Who we are and What we do
Democracy greatly lessens the likelihood of conflict between nations, and of want within nations. For more than a quarter century, therefore, IRI has helped men and women working to bring liberty to their lands. We know that they, not we, have made the majority of countries around the globe free. As many attest however, IRI has been an important part of a democratic wave that was once unthinkable.
We’ve been able to help people abroad accomplish their idealistic goals because our talented staff and dedicated volunteers have a pragmatic, consistent philosophy.
First, IRI works in countries important to U.S. interests, where we can make a difference.
Second, IRI focuses on three tasks: helping political parties broaden their appeal, ensuring that they rule justly once elected and aiding civil society in guaranteeing good governance.
Third, IRI can help catalyze the efforts of democratic activists in a country — so long as they want change more than we want it for them. We cannot implant democracy.
Fourth, we understand in doing our work that it is their country, not ours. America’s democratic institutions differ from those of our mother country, the United Kingdom; other nations will adopt and adapt democratic methods and forms to fit their unique historical experiences and culture. For this reason, we impart global experiences and knowledge.
Fifth, we must have patience; we are prepared if necessary to work in a country for many years to help those struggling to gain democracy.