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About us

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide.

International IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, and assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics.

Overview

What is International IDEA?

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is the only global intergovernmental organization with the mission to support sustainable democracy worldwide as its sole mandate. Its vision is to be the primary global actor in sharing comparative knowledge and experience in support of democracy. International IDEA’s objectives are to support stronger democratic institutions and processes, and sustainable, effective and legitimate democracy.

In particular, it aims for:

  • Increased capacity, legitimacy and credibility of democracy
  • More inclusive participation and accountable representation
  • More effective and legitimate democracy cooperation

What does International IDEA do?

International IDEA develops, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise:

  • electoral processes,
  • constitution building,
  • political participation and representation, and
  • democracy and development.

It also addresses the important issues of gender, diversity, and conflict and security as they relate to democracy.

It utilizes comparative knowledge to:

  • advance global, regional and national debates on democracy,
  • facilitate and substantiate dialogue among global, regional, national and local actors to support democratic change, and
  • partner with stakeholders working for democratic reform at the country level.

How does International IDEA work?

International IDEA is an advocate for democracy as the political system of choice. Democracy – to be sustainable – needs to develop within societies. Democracy comes in multiple forms and these forms are in constant evolution. There is no single and universally applicable model of democracy and there is no end point in the process of improving democracy.

International IDEA takes an impartial and collaborative approach to democracy support. The critical choices are best made and the quality of democracy best gauged by the citizens themselves. International IDEA’s work reflects this by focusing on the citizen as the driver of change.

International IDEA emphasizes full and equal participation and representation of women and men; inclusiveness with regard to the many expressions of diversity in democracy; and the multiple interlinkages between democracy support, peace building, state building, development and the rule of law. It also helps to enhance the political will that is required for democratic reform.

Where does International IDEA work?

International IDEA is a global organization. It has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and has offices in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and West Asia and North Africa. International IDEA is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations.

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