Democracy Is

Speeches Shim

A woman casts a ballot. Rotating text displays: justice, peace, hope,respect, human rights, dignity freedom
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The ongoing quest by people around the world for democracy and freedom guides and inspires our work at USAID.

For decades the American people, through USAID, have partnered with countries, communities, and people around the world to strengthen resilient democratic societies.

Citizen-responsive governance is also a critical factor in development, and we believe it is not possible for any country to rise to its full potential without it.

USAID is reinforcing its commitment to strengthen democratic governance and is investing in democracy work to advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world.

There are many around the world who are committed to this cause. They are working towards respect for human dignity, rights, and the rule of law.

Meet our democracy heroes in the short films below.




December 11, 2020

On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic. By that time, considerable effects had already been felt in China and subsequently in Europe and the United States of America (USA). In the SADC region, South Africa registered its first COVID-19 case on 5 March 2020 with various other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries subsequently registering cases.

December 10, 2020

About the Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) program

The Advancing Rights in Southern Africa program at Freedom House (ARISA) is a 5-year program that seeks to improve the recognition, awareness and enforcement of human rights in the region, including the protection of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups. The program, led by Freedom House, in collaboration with partners—the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ROLI), Internews, and Pact—works at a regional level in select countries to:

December 10, 2020

Will things be the same again for freedom of expression in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) after COVID-19? Findings of a 2020 research by Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) and Internews on the state of freedom of expression in 8 Southern African Development Community (SADC) states under COVID-19 lockdown laws and regulations are troubling in areas of media sustainability and freedom of expression restrictions but the development of new media innovations gives a ray of hope.

September 15, 2020

September 15 is the International Day of Democracy. On this day, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) underscores the ongoing and critical need to strengthen citizen-responsive democratic governance around the world. As an Agency, we support transparent and effective governments, unalienable rights, religious freedom, protection of life, and robust civil societies that can exercise their rights; hold their governments accountable; and protect the most vulnerable, including the unborn.

July 30, 2020

July 30 is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The evil of modern slavery affects an estimated 25 million people around the world: adults and children subjected to sexual exploitation or bound in domestic servitude; children forced to support armed groups; and victims trapped in forced labor in sectors such as fishing, construction, and agriculture. On this day, at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), we honor the resilience of survivors of trafficking who are courageously rebuilding their lives; we reaffirm our commitment to prevent criminals from exploiting people for profit; and we invite all to join the challenge to help end modern slavery.