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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.



Since it began operating in Moldova in 2003 NDI has sought to strengthen democratic institutions through sharing international democratic experience and practices with political  parties and civil society organizations (CSOs).  The Institute’s experts from the U.S. and Europe have discussed organizing grassroots election campaigns and voter outreach, strengthening local party offices, and responding to citizen priorities with all major political parties.  NDI has also supported nonpartisan election monitoring by Moldovan organizations and youth initiatives to solve community problems and increase the turnout of young voters.  

NDI currently focuses on three areas: helping political parties better respond to citizens’ interests, supporting citizens participation in decision making, and strengthening nonpartisan election monitoring organizations.  In addition, NDI is integrating into all programs an effort to address the underrepresentation of women in Moldovan political life. 

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Political Party Assistance

NDI is helping local, regional and national party representatives better respond to citizen concerns and in the process, solve real problems.  At the local level, the Institute is helping local councilors use questionnaires to identify key community problems,  such as sewer connections and road quality.  After developing plans to ameliorate the problem,  the councilors continue to reach out to citizens to inform them of their progress and gather additional feedback about the issues. 

At the regional level NDI is organizing an intensive training program to prepare regional managers within each party to oversee continuous citizen outreach and party organizing.  They will ensure that concerns of citizens and local party members are regularly channeled back to national party leaders.  Finally, at the national level, NDI is sharing international best practices on improving policymaking, including by developing experts in various issue areas within each party. 

Civil Society Development

In a complementary program, NDI is helping rural citizens more effectively call on elected local councilors.   NDI is using a model that has been effective in many other countries, known as “Civic Forum.”   Through Civic Forum, residents of more than 40 smaller towns are identifying issues, building coalitions, and advocating for new policies, new funding and improved quality of life. 

The Institute is also sharing international experiences on national advocacy with large civil society organizations. National polling, described below, helps NDI’s civic partners determine which national issues are most pressing in Moldova. To support advocacy efforts and increase transparency, NDI also plans to help CSOs monitor, evaluate and report on how well lawmakers are responding to citizens.

Election Monitoring

 In 2010, NDI helped the nonpartisan civic organization Promo-LEX monitor parliamentary elections nationwide. This included observation of the pre-election period and a statistically based observation on election day to draw accurate conclusions about national elections based on a representative sample.  With parliamentary elections expected in 2014 and local elections slated for 2015, NDI continues to help the organization gain experience by monitoring occasional by-elections and improving its policies and procedures.

Public Opinion Research

NDI is conducting quarterly public opinion research to help local partners stay informed of the priorities and concerns of citizens.  The research explores citizen perceptions about democracy and priority issues they would like to see policymakers address at local and national levels.  The Institute will use a combination of surveys and focus groups to gather both quantitative and qualitative information on what citizens think and the reasons behind their opinions and will share findings with political parties, CSOs and government officials. NDI has contracted Marketing and Polling Institute IMAS-INC, a Moldovan research firm, as well as US-based Lake Research Partners to conduct the surveys and focus groups.


NDI programming in Moldova is funded through the United States Agency for International Development.

Contact Information

For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:

Washington, D.C.
Melissa Muscio, Program Manager

Published Publication Title Author
12/01/2005 NDI 2005 Annual Report
National Democratic Institute
04/01/1992 Strengthening Local Democracy in the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1992
National Democratic Institute