International Crisis Group
The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.
Crisis Group was founded in 1995 as an international non-governmental organisation on the initiative of a group of well known transatlantic figures who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies in the early 1990s of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. The idea was to create a new organisation – unlike any other – with a highly professional staff acting as the world’s eyes and ears for impending conflicts, and with a highly influential board that could mobilise effective action from the world’s policymakers.
It currently employs worldwide some 130 permanent staff, representing between them 49 nationalities and speaking 47 different languages, plus at any given time around 20 consultants and 40 interns. They are located on the ground in ten regional offices and sixteen other disclosed locations covering between them over 60 countries or situations of actual or potential conflict; in five advocacy offices, in Brussels (the global headquarters), Washington DC, New York, London and Beijing; and as liaison presence in Moscow.
Crisis Group publishes annually over 80 reports and briefing papers, as well as the CrisisWatch bulletin assessing every month the current state of play in some 70 countries or areas of actual or potential conflict. Publications are distributed widely by email to over 29,000 targeted recipients and over 150,000 website subscribers, and are available free of charge on our website, which has grown enormously in popularity in recent years, with over 2 million visits in 2010.
Crisis Group’s reports, and the advocacy associated with them, have had a very significant direct impact on conflict prevention and resolution in regions across the world, as policymakers wrestle with how to handle Islamist terrorism, nuclear proliferation, local conflict and the multiple problems associated with failed, failing and fragile states worldwide.
Expert field research and analysis
Crisis Group’s credibility is founded on its field-based research. Our analysts are based in or near many of the world’s trouble spots, where there is concern about the possible outbreak of conflict, its escalation or recurrence. Their main task is to find out what is happening and why. They identify the underlying political, social and economic factors creating the conditions for conflict, as well as the more immediate causes of tension. They find the people that matter and discover what or who influences them. And they consider the actual and potential role for other countries and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and African Union.
Practical, imaginative policy prescriptions
Crisis Group’s task is not merely to understand conflict but to prevent, contain and resolve it. That means identifying the levers that can be pulled and those who can pull them, whether political, legal, financial or ultimately, military. Some of these tools require action by the national government or local actors; others require the commitment of other governments or international organisations. Some will be within the current marketplace of received ideas; others will be over the horizon but nonetheless the right way forward. These policy prescriptions, along with our field-based research and analysis, are presented in succinct, timely and readable reports.
Effective, high-level advocacy
Identifying the problem and the appropriate response is still only part of the story. All too often the missing ingredient is the “political will” to take the necessary action. Crisis Group’s task is not to lament its absence but to work out how to mobilise it. That means persuading policymakers directly or through others who influence them, not least the media. That in turn means having the right arguments: moral, political, legal and financial. And it means having the ability to effectively deploy those arguments, with people of the right credibility and capacity.See more