In 2020, despite the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) awarded the highest number of grants in its history to civil society organizations striving to advance democratic principles and human rights. In addition to supporting the work of democrats in 100 countries, NED continued to be an innovative center of related activities, including cutting-edge research and publications, engaging virtual events, fellowships, and other initiatives that connect global democracy activists and scholars.
Here are highlights from NED’s work in 2020 (and don’t miss recent stories from our grantees around the world):
Called to Defend Democracy
In partnership with International IDEA, NED launched a Call to Defend Democracy, uniting more than 500 Nobel Laureates, activists, politicians, and other leaders around the world to bring attention to the serious threats the coronavirus pandemic poses to democracy. (Read the open letter.)
Honored Civil Society Activists in Sudan
NED presented the 2020 Democracy Award to three grantees working tirelessly to strengthen civil society in Sudan—the Regional Centre for Training and Development of Civil Society, the Nuba Women for Education and Development Association, and the Darfur Bar Association. (Watch the 2020 Democracy Awards.)
Studied Sharp Power and Democratic Resilience
NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies launched the Sharp Power and Democratic Resilience series to contextualize the nature of sharp power, inventory key authoritarian efforts and domains, and illustrate ideas for non-governmental action that are essential to strengthening democratic resilience. (Discover the series of reports.)
Celebrated 30 Years of Journal of Democracy
Animated Web Series on Internet Governance
NED’s Center for International Media Assistance launched an animated web series introducing viewers to key issues in internet governance and explaining how they impact broader media development efforts (Watch the videos).
Examined China’s Totalitarianism
The Embassy of Canada and the International Forum for Democratic Studies presented the 17th annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World: “Totalitarianism’s Long Dark Shadow Over China,” featuring China scholar and Claremont McKenna College professor Minxin Pei. (See the lecture.)
Welcomed Key Activists and Scholars
Democracy activists, scholars, and journalists from Indonesia, Nigeria, Colombia, France, Sudan, India, Poland, South Sudan, Argentina, Romania, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, and Hungary participated in the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program.
Engaged Emerging Foreign Policy Leaders
Launched the Crossover Initiative
The World Movement for Democracy launched the Crossover Initiative, highlighting stories of activists from around the world who made the transition from civil society to government during political transitions. (Hear the podcast.)
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