NDI Russia facilitates discussions on important issues affecting citizens’ daily lives, via forums with elected officials and policymakers, roundtables for NGOs sharing common concerns, and advocacy and citizen participation workshops. The events bring together a diverse group of experts, activists and officials to share experiences, perspectives and best practices on issues of interest to Russian audiences.
Since 2009, NDI has held a series of workshops in Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Syktyvkar for representatives of regional and local governments, NGOs, universities and small businesses on methods of building positive and constructive relations between local government, citizens and civil society. As a follow up to these workshops, NDI has held open forums for civil society participants to discuss important issues with their colleagues and local government aimed at resolving community problems.
Promoting Youth Engagement
NDI Russia helps young Russian community leaders develop greater capacity to effectively engage in civic and political processes and provides opportunities for them to compare experiences and share ideas with their international peers.
Since 2009 NDI has organized study programs to Brussels, which allow Russian youth to compare Russian and European political processes and explore how European youth participate in public life. During the one-week study programs, participants meet with representatives of nongovernmental organizations, political parties and government agencies at the European, national and local levels, and take part in practical workshops designed to help them apply European experience to their work in Russia. The Institute assists participants in applying lessons learned in local civic activism to help them organize social and educational projects to benefit their home communities in Russia.
Also, NDI has supported a network of youth debate clubs in Pskov, Karelia, Veliky Novgorod, St. Petersburg and Arkhangelsk. The debates offer unique venues for public discussion of youth-related issues in an informal setting. Debate leaders and participants represent a diverse cross section of youth society in each region, including a broad spectrum of political and civic groups.
NDI conducts an exchange program for Russian legislators and political and civic leaders to discuss policy issues with their counterparts in the U.S. The aim of the visits is to help policymakers on both sides broaden their perspectives and better design their own approaches to key domestic policy issues. In 2009 and 2010, NDI arranged a study mission to the U.S. for Russian regional government officials and media professionals in partnership with the Russian NGO Institute for Democracy and Development, and also organized a trip for local government officials from Leningrad Oblast and St. Petersburg to share experiences in urban planning and regional economic development with their counterparts in Maryland. NDI also organized a trilateral dialogue in Washington, D.C., between members of the European Parliament, State Duma deputies, and members of Congress on issues related to economics, security and governance.
Since 2000, NDI has worked with GOLOS, an independent, nonpartisan, Russian election observation network covering over 40 regions. NDI provides ongoing consultation and training for the organization’s regional partners, sharing its international election observation expertise. NDI is open to cooperating with all domestic groups that believe in free and fair elections, impartial and objective election observation and internationally accepted election observation standards.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Laura Jewett, Regional Director