Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a not-for-profit organisation and think tank registered in Berlin, which has been established in January 2006. DRI promotes political participation of citizens, accountability of state bodies and the development of democratic institutions worldwide.
DRI has assessed and accompanied electoral processes as part of wider political transitions since 2005 in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the MENA region. DRI anchors all its work on international and human rights conventions and routinely focuses on the analysis and improvement of the broader framework for elections. This includes advocating with political actors for electoral reforms, often as follow-up to recommendations by election observers, and supporting the establishment of advocacy platforms by civil society groups and domestic observers. From a legislative view, DRI conducts numerous critical analyses of states’ electoral legal frameworks and reports on the performance of election administration. DRI has also partnered with states’ election management bodies to build government capacity, bringing electoral standards in line with international best practices.
To include all stakeholders, DRI has worked with media to ensure effective reporting on electoral reforms, as well conducted outreach and awareness raising campaigns to reach the wider public – fostering electoral discussions and debates to enhance knowledge and trust in the electoral process. DRI also has a track record of electoral assistance to election management bodies or to analyse and enhance electoral technology.
DRI has since its inception had a special focus on election observation, not only as an active contributor to EU electoral missions (ExMs, EEMs, EFMs) under FWC Lot 7 and Lot 12 (2009-13). DRI has trained observers in electoral observation and monitoring in numerous countries, often as part of larger capacity-building programmes for civil society. This included the design of tailor-made observation methodologies, using international electoral standards and best practice, training of trainers, direct organisational support and training of core teams of experts from each of these CSOs, including in the fields of social media and election technologies.
DRI is also a recognised European leader in developing and anchoring social media monitoring in international and domestic election observation, bringing together a community of practice, and to discuss and inform regulatory efforts to safeguard a democratic debate online. DRI has itself monitored social media discourse and disinformation in election across Europe and worldwide. Since 2018 DRI has been strengthening capacities of civil society in many countries to monitor social media during elections, gathering expert organisations, producing methodologies and informing the public, expert and legislative debate. It has also contributed to the developments by EODS II of the methodological approach to social media monitoring/observation of online election content for EU EOMs.
DRI has a long-standing expertise in managing and co-implementing large EU facilities, including the multi-country “Promoting human and labour rights through GSP+” (EIDHR, 2016-20), “Supporting Democracy – A Citizen Organisations´ Programme” (2015-19) and “Support Facility to EU Delegations in the update, implementation and monitoring of their Country Roadmaps for Engagement with Civil Society Organisations” (2016-20).
Currently, the organisation has country offices in Ukraine, Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan.