Blog

By Elizabeth Sutterlin | July 13, 2021
A city overlaid with connected network lines and symbols for cellular technology
5G adoption is happening around the world, even in places with low internet penetration. At the end of 2019, 131 countries had announced plans to invest in 5G, and more than 60 of the 98 countries NDI works in were engaging corporations that have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in their 5G plans. Existing research on 5G has focused almost exclusively on its impacts for international security and economic growth. Little is understood in the democracy donor community about the...
By Kaleigh Schwalbe | July 2, 2021
Countering Disinformation: A guide to promoting information integrity
The Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) launched the Countering Disinformation Guide this April as a one-stop-shop for practitioners and civil society organizations on what is working, and what is not working, in the information space.  The guide was created with funding from USAID in partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).  It...
By Priyal Bhatt | June 29, 2021
CityScape
In an increasingly digitized era, where people use online services daily for everything from doctors to dinners to drivers, government entities at all levels need to keep up to meet their people’s expectations. This shift to digital is a challenge for many cities but also presents an opportunity to prove that democracy delivers and use this digitally connected era to increase understanding of community needs, create effective, equitable, and accessible solutions, and build for a...
By Elizabeth Sutterlin | June 22, 2021
Two hands in front of a computer with a fingerprint scan application open.
A legally recognized form of identification can fundamentally impact our ability to exercise our economic, social, and civil rights in their everyday life. Taking part in many routine tasks - such as accessing social service benefits, receiving medical care, opening a bank account, or even making a phone call - now rely on showing proof of a legal ID. Those without an ID can be barred from these services, as well as from fundamental democratic processes, like  voting, running for office,...
By Jade Collins | June 16, 2021
mountain landscape
Hello! My name is Jade Collins and I’m thrilled to be joining the NDI DemTech team as a Project Assistant.   Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have been immersed in an environment that fosters technology-driven innovation. This part of my identity, combined with my multicultural upbringing, influenced my professional trajectory towards technology and international relations. I have since gained firsthand experience in the use of digital technology for enabling inclusive,...
By Summer Boucher-Robinson | June 10, 2021
voting
Hello, World! My name is Summer Boucher-Robinson, and I’m joining the DemTech team as its newest Project Assistant.  I’ve been interested in politics since well before I could vote. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area to two engineer parents, science and technology have always been highly regarded and thoughtful research has always been a core family value. To their surprise, my parents raised a child who much preferred the social sciences.  Volunteering on President...
By Moira Whelan | June 4, 2021
NDI Presents: The Democracy and Technology Summer Series. Join us for a series of weekly tech briefings all summer long!
It’s finally summer. Time to get outside, and in some places, enjoy a bit of a reprieve from a challenging year. It’s been a tough one, especially for democratic actors around the world. Democratic activists have never been more at risk. Tools to mobilize around democratic activity have never been more prevalent, while the vulnerability to surveillance and disinformation is overwhelming. NDI has worked hard to integrate technology into all of our programs around the world by helping...
By Kaleigh Schwalbe | June 4, 2021
desert highway
Hello, world!  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Senior Program Officer for Information Integrity.  I have become increasingly intrigued by efforts to counter disinformation and other forms of information manipulation online, and I am looking forward to diving in and focusing more on this important issue. My interest in using technology as a tool for promoting social justice and advancing international development began in Arizona, where I served as an online organizer...
By Chris Doten | May 28, 2021
Cover for Red Informacion Issue 25
Written for the Red Informacion digital magazine issue #25 The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating, but the impact of enforced lockdowns and social distancing has led to an unprecedented increase in the innovative use of technology in everyday life. Digital tools, particularly smartphones, have become for many the only way to connect with each other. Our offices have effectively been replaced by phone and video calls, concerts and church services are streamed online, and shopping malls and...
By Moira Whelan | May 25, 2021
Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace
Every partner with which NDI works is facing a challenge that is critical to democracy: advocating for persons with disabilities, ensuring LGBTQI+ and other minority rights, elevating and including the voices of youth, protecting political participation and free expression, and strengthening the relationship between citizens and government to tackle huge challenges like corruption and climate change. These are just a few of the issues keeping us up at night. To address each one of them, a free...
By Chris Doten | May 2, 2021
Upraised hands representing democratic participation
The creation of a system with mathematically provable guarantees of the trustworthiness of data could have enormous potential for supporting democracy, improving government service delivery, fighting corruption, and demonstrating the integrity of elections and political processes. Such a system, of course, already exists: blockchain and distributed public ledger technologies. I'm proud to share this think piece Ben Gregori and I have created on the potential for blockchain in democracy,...
By Elizabeth Sutterlin | February 4, 2021
A phone shows Google's "No internet" error screen, indicating an internet shutdown.
As people in Myanmar woke up to the news of a military coup on Monday, the military had restricted internet access to 50% of the country's normal digital traffic flow. In addition to throttling the internet, a journalist for Reuters tweeted that phone lines and radio services had been cut as well. Although access was restored later on Monday, the military issued an order blocking Facebook and the company's other products (WhatsApp and Instagram) in Myanmar, purportedly for security...