National Democratic Institute

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The National Democratic Institute (NDI), or National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works with partners in developing countries to increase the effectiveness of democratic institutions.[1] The NDI's core program areas include citizen participation, elections, debates, democratic governance, democracy and technology, political inclusion of marginalized groups, and gender, women and democracy.[2] The organization's stated mission is to "support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government."[3]

The NDI was founded in 1983, shortly after the United States Congress created the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).[4] The NED's creation was followed by the establishment of three related institutes, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the National Republican Institute for International Affairs (later renamed the International Republican Institute, IRI). The Endowment serves as the umbrella organization through which these three institutes and an expanding number of private sector groups would receive funding to carry out programs abroad.[5]

The NDI, loosely affiliated to the Democratic Party,[6] is a "cooperating organization" with the Liberal International.[7] and an "associated organization" with the Socialist International.[8]


The NDI works with political parties, civic groups, parliaments and other organizations and individuals in more than 70 countries. The NDI works with local partners to encourage community dialogues, observe elections, increase citizen participation, and improve the responsiveness of government.[9]

Sources of Funding[edit]

The NDI receives financial support from the United States Congress, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as from approximately 35 other countries, multilateral institutions and foundations. Previous supporters include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Institutes of Peace, the government of Sweden and the Middle East Partnership Initiative. The NDI is not a grant-making organization.[10]

NDI Board of Directors & Senior Advisory Committee[edit]

Board of Directors[edit]

Awards, events, and honors[edit]

  • Madeleine K. Albright Grant: Every year the NDI hosts a luncheon to honor the recipient of the Madeleine K. Albright grant. The Madeleine K. Albright grant is awarded to organizations that address systemic and structural barriers to women’s advancement and presence in the public and political spheres. The grant has been awarded since 2005, and is made possible through the generosity of the Melvin and Bren Simon Foundation the Win with Women Global Initiative. The 2015 grant went to the Worker Women Social Organization of Kandahar, Afghanistan.[13]
  • Andi Parhamovich Fellowship: In 2007 the NDI announced the establishment of the Andi Parhamovich Fellowship, named in honor of NDI staff member Andi Parhamovich, who was killed on January 17, 2007, when her convoy was attacked while returning from a political party training session in Baghdad. Each year, the fellowship brings to Washington, D.C., a young woman selected from NDI local staff or partner organizations who is deeply involved in building and consolidating democracy in her own country by advancing the participation of women.[14]
  • W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award: Each year the NDI hosts a dinner to recognize innovators and activists in the field of democracy. At the dinner, the NDI presents the W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award, which honors individuals and organizations that have exhibited a sustained commitment to democracy and human rights, and have demonstrated leadership, integrity and courage in their dedication to democratic values and practices.[15]


Critics charge that the term "democracy assistance" and "democracy building" are rhetorically employed to overpower nationalist and socialist resistance to US economic and cultural domination, particularly in Russia.[16]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]