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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.

In-Country Perspectives

Perspectives from staff, volunteers, and others working to support and strengthen democracy.

Staff Interview: Mobile Voter Education and Radio in Ghana's Election

In Ghana's recent election NDItech partnered with the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) to increase information to citizens about the election. CODEO deployed 3,999 citizen observers to transmit election results data via SMS, and also communicated with voters via a Facebook page where citizens could debate political issues, and a call-in service for radio stations to broadcast voter information.

We spoke with NDItech's Program Officer Chris Doten about this innovative mobile audio-to-radio project.

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WAEON Academy Addresses Role of Security Sector in Ensuring Peaceful and Credible Elections

As Guinea prepares for its first legislative elections since a 2008 military coup, the role of the nation’s security forces during the election period has come to the fore.

In 2010 Guineans participated in a democratic election that brought President Alpha Condé to power. Though the armed forces played a constructive role in providing security for that poll, a massacre in 2009, in which the military opened fire on unarmed civilian protesters, still weighs heavily on the minds of Guinean citizens.

NDI, IRI Honor Aung San Suu Kyi

“Democracy is not perfect, but it is the best system so far,” said Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese activist, member of parliament and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate at a Sept. 19 dinner co-hosted by NDI and the International Republican Institute (IRI). “The best thing about democracy is that it allows for non-violent change in power, without hurt to the country.”

NDI Staff Member Provides an Inside Look into Nepal’s Political Climate

Nepal has survived considerable political turmoil in recent years, including an armed conflict, failure of the Constituent Assembly to deliver a new constitution and the inability of leadership to form a sustainable government. Although the country has managed the political upheaval, recent events threaten the country’s chances for continued democratic change.

We sat down with Ram Guragain, NDI senior political advisor for Nepal and a native Nepali, to discuss next steps for the country and how NDI is working with parties, elected officials and citizens in this turbulent time.

Empowering Nepal's Future Leaders

As a young girl growing up in Baitadi, one of the most isolated and impoverished districts of Far Western Nepal, Kamala Bohora constantly battled poverty, harsh prejudice, and despairing loneliness. It was this very poverty and discrimination that drove Bohora to seek solace and hope in the arms of the Communist Party Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), one of the largest political parties of Nepal. Impressed by Bohora’s passion and commitment to learning, her party selected her to participate in NDI's USAID-funded Future Leadership Academy (FLA).

Indigenous Woman Becomes Governor in Guatemala

Teresa de Jesús Chocoyo definitely stood out in the crowd when she was sworn in recently as one of 22 departmental governors in Guatemala, where non-indigenous men dominate politics. A petite indigenous woman in colorful, traditional Mayan dress, her long black hair pulled back in a braid, she was the only indigenous woman governor, one of only three women and three indigenous governors.

Know to her supporters as “Sacatepéquez’s Woman of Change” – she is the chief executive of the department of Sacatepéquez in the central part of the country – she is challenging the political status quo. She is also trying to take a proactive, hands-on approach to governing.

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