The Light of Democratic Movements Overcame the Darkness of Autocrats in 2022

  • Emilia James

Nearly four decades since its founding, the International Republican Institute (IRI) has grown its global footprint by empowering individuals, civil society, political parties, and all those seeking to advance democracy to continue the important fight for freedom. Every year IRI releases numerous reports, polls, toolkits, and more, focused on advancing democracy worldwide. As IRI heads into its 40th year, here is a snapshot of IRI’s work in 2022: 

IRI Stands with the People of Ukraine 

In the wake of Putin’s invasion in February, IRI strongly condemned the attack on Ukraine and has continually called for an end to this unjust war. Two public opinion polls were released in May and August, which clearly express Ukraine’s steadfast belief they will prevail against Moscow’s forces and support for President Zelensky’s leadership.  

The IRI/NDI International Election Observation Mission in Kenya  

IRI and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) joined together to observe the August 9 general elections in Kenya. The delegation released its initial findings on August 11 and recently released its final report with recommendations for the elections. IRI looks forward to another joint mission in Nigeria in 2023.

Coercion, Capture, and Censorship: Case Studies on the CCP’s Quest for Global Influence 

This year’s survey of the PRC’s malign influence efforts analyzes the full suite of PRC influence tactics in 12 countries, their impact on democracy and governance, and the democratic response. The report touches on the tactics that may see a decline in success due to Xi’s autocratic rule and highlights reasons for a hopeful future.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu Visits IRI Headquarters  

Early in December, Moldova’s President Maia Sandu visited IRI in Washington, DC and sat down with IRI President Daniel Twining. The two discussed challenges to good governance and how to build a democratically resilient future in Moldova and around the world, particularly as a result of the war in Ukraine.  

IRI Participates in World Movement for Democracy  

In October, IRI President Daniel Twining, along with Generation Democracy delegates, attended the 11th World Movement Global Assembly in Taipei. “What’s important for the future is the surging bottom-up democratic energy for accountability, change, transparency, inclusion, and a voice for all,” said Twining, speaking with NED.  

Advancing Democracy Worldwide 

IRI worked tirelessly in 2022 to combat corruption and was adamant in its support for champions of democracy across the globe. In May, IRI hosted the John S. McCain Freedom Award to honor some of those heroes. In December, IRI highlighted its work in all regions to fight the corrosive effects of corruption.

The 2022 John S. McCain Freedom Award  

This year’s annual John S. McCain Freedom Award ceremony recognized the 40th anniversary of President Reagan’s Westminster Speech and celebrated democratic heroes around the world. Alexei Navalny was the Freedom Award honoree, while the people of Ukraine and Russian political prisoner Vladmir Kara-Murza were also recognized for their efforts in fighting authoritarianism.    

IRI Fights Corruption Across the Globe 

Integrated in all of IRI’s six regional divisions and four initiatives is an effort to push back and ultimately defeat corruption at all levels of government. By empowering citizens and providing the necessary tools, IRI is able to expose vulnerabilities to corruption and guide communities to develop collaborative plans to address potential problems and foster long-term solutions. Fighting corruption will be an essential part of advancing democracy worldwide in 2023.

International Anti-Corruption Day

IRI’s 2022 by the Numbers  


157,591,776individuals reached through voter and civic education initiatives

5,020 political party members and supporters trained

26,068women engaged in civic and political activism

19,108 youth engaged in civic and political activism

Activities and Initiatives  

711organizations and individuals joined democracy and human rights focused coalitions or networks

759 advocacy initiatives developed or implemented

250laws, policies, and recommendations strengthened or developed with IRI’s support

2022 Poll Highlights

2022 Release Highlights  

View all of IRI’s polls and news releases of 2022: 

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