and employ¬ment is focused on the countries that are currently undergoing processes of democratic transition, as enhancing growth and employment are seen as vital for securing the success of these difficult on-going processes.

When country-specific interventions have been implemented, attempts have been made to involve regional networks and international actors as far as possible. Such an approach fosters the creation of broad networks where not only knowledge is exchanged between a specific Arab country and Denmark, but also across the Arab region where lessons learnt can be used.

Supporting reforms in a changing environment
DAPP is designed to address complex reform-dynamics in the MENA-region a swift and flexible manner. This approach has proven its relevance during the popular uprisings across the Arab world where DAPP has been instrumental in supporting dynamics of political reform throughout the region. Numerous local DAPP- partners have been and continue to be central players in ongoing processes of reform that among other things empower women, strengthen human rights and enhance the freedom of the media.

To be able to address the opportunities and challenges present in a complex region in transition, the DAPP will over the coming years retain its flexible and multidimensional approaches to support ongoing processes of political reform with the aim of strengthening democratic prosperous and stable communities in the Middle East and North Africa while also continuing to nourish the vital dialogue between a broad range of partners from Denmark and the Arab world.                                                                                                                               


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Asiatisk Plads 2 
DK-1448 Copenhagen K
Tel. +45 33 92 00 00
Fax +45 32 54 05 33