NDI’s approach to election-related programming seeks to maximize the opportunities presented by elections to help advance democratic progress. NDI programs promote the integrity of electoral and political processes based on international standards and the practicalities of mobilizing citizen participation. NDI’s election-related activities are tailored to the broader political process in each country to promote citizen action as electors and as electoral candidates to achieve democratic governance, mitigate potentials for political violence, and improve the lives of people. NDI recognizes that:
- Genuine elections are not merely a technical endeavor; they are a fundamental human right linked to a broad array of institutions and the ability of citizens to exercise other civil and political rights;
- Elections are a periodic test of the strength of democratic institutions, and they illuminate the underlying nature of the competition for political power in a country;
- Elections are a vehicle for the participation of citizens in the democratic process, and they help to build capacities that are central to achieving accountable, democratic governance;
- Elections are part of making democracy deliver a better quality of life by linking voters’ interests to the act of selecting a candidate, party or policy through public discourse and balloting; and
- Elections are a means for managing the potentials for violent conflict and advancing human security.
The Institute has more than 25 years of experience in international election observation. It also assists the electoral integrity efforts of political parties and nonpartisan citizen (domestic) election monitoring organizations, which have included large numbers of women and youth in more than 90 countries and territories. For more information about NDI's involvement in upcoming elections, view the Elections Calendar.
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NDI's work upholds the idea that democracy is a human right – a principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it's a human right that many around the world still struggle to attain. You can be part of the solution. Join the movement for democracy.