We have found over the past 35 years that, whatever its shortfalls, democracy works. Through transparent processes that affirm basic human dignity, democracy allows nations to settle their internal differences peacefully through elections, open debate, accountable governance, and rule of law. It is the only form of government that allows for peaceful self-correction. The alliance of democratic nations, and the rules-based system they created 70 years ago, led to the greatest period of sustained global development in human history.
Translating democracy’s promise into a better life for all can be frustratingly slow and difficult. Traditional mindsets refuse to die. Intolerance and demagoguery can overwhelm the capacity of new democratic institutions to withstand and resist. Authoritarians who have long used oppression to silence voices at home now learn from and cooperate with one another. They use new technologies to spread division and disinformation farther and faster than ever before.
Nonetheless, alongside brave local partners, NDI has helped nurture the seeds of democracy in some of the toughest places on earth. While democracy's success is neither inevitable nor irreversible, NDI knows from first-hand experience over more than three decades that free people in every corner of the world continue to yearn for the promise of democracy. We are privileged to work with exceptional women and men whose tireless efforts on behalf of human dignity in their countries – and beyond – seek to make the world a more just, secure and prosperous place.