Democracy Gateway (2003)

Annotated Links to International Governmental and Non-governmental Organizations


National and International Governmental Organizations

Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI), Australia
A governance training center initiated by the Australian government to answer the needs of developing countries in Asia-Pacific seeking to develop good governance and democratic institutions. Work focuses on parliamentary and judicial processes but also addresses civil society, open media, human rights, and accountability issues. The site contains information about regional and thematic support projects, and offers research papers on democracy topics.

Democracy Program, Commonwealth Secretariat, UK
A voluntary intergovernmental organization that, besides many other programs and goals, aims to promote democracy in member countries through advocacy of democratic principles and practical action. Site offers official election reports from a number of member states.

Sample resources:

European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), European Commission, Belgium
A European Union program that aims to promote and support human rights and democracy in countries beyond the Union. Its numerous democracy projects around the world focus on the strengthening of democratization, good governance, civil society, and the rule of law. Site offers information about the background, content, and results of EIDHR projects.

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Sweden
An intergovernmental organization (with over 20 member states from all continents) that seeks to support sustainable democracy worldwide, with a particular focus on countries in Sub-Saharan-Africa, South-East-Asia, Latin America, and the Caucasus. Current areas of activity include electoral systems and management, political participation, democracy indicators and assessment, and post-conflict democracy building and dialogue. Site offers comprehensive handbooks on democratic issues, country-specific democracy reports, election analysis, and forum and conference reports.

Sample resources:

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Poland
The principle institution of the intergovernmental OSCE responsible for building, strengthening, and promoting democracy in its member states. Site provides extensive field reports, working papers, and contact information in the fields of election observation and assistance, democratization, human rights, and Roma and Sinti issues.

Sample resource:

Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, Organization of American States (OAS), USA
Arm of the Organization of the American States responsible for providing advice and assistance in support of democratic consolidation in its member states, and for promoting information exchange between the region's institutions and democracy experts. Site offers reports from three program areas: strategic programs for democratic strengthening, strengthening of electoral processes and systems, and information and dialogue on democracy.

Electoral Assistance Division, United Nations, USA
Division of the United Nations providing advice and assistance on the legal, technical, administrative, and human rights aspects of organizing and conducting democratic elections in member countries. Site contains guidelines for UN electoral assistance, explanations of the types of assistance available, and reports from the Secretary General.

UN Development Program (UNDP)
Organization drawing on the convening power of the UN to bring people and nations together to build partnerships and share ways to strengthen electoral and legislative systems, improve access to justice and public administration, and improve accountability and effectiveness at all levels of government. Site provides detailed insight into the nature and goals of different UNDP activities aimed at enhancing democratic governance.

Sample resources:

Office of Democracy and Governance Program, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USA
Arm of USAID focusing on promoting democracy and good governance abroad. Activities center on four goals: strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights, promoting more genuine and competitive elections and political processes, developing a more politically active civil society, and promoting more transparent and accountable governance. Site offers publications and news on all projects, sorted by regions, as well as a special section on linkages between various USAID programs that aim to promote democracy and good governance.

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), U.S. Department of State, USA
The U.S. government's primary democracy advocate, committed to supporting and promoting democracy programs throughout the world. Site offers country-specific reports, information on the use of the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, which DRL oversees, and on the Community of Democracies Project, an annual gathering of nations that share a commitment to building and strengthening democracy in their own countries as well as globally.


Non-Governmental Organizations

Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), Bulgaria
A non-partisan, interdisciplinary public policy institute dedicated to promoting the values of democracy and a market economy in the reform process in Bulgaria. Site offers insight into the challenges of democratic transition in Southeastern Europe from the perspective of local scholars and policy-makers, focusing in particular on the problem of corruption, on economic and judicial reform, and on European integration.

Center for the Study of Democracy, USA
Organization located at the University of California, Irvine. It sponsors student and faculty research aimed at promoting democracy in the U.S. and abroad. Site offers research papers on democratic development, social movements and collective action, race, ethnicity and democracy, and the economics of governance. It also offers a helpful Virtual Library on Democracy, with links to a variety of Internet information sources that address issues of democratic politics.

Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), USA
A non-profit organization dedicated to studying Islamic and democratic political thought and merging them into a modern Islamic democratic discourse. CSID employes a diverse group of U.S. academicians, professionals, and activists to produce scholarly research and to disseminate information within the mainstream American community about Islam's approach to democracy.

Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD), USA
A non-governmental organization formed to support collaboration between governments and democracy advocates in building an effective worldwide community of democratic nations based on the initiative of the 2000 Warsaw Community of Democracies Conference. Site reports on the progress of the Community of Democracies and on wider democratic developments around the world. In addition, it provides links to U.S. government publications about democracy and to conferences and seminars on democracy issues.

Sample resources:

Democracy and Human Rights, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA
The Democracy and Rule of Law Project is a leading source for independent research, writing, analysis, and discussion on democracy promotion -especially in the Middle East. It examines efforts by the United States and other international actors to promote democracy abroad, distilling knowledge about what works and what does not. The project focuses on the areas of: Political Change in the Middle East, Rule of Law, State Reconstruction, Political Party Development, The Challenge of Semi-Authoritarianism, and Democracy Promotion under Bush.

Sample resources:

Freedom House, USA
A non-profit, nonpartisan organization that works to advance the worldwide expansion of political and economic freedom through an array of international programs and publications. Site offers a large pool of democracy news and program reports, including Freedom House's well-known annual worldwide surveys and country rankings on political and civil rights.

Sample resources:

International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), USA
A nonprofit organization that provides professional advice and technical assistance in promoting democracy and serves as an information clearinghouse on elections, rule of law, governance, and civil society. With field offices in more than thirty-five countries, IFES is one of the world's leading centers for election information and resources.

Sample resources:

International Republican Institute (IRI), USA
A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing democracy worldwide. Site offers information about IRI programs in over fifty countries. These programs include: training citizens in political party building, monitoring elections, teaching communication practices, organizing civil society and grassroots efforts, working with women and youth to increase their political participation, and conducting legal, legislative and electoral reform work.

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), USA
A nonprofit organization associated with the U.S. Democratic Party, with the mission of providing practical assistance to leaders worldwide to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Site fully explains the rationale of NDI's programs, and offers a large resource collection titled Access Democracy, with training material and reports from NDI projects as well as Internet links to democracy topics.

National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USA
A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization aimed at strengthening democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. Its three major programs are the Grant Program, which funds other democracy-promoting organizations; the International Forum for Democratic Studies; and the World Movement for Democracy, which offers regional and functional networking of democracy NGOs and regularly highlights the activities of these organizations. The NED also publishes the Journal of Democracy.

Sample resources:

OpenDemocracy.net, UK
A non-profit, non-partisan online global magazine of politics and culture offering over 1,500 free articles written by world-class scholars, philosophers, politicians, business leaders, and key activists from across the political and global spectrum. The site's strength lies in its interactive character: visitors can submit work to the editors and participate in the numerous discussion forums online. Its Democracy and Power theme -- with a pool of articles, online debates, and research links -- is especially useful for democracy scholars.

Sample resources:

Democratic Coalition Project, Open Society Institute (OSI), USA
Project initiated by a major U.S.-based NGO with the aim of seeking to build open democratic societies by supporting national and international civil society coalitions that promote democratic reforms at home and abroad. Site provides information and reports about the Coalition Project's regional and global programs, and a well-organized Resources Page, with links to general topics, books, events, and organizations worldwide.

Sample resources:

Partners for Democratic Change, USA
An international organization committed to building sustainable local capacity to advance civil society by promoting democratic participatory change and conflict management worldwide. Site provides detailed reports of the work involved in realizing field projects, such as setting up new local institutions and training individual practitioners for conflict resolution and public policy promotion. The organization operates projects on five continents, with a focus on Eastern, Southeastern, and Central European countries.

Sample resources:

The Democracy Collaborative, USA
A non-profit organization hosted by the University of Maryland that brings together more than twenty of the world's leading academic centers and citizen engagement organizations for a broad range of theoretical and practical programs aimed at strengthening democracy locally, nationally, and globally. Site offers a small number of publications about democratic citizenship, civic engagement, and civic globalism.

Sample resources:

Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), UK
A nongovernmental organization that provides assistance in building and strengthening pluralist democratic institutions worldwide. It funds a wide range of organizations and projects, such as political parties, legal reforms, and human rights groups. Site offers detailed information about the WFD's funding areas, support methods, and activity goals.

Personal Web Sites

Elections and Electoral Systems Worldwide, UK
Hosted by Richard Kimber, a retired British university professor, the site provides links to hundreds of election related sites on the Internet, listed by general category and by country.

Elections Around the World, Netherlands
Hosted by Dutch journalist Wilfried Derksen, the site offers an array of information about elections around the world, a directory of worldwide parties and parliaments, access to political databases, and other election-related resources.

Read More: Democracy, Empire, Democracy Promotion

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