Political parties are essential institutions of democracy. By competing in elections parties offer citizens a choice in governance, and while in opposition they can hold governments accountable. When citizens join political parties, volunteer their time, donate money and vote for their leaders, they are exercising their basic democratic rights. Participation of citizens in political parties offers unique benefits, including opportunities to influence policy choices, choose and engage political leaders, and run for office. However, in some countries political parties do not respect the rights of citizens to participate and are not accountable to voters. NDI supports the development of vibrant, accountable and inclusive multiparty systems that offer citizens meaningful choices and opportunities for political participation. The Institute’s work includes knowledge and resource sharing, and aims to expand the participation of marginalized groups including: women, youth, ethnic and racial minorities, persons with disabilities, and gender and sexual minorities. NDI's assistance reaches across party organizations, from grassroots party members to mid-level party officials and senior party leaders. The Institute is the only organization to have official standing in the three largest international groupings of political parties: Centrist Democrat International, Liberal International and Socialist International. Through these networks, NDI fosters peer-to-peer exchanges and consultations. The Institute also facilitates constructive engagement between political parties and other institutions, such as civil society, the media and election management bodies.
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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.