National Democratic Institute

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National Democratic Institute
National Democratic Institute (NDI) Logo.jpg
Abbreviation NDI
Formation 1983
Type non-profit
Madeleine K. Albright
Kenneth D. Wollack

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] 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]

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]

NDI, loosely affiliated to the Democratic Party,[6] is a "cooperating organization" with the Liberal International.[7]


NDI works with political parties, civic groups, parliaments and other organizations and individuals in more than 70 countries. NDI works with local partners to encourage community dialogues, observe elections, increase citizen participation, and improve the responsiveness of government.[8]

Sources of funding[edit]

NDI receives financial support from The National Endowment for Democracy,[9] the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),[10] the U.S. Department of State,[11] and the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS).[12] Furthermore, NDI receives contributions from governments, foundations, multilateral institutions, corporations, organizations, and individuals. Some of these governments and multilateral institutions include the Government of Australia,[13] Government of Denmark,[14] and Government of Belgium.[15]

NDI Board of Directors & Senior Advisory Committee[edit]

Awards, events, and honors[edit]

  • Madeleine K. Albright Grant: Every year 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.[18]
  • Andi Parhamovich Fellowship: In 2007 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.[19]
  • W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award: Each year NDI hosts a dinner to recognize innovators and activists in the field of democracy. At the dinner, 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.[20]


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.[29] Some would argue that this criticism falls short of explaining NDI's suppression by regimes that are anti-Russian, such as in Azerbaijan.[30]

The NDI was expelled from Cambodia in August 2017.[31]


In 30 years, the National Democratic Institute has worked in 132 countries and territories around the world and supported the efforts of 15,000 civic organizations, 850 political parties and organizations, 10,000 legislators, and 1,300 women's organizations. Furthermore, NDI has organized over 150 international election observer delegations in over 62 countries. NDI has monitored over 340 referenda and elections and trained over 3 million election observers in over 85 countries. Furthermore, they have helped partner groups organize 300 candidate debates in over 35 countries.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ About NDI 
  2. ^ NDI: What We Do 
  3. ^ About NDI 
  4. ^ Idea to Reality: NED at 25 
  5. ^ NED: History 
  6. ^ FAQs Archived 2015-08-01 at the Wayback Machine. at
  7. ^ "Cooperating Organisations". Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  8. ^ About NDI 
  9. ^ "NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY". Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Agency for International Development". Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Department of State". Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  12. ^ "Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening | NDI". Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  14. ^ "Government and Politics-The official website of Denmark". Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  15. ^ "The federal government". 2014-11-24. Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  16. ^ NDI: Board of Directors 
  17. ^ "NDI Board of Directors: Richard Blum". National Democratic Institute. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  18. ^ Madeleine K. Albright Grant 
  19. ^ Andi Parhamovich Fellowship 
  20. ^ Citation|title=Harriman Democracy Award|url=
  21. ^ "NDI To Honor Archbishop Tutu, Women's League of Burma | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  22. ^ "Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  23. ^ "Jimmy Carter | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  24. ^ "Václav Havel | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  25. ^ "Bill Clinton | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  26. ^ "Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  27. ^ "Aung San Suu Kyi | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  28. ^ "Madeleine K. Albright, Chairman | NDI". Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  29. ^ The Myths of ‘Democracy Assistance’: U.S. Political Intervention in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe, Gerald Sussman, Monthly Review, December 2006.
  30. ^ "Baku officially closes office of U.S. National Democratic Institute". Panorama. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Cambodia's government asks the courts to abolish the opposition". The Economist. 12 October 2017. 
  32. ^ "2014 NDI 30th Anniversary Report". Retrieved 2016-11-06. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]