The Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI) at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra is Australia’s leading democracy promotion organisation, established by the Australian Government in 1998. Our mandate is to support democratic processes and institutions in Southeast Asia and the Pacific through knowledge sharing and interchange between Australia and our close neighbours. CDI’s focus is on parliamentary governance and political parties, with special attention to the quality of electoral processes and the promotion of women’s representation. Our main partner countries are East Timor, Indonesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
CDI aims to harness Australian and international expertise in governance, institutional development and political practice in order to contribute to the development of good political leadership and robust, accountable democratic institutions in our region. Our objective is the transfer of skills and knowledge, not only from Australia to our partners but also amongst our partner countries themselves.
To do this we conduct intensive training courses for political practitioners and officials, act as a networking and information hub and promote interchanges amongst regional parliaments and parties. We sponsor applied research on issues related to parliaments, political parties, electoral systems and women's representation.
CDI’s core budget is provided by the Australian Government, as part of Australia’s overseas aid program. We also work cooperatively with a range of international development organisations, UN bodies and international NGOs. CDI is located at the ANU. The university provides an institutional base for our operations and we are able to both draw upon and contribute to the intellectual resources and reputation of a premier centre of scholarship on the Asia-Pacific region.