The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government in every region of the world for more than three decades.

Since its founding in 1983, NDI and its local partners have worked to establish and strengthen political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation. The Institute brings together individuals and groups to share ideas, knowledge, experiences and expertise that can be adapted to the needs of individual countries.

The Institute has worked in more than 130 countries, and currently has more than 50 field offices working to strengthen and support democracy around the globe.

NDI works on five continents with political parties, governments, parliaments and civic groups to establish and strengthen democratic institutions and practices. The Institute uses a multinational approach that reinforces the message that while there is no single democratic model, certain core principles are shared by all democracies. That philosophy has been applied in more than 130 countries since NDI’s founding in 1983. More information about NDI's individual country programs can be found by clicking on the map above.

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.

Since Nigeria's 1999 transition from military to civilian rule, NDI has worked closely with civic and political organizations to support the development of the country's democratic institutions. In 2015 and 2011, NDI supported citizen election observer groups to conduct parallel vote tabulations (PVTs), which were the largest ever conducted in the world. NDI’s PVT partner also undertook a unique pre-election observation reporting project, marking the first time a citizen observation group collected systematic data in the pre-election phase. For the 2015 presidential poll and the off-cycle gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, NDI partnered with the Youngstars Development Initiative (YDI) and Nigerian musician 2face Idibia to launch “Vote Not Fight,” to encourage youth’s peaceful participation in elections.  

Also for the Kogi and Bayelsa elections, NDI and the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) launched the “Stop Violence Against Women in Elections” (Stop-VAWIE) campaign to raise awareness and mitigate election motivated attacks against Nigerian women.

Currently, NDI is assisting civil society organizations representing marginalized populations to improve voter polling unit accessibility for persons with disabilities, mainstream gender in local government development projects, and support legislation to lower the age limit of political candidates. NDI is also working to strengthen women’s political participation through support for women in legislatures and political parties at the national and state levels.   

Related publication on NDI's programs in Nigeria.