We envision a world where democracy and freedom prevail, with dignity for all.



We work in partnership around the world to strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions,  processes, norms and values to secure a better quality of life for all. 



NDI believes there is no single democratic model, but that certain core values are essential to all democracies, including:

  • Accountability: Leaders are responsive to the public interest and people are able to hold their leaders responsible for their conduct through institutionalized checks and balances including regular, inclusive elections that are competitive and credibly reflect popular will;
  • Transparency: Political activity is open and subject to public oversight;
  • Equity: All people are treated justly and in accordance with their diverse conditions;
  • Inclusion: Diverse voices and views are sought, respected and incorporated;
  • Pluralism: Free, open, and peaceful competition of ideas is universally embraced;
  • Civic Participation: People are able to exercise their political and civic rights and responsibilities freely,  and do so actively and respectfully;
  • Rule of Law: Laws promulgated by duly elected representatives are consistent with universal human rights principles, adjudicated independently and enforced equally.


NDI’s Guiding Principles:

Our guiding principles spell out how we translate values of democracy into our work with one another and our partners to achieve our mission. 

Teamwork: We are committed as individuals and collectively to collaborate collegially across geographies, expertise and experiences toward achievement of our mission. 

Partnership: We place priority on our partners worldwide as the centerpiece of our global mission and programming, as they are the experts on their own experience. We are open to working with all civic and political actors that support peaceful democratic change.   Empowering them is the key for democracy and freedom to prevail. 

Quality: We strive individually and collectively for excellence through research-based innovation and thought leadership, creatively learning and adapting based on evidence and respect for local context.  

Responsibility: We are individually and collectively responsible for our behaviors, actions, and the consequences of our actions to each other and to anyone with whom we interact. We act at all times in ways that promote the security and well being of our colleagues as well as those who support or benefit from our work, adhering to “do no harm”principles.

Integrity: We conduct our work based on the ethics of honesty and openness free from conflicts of interest and in the service of our mission. 

Respect: We respect all political views and act with humility. We treat our colleagues and all persons with whom we interact with dignity.

NDI is committed to ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are reflected in all aspects of the Institute’s work, including in the delivery or execution of NDI’s public-facing events such as panels, webinars, and international delegations.

NDI will seek to proactively secure diversity (e.g. racial, ethnic, gender, disability, etc.) among participants, whether they are speakers, panelists, audience members, or involved in some other capacity or role.

NDI also will proactively seek to engage and include members of marginalized or impacted groups whose life experiences would add value to topical discussions so their voices are included and amplified as part of our work.