Our story

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) was founded in 2006 by an international group of experts on democratic governance and elections.

Recognizing a gap in a field that was dominated by big intergovernmental organisations and commercial consultancies, they decided to form a non-governmental, independent organisation that could analyse democratic developments and advise on constitutional and electoral frameworks quickly and flexibly.

Over the years, DRI has broadened its work from research and analysis to direct engagement with partners on the ground to improve democratic structures and safeguards across the countries where we work. It has evolved from a part-time hobby for a handful of people to an organisation with almost 100 staff, spread across eight countries and three continents.

Looking back at the past 15 years, we celebrate the milestones that have brought DRI to where it is today.

Timeline

Jun 2006

DRI is founded in Berlin.

Jan 2010

DRI opens its first country office in Pakistan, working on improving the country’s election framework.

Jun 2011

Following the Arab Spring, DRI opens country offices in Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt. Unfortunately, we leave Jordan and Egypt at some point.

Jan 2012

DRI opens an office in Libya, expanding its activity in North Africa.

Jan 2013

Following a gradual democratic opening, DRI opens an office in Myanmar. 

Jun 2013

DRI, by now incorporated, creates a Supervisory Board to oversee the expanding organisation.

Mar 2014

Following the Euromaidan revolution, DRI opens a country office in Ukraine.

Jan 2016

DRI opens a country office in Sri Lanka.

Jun 2016

DRI opens an office in Lebanon.

Dec 2016

Following the controversial US elections and UK Brexit referendum, DRI starts closely examining the danger of disinformation on social media for democratic discourse and participation.

Jan 2017

DRI embarks on its largest multi-country project yet, promoting human rights through the EU’s GSP+ trade scheme, spreading across nine countries and three continents.

Apr 2020

DRI monitors government responses to the covid-19 pandemic across the globe.

Jun 2021

DRI turns 15 and unveils a new look!

Our approach

Our Vision

We work towards a world that empowers informed people to elect their governments, irrespective of social status, gender, religious belief, ethnicity, age or ability. Our support is grounded in globally agreed principles of democracy.

People participate actively in politics; they are vigilant in the defence of open, accountable, constitutional and representative institutions that work for the common good. These institutions can then anchor democratic change and renewal.

Our Mission

We help build democracy through public debates, widespread participation, and accountable governance.

We support political transformations towards democracy, strengthen democratic processes and institutions, and defend democracy and its institutions against attacks.

We help preserve and expand the democratic space we all share in this polarised world, independent of our political opinions, religious beliefs or personal preferences.

We provide independent factual analysis and expertise as a basis for decision-making.

We do all of this by working closely with civil society, parliamentarians and local authorities.

We never forget that democracy means much more than a ballot cast every few years. We help defend the heart of democracy through social media monitoring, analysis, supporting legal reforms, and involving citizens in election observation.

Beyond supporting the writing and implementation of new constitutions, we help strengthen the rule of law and judicial independence. We also help include civil society and the public in debates on the future of justice. 

We work with people and organisations to make sure that everyone can participate equally in public life, without fear or repression.

We work on decentralisation reforms, strengthening how local governments operate and increasing civic participation to bring democracy closer to people.

We work to make sure that everyone can access the public debate, online and offline, regardless of political opinions or personal beliefs. We do this by countering disinformation, political polarisation and by engaging citizen groups to monitor online content.

Michael Meyer-Resende

Michael Meyer-Resende

Executive Director

Nicola Schmidt

Nicola Schmidt

Director of Programmes

Laura Meyer

Laura Meyer

Director of Finance

Janine Meyer

Janine Meyer

Director of HR & Administration

Adam Cohen

Adam Cohen

Finance & Controlling Manager

Georges El Lati

Georges El Lati

Project Manager Financial Software

Lorand Gyenge

Lorand Gyenge

Programme Finance Coordinator

Selma Kukuruzovic

Selma Kukuruzovic

Programme Finance Coordinator

Jonche Manevski

Jonche Manevski

Programme Finance Coordinator

Inge Ullrich

Inge Ullrich

Finance & Administration Officer

Gerrit Zauke

Gerrit Zauke

Programme Finance Officer

Saw Gabriel

Saw Gabriel

Working Student - Finance Assistant

Shafaq Kiani

Shafaq Kiani

Programme Manager (Asia)

Paul Zoubkov

Paul Zoubkov

Manager (Digital Democracy and Europe Programmes)

Hannah Becker

Hannah Becker

Programme Coordinator (MENA)

Jakub Jaraczewski

Jakub Jaraczewski

Research Coordinator (Rule of Law)

Jesse Lehrke

Jesse Lehrke

Research Coordinator (Digital Democracy)

Madeline Brady

Madeline Brady

Programme Officer (Digital Democracy)

Oumaima Laâraki

Oumaima Laâraki

Programme Officer (MENA)

Christoph Reinke

Christoph Reinke

Programme Officer (Europe)

Cara Hilliges

Cara Hilliges

Working Student (Asia)

Cartney Pacheco

Cartney Pacheco

Programme Associate (Asia)

Carol Stephan

Carol Stephan

Programme Officer (MENA)

Lena-Maria Böswald

Lena-Maria Böswald

Programme Associate (Digital Democracy)

Sorina Matei

Sorina Matei

Programme Officer (Digital Democracy)

Nino Tsereteli

Nino Tsereteli

Research Officer (Rule of Law)

Claire Albiez

Claire Albiez

Human Resources Coordinator

Sandra Frank-Kaspuhl

Sandra Frank-Kaspuhl

Digital Expert

Laura De Vocht

Laura De Vocht

Human Resources & Administration Officer

Gizem Bilim

Gizem Bilim

HR & Administration Assistant

Jil Prillwitz

Jil Prillwitz

Communications Associate

Amanda Siddharta

Amanda Siddharta

Working Student (Communications & Outreach)

Gabriele Geertz

Gabriele Geertz

Board Member

Ambassador Ilkka Uusitalo

Ambassador Ilkka Uusitalo

Chair of the Board

Ghassan E. Moukheiber

Ghassan E. Moukheiber

Board Member

Urdur Gunnarsdottir

Urdur Gunnarsdottir

Board Member

Andrew Bruce

Andrew Bruce

Shareholder

Richard Chambers

Richard Chambers

Shareholder

Michaela Kuefner

Michaela Kuefner

Shareholder

Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf

Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf

Shareholder

Duncan Pickard

Duncan Pickard

Shareholder

Zsuzsanna Szelenyi

Zsuzsanna Szelenyi

Shareholder

Geoffrey Weichselbaum

Geoffrey Weichselbaum

Shareholder

Safeguarding

Safeguarding

At Democracy Reporting International, we uphold a zero-tolerance of abuse in our organisation and programmes. This means that we are committed to ensuring abuse does not occur and to diligently addressing it if it ever does.

Overview

Democracy Reporting International staff must treat their programme recipients, partners, and fellow staff members with respect and dignity. In order to do so, they must not abuse others. This includes physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; sexual exploitation; sexual harassment; and neglect. If they are found to have abused others, they will face strict consequences.

DRI staff must report any instance where they may suspect or notice signs of abuse.

DRI programme recipients and partners are also encouraged to report any signs of abuse.

How to report:

Reporting Abuse:

Once a report is made, the Safeguarding Focal Point will manage the next steps together with the Director of HR and Administration. This includes coordinating any necessary assistance for the victim, gathering information for the case, and sharing with the Executive Management/Board/external agencies for the final decision.

Please note that all reporters and victims of abuse will be supported throughout the process. This also includes maintaining their anonymity as much as possible.

View the entire policy here.