In 1997, Northern Ireland political leaders traveled to a remote location outside Cape Town, South Africa, where, for the first time, representatives of the warring Catholic and Protestant factions sat together at the same table to talk. At the gathering, supported by NDI, the visitors heard firsthand how political leaders in South Africa had negotiated peace through compromise and reconciliation. Among the participants was Nelson Mandela. The meeting came less than a year before the signing of Northern Ireland's historic Good Friday peace agreement. "Not a day went by in the talks that a reference was not made to the South African experience," said one of the signers. "It was a turning point in our lives."
Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a mountainous, isolated region with more than four million residents, has long been subject to draconian colonial era laws prohibiting the exercise of basic constitutional rights. In the past decade it has become a sanctuary for militant groups that threaten both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and many residents are demanding change. Since 2008, NDI has facilitated the efforts of a coalition of tribal leaders, civil society activists, women's groups and leaders from all major political parties to advocate for amendments to the laws that govern FATA. In 2011, these efforts led Pakistan's president to adopt the most substantive reforms in more than 100 years. They permitted political parties to operate in FATA and curtailed the power of local authorities to impose punishments on citizens. In May 2013, political party candidates from FATA ran in national elections for the first time. NDI continues to work with a broad coalition of political parties and civil society groups to bring the tribal areas into the mainstream of Pakistani life and to promote political participation of women who had been marginalized by colonial era laws. Read more about NDI's programs in Pakistan»
In Kenya, 1,500 people died and 600,000 were displaced by violence following the country's 2007 general elections. With the goal of reducing the possibilities for violence around elections six years later, NDI worked with political parties to bring together some 1,000 young party activists from across the political spectrum, some of whom had engaged in the previous post-election violence, to address pressing issues facing young people, such as unemployment, substance abuse and disenfranchisement. As party of Kenya's Inter-Party Youth Forum, the Kenyans pledged to uphold peace and tolerance, contributing to a nonviolent election in 2013. Read more about NDI's programs in Kenya»
NDI helped created the Global Network for Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM), which fosters cooperation among nonpartisan citizen organizations worldwide. More than 190 national citizen groups, representing three million monitors in 79 countries working to protect the integrity of their elections, have joined the online GNDEM community since it began in 2009.
Through a collaborative online process, NDI facilitated the drafting of the Declaration of Parliamentary Openness, a guide for governments and nongovernmental organizations interested in increasing government transparency and responsiveness. The declaration is now supported by more than 140 organizations in 77 countries.
NDI is the only organization that enjoys official standing in the three largest international groupings of political parties, representing Social Democratic, Liberal and Centrist Democratic ideologies. All told, the three "internationals" represent about 350 parties in 150 countries. These relationships enable NDI to enlist established parties in sharing democratic norms and organizing methods with parties in emerging democracies. Read more about NDI's political party programs»