2022 Annual Report

In 2022, citizens of some of the most repressive regimes took to the streets in protest of their governments’ actions, risking arrest, violence, and sometimes death. The courage demonstrated by such individuals is a source of continued inspiration for NED’s work supporting freedom around the world.

2021 Annual Report

2021 saw democracy under siege, but despite the challenges, the demand for democracy remains resilient and robust. As freedom is under intensifying pressure globally, NED is innovating to face emerging complex challenges to democracy, ranging from kleptocracy to digital authoritarianism.

2020 Annual Report

Democracy is a very difficult system to maintain, but it is the only system that can secure human freedom, and there is no higher calling than contributing to its development and defense. That’s the NED’s mission, and it’s more important now than ever before.

Journal of Democracy

For more than twenty years, the Journal of Democracy has been a leading voice in the conversation about government by consent and its place in the world. The Journal is published for the National Endowment for Democracy by the Johns Hopkins University Press and is available to subscribers through Project MUSE.

Blog: Democracy Digest

Democracy Digest is the blog of the National Endowment for Democracy, providing news and analysis about democratic ideas and institutions, human rights, civil society, authoritarianism, and related issues.

2019 Annual Report

The past year, like the entire dispiriting decade that has now ended, was a time of deep concern for the future of democracy. Political rights and civil liberties declined for the 14th consecutive year, according to latest Freedom House survey, and the negative global trends that have accounted for the current democratic recession showed no signs of abating.

2018 Annual Report

In recent years, the NED and other organizations working to advance democracy have been challenged by what is commonly called a democratic recession. The term refers to a global crisis of democracy that has a number of different dimensions: the rising power of authoritarian countries such as China and Russia, the backsliding of many new democracies like Hungary and the Philippines, the closing space for independent civic organizations, and a crisis of pluralism in many long established Western democracies.

Global Insights: COVID-19 and the Information Space

The essays in this "Global Insights" series are the product of six workshops held by the International Forum for Democratic Studies during the spring and summer of 2020. These workshops—which gathered civil society representatives, journalists, academics, researchers, donor organizations, and policymakers—aimed to assess the likely challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic would pose to the democratic health and integrity of the “information space,” or the broad public square in which societies exchange information and debate ideas.

New report on COVID-19 and Democracy calls for urgent measures by governments and civil society

A new report, ‘Global Democracy and COVID-19: Upgrading International Support’, highlights how some governments are using the public health crisis to further curtail democratic activities and provides recommendations for policymakers and civil society to counteract the negative impacts of Covid-19 on democracy.


When the National Endowment for Democracy produced its first strategy document in 1992, democracy’s continued expansion appeared inexorable. Nearly three decades later, after years of negative global trends that have been called the democratic recession, such optimism about democracy’s prospects seems profoundly unrealistic. But the recession is being countered today by surprising democratic resilience. Since the spring of 2018, when authoritarian regimes unexpectedly fell in Ethiopia, Armenia, and Malaysia, grassroots movements of protest against corruption and unaccountable autocratic governments have swept through many countries and regions. In this new period, NED plans to focus on six urgent priorities.

Sharp Power and Democratic Resilience Series

International Forum for Democratic Studies' Sharp Power and Democratic Resilience series aims to contextualize the nature of sharp power, inventory key authoritarian efforts and domains, and illuminate ideas for non-governmental action that are essential to strengthening democratic resilience.

2017 Annual Report

For the second consecutive year, NED has funded programs in six strategic areas that help democrats respond to the threat posed by resurgent authoritarianism. The 88 strategic programs that NED supported in 2017 have included: Helping Civil Society Prevail Against the New Repression, Defending the Integrity of the Information Space, Combatting Modern Kleptocracy, Strengthening Democratic Unity in Defense of Democratic Standards and Values, Fostering Ethnic and Religious Pluralism Against Extremist Movements and Strengthening the Capacity for Democratic Governance.

"Sharp Power: Rising Authoritarian Influence": A Forum Report

“Sharp Power: Rising Authoritarian Influence,” a new report published by the International Forum for Democratic Studies, examines Chinese and Russian influence in four young democracies in Latin America and Central Europe.

2016 Annual Report

NED’s principal task during the last year was to analyze the new threats to democracy, work with its core institutes and the NED Board to shape a strategic plan of action, and begin to implement that plan by making “strategic” grants supporting programs to press back against the authoritarian resurgence in the hope of giving new momentum to the global fight for democracy.

2015 Annual Report

The year 2015 ended with a series of reports that certainly made gloomy reading for the world’s democrats. Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2015 survey reported a 10th consecutive year of decline in global freedom; Human Rights Watch’s report on 2015 highlighted a global roll-back of human rights and a “great civil society choke-out;” and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index concluded that “an increased sense of anxiety and insecurity in the face of diverse perceived risks and threats— economic, political, social and security—is undermining democracy.”

2014 Annual Report

2014 marked another challenging year for freedom and democracy. As measured by Freedom House, nearly twice as many countries suffered declines as registered gains in political rights, civil liberties and other democratic standards.

2013 Annual Report

In 2013, the National Endowment for Democracy celebrated 30 years of supporting freedom around the world.

2012 Annual Report

NED marked the year 2012 with celebrations of three key milestones: the 30th anniversary of President Reagan’s Westminster speech that helped launch the idea of a bipartisan institution to advance democracy abroad; the 10th anniversary of the Fellows program named for President Reagan and former congressman Dante Fascell, who had called for establishment of a NED-like body back in the 1960s; and the 5th anniversary of NED’s Center for International Media Assistance.

2011 Annual Report

While responding to the Arab Spring was a priority for NED in 2011, the organization maintained a robust global grants program, with support going to aid democratic efforts in more than 100 countries.

2010 Annual Report

While democracy regressed in many parts of the world and the curbs on NGOs remain a real threat, 2010 has been a year in which civil society and democracy activist have demonstrated impressive levels of vitality and adaptability, and even made progress against authoritarian forces in forbidding circumstances.

2009 Annual Report

The 2009 report reinforces the axiom that democracy is an incremental process, rarely arriving overnight thought a single dramatic event, but rather developing over time through effective groundwork laid at the grassroots.

2008 Annual Report

The 2008 Annual Report highlights much of the day-to-day work of the many democrats working in every corner of the globe.

2007 Annual Report

The programs in this 2007 report offer only glimpses of well over a thousand inspiring and instructive stories of patience, hard work, creativity, and above all, commitment to the ideals that will determine the long-term democratic development of societies world wide.

2006 Annual Report

During 2006, NED and its grantees responded to resistance with an eye toward regaining the forward momentum for democratic progress.

2005 Annual Report

In 2005, the world’s attention was focused upon democratic advances in the Middle East, as Iraqis and Afghans risked their lives to participate in democratic processes once though unimaginable in their countries. But in every corner of the world there were remarkable individual , their stories virtually unknown, who were also advancing the principles of freedom, democracy, and human rights.