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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


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

In an article outlining the challenges women face when running for office, Sandra Pepera, director of NDI's Gender, Women and Democracy program, explains that when women are active in politics, communities prosper:

"They're more likely to be inclusive of other communities; they're more likely to be focused on social issues; Pepera said. Women's style, in general, is more collaborative and consensus-building."

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The Globe and Mail

Tunisia’s moderate, patient and deliberate approach to political transition has paid off, writes David McLaughlin, the former Chief of Staff for Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and member of NDI’s recent international election observation mission to Tunisia. Writing in the wake of Tunisia’s first round presidential election last weekend, McLaughlin found that the elections exceeded international standards, lauding election officials for their thorough and professional supervision of the democratic process. “Tunisia has made remarkable progress in building durable democratic institutions and processes from scratch in just a few years,” says McLaughlin. 

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Saskatoon Star Phoenix

In an op-ed, Rob Norris, ​a member of the NDI ​o​bserver ​d​elegation to Tunisia’s 2014 ​p​residential ​r​un-​o​ff e​lection, praises the country's recent  transfer of power as another step toward a full transition to democracy. Norris notes that in the wake of recent regional instability, it is in the best interest of international partners to continue supporting Tunisians as they build democratic foundations.  Tunisia now has “the potential to be a vital, stable and democratic leader in a rough region.” 

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In a Reuters news article, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Nigeria’s presidential candidates to respect the results of the upcoming race and discourage their followers from responding in any violent fashion.

The Reuters piece also cited the recent report issued by the joint NDI/IRI pre-election assessment mission to Nigeria, which assessed the country’s election preparations prior to the Feb. 14 race. In a statement, the delegation applauded the strong commitment shown by Nigeria’s election monitoring organization, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and other civil society groups to ensure a peaceful and credible election process.

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