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About "Live Democracy!"

Programme overview
Programme overview

For a diverse, non-violent and democratic society.

Day by day, many initiatives, associations and committed citizens throughout Germany are actively working towards their aim of a diverse, non-violent and democratic society. In this important work, they are being supported by a federal programme launched by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth named "Live Democracy!".

The federal programme's target groups include, in particular, children and young people, their parents, relatives and reference persons, and also volunteer, part-time and full-time child care workers, multipliers and governmental and civil society actors. "Live Democracy!" is also a cornerstone of the Federal Government's strategy to prevent extremism and promote democracy.

Funding for 2017: €104.5 million

"Live Democracy!" operates at various levels. The funded projects to prevent radicalisation and promote democracy have a local, regional or national focus.

The programme started in January 2015 and will be running until the end of 2019. The funding for 2017 amounts to €104.5 million in total.

Implementation, scientific monitoring and Evaluation

The Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions  is responsible for the administrative implementation of the federal programme. For this purpose, it has established a coordinating office.

"Live Democracy!" at a glance

Programme running term:2015 – 2019
Funding for 2017:€104.5 Million

The DJI (German Youth Institute) evaluates the programme. It examines die implementation and the effectiveness of the activities within the programme, and assesses them. The DJI is also responsible for providing scientific monitoring and evaluation in the following programme areas: federal state democracy centres, structural development of nation-wide NGOs, pilot projects for selected phenomena of group-focused enmity and approaches for strengthening democracy in rural areas and pilot projects to prevent radicalisation. The scientific support for the local “partnerships for democracy" is provided by the Institut für Sozialarbeit und Sozialpädagogik e. V. (ISS, Frankfurt am Main) and Camino – Werkstatt für Fortbildung, Praxisbegleitung und Forschung im sozialen Bereich gGmbH (Berlin)

Sustainable structures

Partnerships for democracy

Funding of 265  municipalities throughout Germany

Towns, boroughs and districts throughout Germany are supported in developing and implementing strategies to promote democracy and diversity. Local authority politicians and responsibles from the local administration and civil society actors meet in the "partnerships for democracy" and develop local action concepts.


Federal State Democracy Centres

Funding of services in the 16 federal states to promote democracy and for mobile, victim and exit strategy counselling

In every federal state, a Federal State Democracy Centre supports the development of concepts and strategies to promote democracy and diversity and ensure a networking of local activities and projects, especially those of the local partnerships for democracy. In addition, they coordinate the work of the counselling and prevention services and act as a point of contact for people seeking help.


Structural development of nation-wide NGOs

Funding of 35 non-governmental organisations acting throughout Germany for professionalisation and developing a nation-wide infrastructure

Non-governmental organisations active throughout Germany which make an important contribution for promoting democracy and preventing radicalisation are funded in order to professionalise their activities. They provide important fundamental work and set impulses for discourses in the relevant field.


Pilot projects

Pilot projects adopt new approaches in promoting democracy and preventing radicalisation. They test innovative methods in their work with children, young people and young adults. The methods and materials developed in the pilot projects can be implemented in educational and training work.

"Live Democracy!" supports pilots projects in the following thematic areas:

Selected phenomena of group-focused enmity and approaches to strengthening democracy in rural areas

In this programme area, the federal programme supports pilot projects dedicated to the following topics:

  • Racism and racial discrimination
  • Current forms of anti-Semitism
  • Antigypsyism
  • Current forms of Islamophobia
  • Homophobia and transphobia
  • Anti-discrimination and early prevention among preschool children
  • Strengthening democracy in rural Areas


Prevention of radicalisation

The pilot projects in this programme area concentrate on preventing the processes of radicalisation. Their aim is to enable young people to recognise antidemocratic positions and to examine them critically. The supported projects tackle the following phenomena:

  • Right-wing extremist attitudes and actions
  • Islamist attitudes and actions
  • Left-wing militancy


Civic engagement and diversity at the workplace

Democracy and diversity are also to be promoted at the workplace. In close collaboration with the social partners, a support network is to be created to promote democracy and prevent radicalisation. Apprentices and employees are to be encouraged to closely examine specific problem areas  at the workplace. The aim is to work with business organisations to test and develop concepts for countering antidemocratic attitudes and group-focused enmity at the workplace.

Strengthening democracy in the educational sector

It is important to promote democracy and prevent radicalisation in the environment of children and young people. This includes, in particular, social areas, day nurseries and other educational establishments. A sense of a strong, diverse democracy is to be lived and learned in everyday life. For this purpose, new models of cooperation to strengthen sustainable prevention work are to be tested by practitioners form children and youth services in collaboration with various partners.

Living together in a diverse society

The pilot projects in this programme area are commencing their work in the course of 2017

The increase in violence and threats against refugees and people from the civic society actively engaged in voluntary work shows how important it is to set the strengthening of democracy and peaceful coexistence in Germany as a programme area of "Live Democracy!". The aim of the projects in this programme area is to develop strategies and approaches that tackle racist and discriminatory attitudes and behaviours. Furthermore, new formats are to be promoted which can be used to process controversial, polarising and emotionally charged socio-political conflicts and negotiate them democratically.

Strengthening civic engagement on the web – against online hate speech

This programme area aims to support projects for strengthening democracy and civic engagement  on the web. Innovative educational formats are to be used to teach skills to children, young people, parents, multipliers and educators to deal appropriately with hate speech on the internet. People and groups who are affected by racism and discrimination are to be empowered through the development of new formats. Projects for working with young people who are prone to radicalisation,or are already radicalised, are also supported in this programme area.

Prevention and de-radicalisation in prison and probation

In close collaboration with the relevant Federal State Ministries of Justice and the Federal State Democracy Centres, the projects in this programme area aim to develop preventive educational services for juvenile offenders in prison and to support them during and after their imprisonment. Furthermore, approaches for exit and distancing work for ideologically radicalised prisoners are supported. This programme area is crossphenomenal and also aims to support projects for the training and professional development of staff in prisons in dealing with radicalised prisoners and those prone to radicalisation.