Frequently Asked Questions

What is IRI?

Established in April 1983, IRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, assisting citizens to participate in government planning, and working to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process – including women and youth. 

IRI encourages democracy in places where it is absent, helps democracy become more effective where it is in danger, and shares best practices where democracy is flourishing.

What type of work does IRI do?

For 30 years, IRI has been helping to spread democracy through workshops by volunteer experts from all over the world on political party and candidate development, democratic governance practices, civil society development, civic education, women’s and youth leadership development, electoral reform and election monitoring, and political expression in closed societies.

How many countries does IRI work in?

IRI has conducted programs in more than 100 countries and, along with the Women's Democracy Network, is currently active in more than 80 countries. 

Where does IRI get its funding?

IRI is a 501(c)(3).  IRI receives its funding through grants from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, a number of European foundations and aid agencies and other Western countries, and the United Nations.  Less than one percent of IRI’s funding comes from private donations.  IRI does not receive any money from the Republican Party.   

Is IRI a part of the Republican Party?

No, IRI is a nonpartisan organization, not affiliated with any political party.

Who is on the Board of Directors?

IRI’s Board of Directors is chaired by U.S. Senator John McCain and includes former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Berry Newman, former Chairman of the Republican Party Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., members of the U.S. Congress, and individuals from the private sector with backgrounds in international relations, business and government.

How many people work for IRI?

IRI employs more than 400 people worldwide.  In addition, IRI organizes hundreds of volunteers for international training and election observer missions.