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The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Democracy Dialogue

NDI President Kenneth Wollack (center), with Lorne Craner (left), the president of the International Republican Institute, and Ambassador Robert Neumann at a panel discussion.

Support for democracy has been a priority of U.S. foreign policy since the earliest days of the republic, and its advantages over other forms of government have come to be accepted globally. But there are many manifestations of democratic governance – how it is achieved and how it delivers for its citizens – that are the subject of continuing debate. To help illuminate this debate, NDI has collected commentary from its own experts and others along with some of the key documents upon which democracy programs are based.

Our Perspectives

Commentary from NDI Board members and staff on democracy promotion generally and on specific NDI programs. | Read more »

News and Views

Commentary from experts on the directions and challenges of democracy promotion programs. | Read more »

Key Documents

A library of the basic documents upon which democracy programs are based. | Read more »

New Additions


Voice of America News

On the 50th anniversary of the passage of the U.S. Voting Rights Act, NDI Director of Electoral Programs Pat Merloe highlights the global trend to make voting more available.

"Across the world, there’s a general trend to make the vote ever more available – to minority populations, indigenous peoples, peoples with disabilities, those who have been convicted of crimes," said Merloe.

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Voice of America News

Chris Doten, manager for digital technology programs at NDI, spoke with Voice of America News about digital security solutions for journalists and democracy advocates.

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The Hill

Tunisia remains an important example of what can be achieved when our democracy community stands with local citizens seeking to build a democratic future. Authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's ousting in 2011 set the country on a fragile course that has been challenged by acts of terrorism and economic malaise.

But even as neighboring countries have slipped into chaos, a willingness by Tunisia's political and civic leaders to reach consensus through peaceful dialogue has produced key milestones, including the Arab world's most progressive constitution and credible democratic elections for parliament and president in 2014.


Green and Sweeney are the presidents of the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, respectively. Campbell is a senior associate and regional director for Middle East and North Africa programs at the National Democratic Institute. Their organizations are the core partners of the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening.

Read the full op-ed:

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Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies (City University of New York) blog

Sheila Fruman, former NDI country director in Pakistan, discusses a recent resolution passed by the Pakistan parliament regarding the crisis in Yemen.

According to Fruman, the resolution represented a significant moment of “debate and decision making on vital matters of state.” Fruman added, “The open debate marks a turning point that respects the right of citizens to hold their representatives accountable and strengthens the institution of parliament within the democratic framework.”

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