WHO WE ARE?
We are a global network of concerned citizens who want to empower those who fight for freedom and democracy.
ANNUAL REPORT 2022
The year 2022 was a year of existential crisis for democracy around the world. A looming recession, an unresolved energy crisis, an impending climate catastrophe, and the outbreak of the most destructive conflict in Europe since World War II all pose existential challenges to democratic societies. Trust in democratic politics, politicians and institutions is at an all-time low.
Encouragingly, however, concerned citizens are fighting back. All over the world, people organize successfully outside traditional party structures, especially the youth who are on the front lines fighting for democracy in key battleground states. We have founded Action for Democracy to lend a helping hand in that struggle.
Download our complete annual report below to learn more about our work.
Anti-democratic forces are on the march globally. From the storming of the capital in the US through the racist speech of Hungary’s leader echoing Nazi rhetoric, Poland’s judiciary under attack, democratic institutions under siege in Brazil, to the actual and potential aggression of dictatorships such as China and Russia, democratic institutions, the rule of law, credible elections, human rights, and independent media are under a concerted siege all over the world. The war in Ukraine has brought the battle between democracy and autocracy into an even sharper focus. Trust in democratic politicians and institutions are at an all-time low, hobbling the ability of democracies to defend themselves against the enthusiasm of nationalist-populists. All the while autocrats around the world increasingly aid and abet each other, forming a global cabal, and exchanging best practices on repression and corruption. Our freedom and very way of life is under threat. The task that falls on us is no less than to turn the tide against national populism and autocratic regimes. We believe the antidote lies in activating our citizens. Our publics are frustrated about democratic delivery deficit at home, but still support defending it abroad as they understand the deeply intertwined world we live in. How Brazil’s democracy goes will have repercussions for German and Italian democrats and vice versa. But our political leaders - while many are well intentioned - and our institutions - weakened and increasingly untrusted - will be insufficient by themselves. Citizen activism rooted in solidarity and straddling borders is needed to create momentum, generate political support and prompt action. Simply put: we who care deeply about democracy need to unite!
OUR LATEST NEWS
We work to empower people to become active citizens in their democracies. Our work is around three pillars:
We advocate for critical policies in key capitals to mobilize support for pro-democracy actors, and constrain anti-democracy actors in their ability to erode democratic institutions.
OUR MISSION AND OBJECTIVES
Our mission is to activate the power of our citizens and build a global pro-democracy solidarity movement committed to promoting democratic values and institutions and pushing back against the rising threat of autocracy worldwide.
United we mobilize material and financial support for and advocate for more robust support of pro-democracy actors on the ground in the battleground states in the global fight for democracy.
Democracy, as a system of government, is ever evolving. However, democratic freedoms have been downsliding worldwide for the past sixteen years. In 2021, the Freedom House reported that twice as many countries lost civil liberties and freedoms compared to those that improved them. According to the Economist's Democracy Index 2021 less than half, or 45.7% of the world's population now live in a democracy of some sort, a decline from 2020 where the figure was 49.4%.
Broaden democratic participation
Promote free and fair elections
RULE OF LAW
Encourage transparent and accountable government
Combat hate, fear and exclusion
OUR VALUES AND BELIEFS
Democracy (from Greek demo- kratía) dēmos 'people' and kratos 'rule’, is as Winston Churchill stated, the worst form of government, except for all the others.
We believe that for all the flaws and imperfections, the individual if free from all forms of oppression is the key driver in the development of a self-actualizing, peaceful and stable society.
It is why we hold dear the belief that the rights of the individual ought to be protected, and it is why we advocate for action, as no democracy exists in a vacuum nor can it healthily function with an idle population. A thriving democracy is dependent on an active and informed citizen who expresses either its grievances or support through the political process using liberal institutional mechanisms.
Considering the fragile and contentious nature of democracy, we believe democracy today more than ever requires our most acute and active participation to ensure it functions as it is intended too, in the interest of the people and by people.
HOW WE FUNCTION -
THINK GLOBALLY ACT GLOBALLY!
Democracy while a local affair governed independently within the confines of the nation-state is an idea that has global consequences and that we believe requires global attention. The idea is simple. To express and make local democratic concerns global concerns. Whether it's anti-LGBT laws in Poland or cracking down on independent media in Brazil, A4D functions as a global platform for amplifying the voices and raising awareness of critical national struggles against anti-democratic forces. By turning local causes into global causes A4D can leverage the power of the community to fund important mobilization campaigns and then channel resources directly to front-line activists and organizations in key battleground states.
A4D functions as a validator of grassroots organizations that would normally never have the reach and opportunity to connect with donors from around the world, but are on the frontlines of the fights with high impact potential.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BOARD PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Our high-level advisory council provides important strategic advice, analysis and advocacy on protecting and strengthening democracy worldwide.The council is not part of day-to-day decision and grant making at Action for Democracy and are not privy to the details of our supporting activities in our focus countries.
ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBER
Kati Marton is a Hungarian-American author and journalist. She is a former chairwoman of the International Women's Health Coalition, and a director (former chairwoman) of the Committee to Protect Journalists and other bodies including the International Rescue Committee, Human Rights Watch, and the New America Foundation.
GLOBAL TESTIMONIALS - WE THE PEOPLE!
Democracy is about us, and in the words of the United Nations Charter, is about ‘we the peoples.’ The voices and visions of all will be required as we listen to each other, share insights, harness ingenuity, and build consensus on a global community that we share and live in. We must not remain idle and become complacent observers of the powerful changes around us. Here are some of the voices of democracy that call out a need for global action:
Dookie, Thailand (37)
"As someone working in media my concern has always been freedom of speech. In Thailand, even though we say we have independent media, certain taboo topics are protected by le majesty. Anyone caught saying anything against the monarchy can go to jail. Even though the government doesn’t always enforce the law, as a result of the recent mass protests of a new generation of activists, the law still exists and the fears of going to jail for having an opinion weigh heavy on everyone."
JOIN US! WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Are you a gay-rights activist in Hungary, or a woman’s health organization in Poland !? If you are fighting for issues that connect to the larger story of human rights and democratic values we want to hear from you! We can help put you within the reach of small donors from around the world in a safe and validated format. The bigger the community the bigger our power to fight back against autocratic rule. Together we can act in a way that makes democracy stronger!