A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, IRI advances freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections, democratic governance and the rule of law.
For nearly 30 years, IRI has been helping to spread democracy through trainings by volunteer experts from all over the world on political party and candidate development, good governance practices, civil society development, civic education, women’s and youth leadership development, electoral reform and election monitoring, and political expression in closed societies. IRI has conducted programs in more than 100 countries and, along with the Women's Democracy Network, is currently active in more than 75 countries.
IRI is a 501(c)(3). IRI receives its funding through grants from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and the National Endowment for Democracy. Less than one percent of IRI’s funding comes from private donations. IRI does not receive any money from the Republican Party, IRI is a nonpartisan organization, not affiliated with any political party.
IRI continues to support the consolidation of democratic gains in transitioning African states by promoting free, transparent elections and increasing the ability of political parties to recognize and effectively champion the needs of constituents, particularly among youth, women and marginalized groups. IRI also focuses on promoting democratic governance, working with government, civil society and citizens to find common solutions to problems facing municipalities.
IRI assists countries throughout Asia that have undergone transitions to democracy as well as those taking steps toward democracy by encouraging transparency, pluralism, open elections and democratic governance. In an effort to improve political processes, promote good governance, increase government accountability and enhance civic engagement, IRI supports and provides expertise to elected representatives, political parties, civil society, women and youth.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet republics have moved at varying speeds in democratic development. The Baltic States are European democracies, Belarus lies as an outpost of dictatorial tyranny and Ukraine faces difficulty in consolidating democratic gains. Other countries have proven prone to authoritarian backsliding. Against this backdrop, IRI promotes the development of a democratic culture among electorates, political parties and governments, and conducts democratic governance programming in countries where political transitions have taken place: Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.
IRI helps develop mature political parties in Europe that can mobilize voters and design effective policies. IRI polling and trainings help parties better respond to the public’s concerns and compete for votes as well as strengthen institutions to promote more effective democratic governance. To expand political participation, IRI supports civil society organizations that advocate for the interests of women, youth and the disabled.
Latin America and the Caribbean
IRI works to expand the reach of political parties and civil society, including women, youth and marginalized populations. IRI also conducts innovative good governance programs that help government officials respond to citizens’ needs with accountability and transparency, while helping citizens participate democratically in government planning and decision-making.
Middle East and North Africa
The desire for democratic change has taken root among people in the Middle East and North Africa. IRI programs – ranging from training political parties in Tunisia, to governance assistance in Oman, to public opinion research in Pakistan – are meeting and maximizing the diverse political openings that characterize the region.
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