National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

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The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) is

"a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government."[1]

NDI is one of the main components of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); that is, NED chanels its funds through four organizations, and NDI is one of them. The NED is US-government funded, but NDI doesn't have to disclose its funding/activities to the US government.


NDI's activities fall under the rubric of "political, civic and governance reform".

  • Supplying election observers: Election observers either validate the election of someone who the US government would like to see elected/remain in power, or they can undermine election results of "wrong" candidates. Validating election results of favored US clients are referred to as demonstration elections.[2][3]
  • Funding voter training: Where the US is attempting to create a political framework compatible with its interests, it is willing to create and fund parties. [4]
  • Fostering civil society groups: assisting in the formation of civil society groups that might prove divisive or politically harmful to groups opposed by the US.[5]

Contact details

2030 M Street, NW, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20036-3306
Phone: (202) 728-5500

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. NDI: About Us
  2. NDI has supplied election observers for the Nicaraguan elections.[1]. (Account of NDI's activities)
  3. NDI supplied 80 observers working in tandem with the Carter Center for the Palestinian 2005 elections. NDI was also instrumental in setting up the Civic Forum, a Palestinian grassroots civic education program [2]. The NDI contingent was led by Patrick Merloe, NDI Director for Elections Program. NB: Most of the same group of observers had just spent a weeks observing the recent elections in Ukraine. Source:, 10 January 2005
  4. In the case of Iraq, Les Campbell, the NDI's Iraq manager, told The Independent his organisation had only spent money on voter training. No money had been spent to fund political parties, he said." Source: Andrew Buncombe, "Iranian and Saudi cash weighs against local parties", The Independent, 29 January 2005.
  5. Take this for example: Hayya Bina: Civil Group formation in Lebanon

External links