IRI Overview

IRI strengthens democracy by empowering citizens, bolstering democratic governance, and making leaders more accountable to their people.  For nearly 40 years, we have helped activists and elected officials foster healthy democratic competition, increase transparency and accountability in government decision-making, and promote inclusivity in civic and political life. 

Our staff and local partners are committed to IRI’s mission of advancing freedom and democracy around the globe. We are a people-focused organization that fosters participation, innovation, and creativity among individuals and institutions seeking to make an impact in their country’s political and civic development.

Regional and technical teams lead IRI’s programming in more than 100 countries around the world. Our programs are based on the latest evidence, tailored to local context, and designed to achieve sustainable impact. Our approach focuses on equipping and empowering local partners to take ownership of their democratic destiny.

IRI’s Center for Global Impact is comprised of thematic experts, researchers, and global project staff who cultivate innovative, evidence-based programming approaches, tools, and resources that help IRI address emerging trends and challenges to democracy.

Research and qualitative and quantitative public opinion data are a cornerstone of IRI’s approach to programming.  IRI’s Center for Insights and Survey Research (CISR) leads the Institute’s efforts and to date, IRI has polled more than 1.5 million citizens through more than 1,000 polls in over 100 countries. 

IRI’s Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) was founded in 2006 to inspire and equip women with the skills they need to participate in and assume greater leadership roles in government, political parties, and civil society in the countries they call home. IRI’s global youth network Generation Democracy engages, empowers and connects youth from around the world to foster their involvement in political and civic processes. IRI is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy, founded in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan and the United States Congress to foster the infrastructure of democracy around the world.

What We DoTechnical Areas

IRI strengthens democracy by implementing programming grounded in the latest evidence, tailored to local context, and designed to achieve sustainable impact. We rely on local partners and activists to identify needs and craft approaches best suited for their environment.

IRI has applied these tenets to develop approaches specific to each of its priority technical areas, from countering foreign authoritarian influence to combating kleptocracy and corruption.

Citizen-Centered Governance Programs

Citizen-Centered Governance Updates

Civil Society Programs

Civil Society Updates

Conflict Prevention and Stabilization Programs

Conflict Prevention and Stabilization Updates

Countering Foreign Authoritarian Influence Programs

Countering Foreign Authoritarian Influence Updates

Election Integrity Programs

Center for Global Impact

The International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Global Impact cultivates innovative, evidence-based programming and provides resources, tools, and expertise to…

Election Integrity Updates

Independent Media Programs

Independent Media Updates

In Focus: Ira Sobeukum

In the early 2010s, Abi Yerusa “Ira” Sobeukum was reassessing her position within East Nusa Tenggara’s sociopolitical scene. On one…

Political Inclusion Programs

Political Inclusion Updates

Political Party Programs

Political Parties Updates

Research, Learning, and Evaluation Programs

Research, Learning, and Evaluation Updates

Technology and Democracy Programs

Technology and Democracy Updates

Women’s Political Leadership and Gender Equality Programs

Women’s Political Leadership and Gender Equality Updates

At the Precipice of Peru’s Democracy

Over the past decade, Peru’s democratic institutions have faced copious challenges, from political deadlocks to high-level corruption scandals. Accordingly, citizens’…

Youth Participation Programs

Youth Participation Updates

Initiatives from IRI

IRI’s initiatives, including the Center for Global Impact, the Center for Survey Research, the Women’s Democracy Network, and the Transatlantic Strategy Division focus on areas of particular importance in building strong and resilient democracies. In a small sampling, their work ranges from data accumulation to countering malign false information to the creation of evidence-based programs and more.


Center for Global Impact

The International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Global Impact cultivates innovative, evidence-based programming and provides resources, tools and expertise to IRI staff to advance democracy worldwide.


Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR)

Research and qualitative and quantitative public opinion data is a cornerstone of IRI’s approach to programming. Our data helps put citizens’ needs at the center of the political debate and guides our projects’ goals.


Transatlantic Strategy

Today, perhaps more than ever before, Transatlantic solidarity remains crucial to defending the tenets of democratic governance and safeguarding the rule of law and fundamental human freedoms.

Women's Democracy Network Header


Women’s Democracy Network

We connect women to their best resource: each other. With active members in more than 80 countries and chapters in 14 countries, WDN is creating the next generation of women leaders.

Two men sit on a bench with a camera pointed at them to talk about independent media efforts

Independent Media

Independent media plays a vital role in strengthening democracy by producing widely accessible information free of institutional bias, promoting transparency…

Ladies talk to a man outside

Civil Society

Globally, restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, and association are shrinking the space for people to advocate for themselves. To…

A burqa-clad woman casts her vote during Pakistan's general election

Election Integrity

Electoral integrity, a critical aspect of democratic governance, is increasingly jeopardized by a proliferating range of domestic and foreign threats.…

Two people hold up certificates

Political Parties

Competitive, issue-based political parties organize democracy by providing meaningful choices for voters, linking disparate citizen interests, engaging citizens in the…