Mission and History

The Caucasus Institute is a policy think-tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. The Institute was founded in 2002 as the Caucasus Media Institute and then, in 2008, was renamed to Caucasus Institute. Its goal is to promote inclusive policy-making in Armenia through conducting research, producing and advocating policy documents and encouraging a pluralistic and informed public policy debate.

We strongly believe that a democratic future is one which is freely discussed and consciously chosen. Our goal is to help the societies of the South Caucasus develop a pluralistic discourse on key issues that concern their futures, be it local or general elections, educational, judiciary or language reform, healthcare or environmental issues, justice or law enforcement – indeed, any major or minor issue that requires understanding and a conscious choice by the society.

We attain our goal through education, think-tanking and networking.

For the educational activities, our main target group is the young generation (alumni) of journalists, civil society actors and public servants. Almost unburdened by the Soviet legacy, the youth are still looking for a firm foothold in their professional lives. It is for them to establish good practices, professional standards and ethics in their respective fields of activity. Our role is to bring them international experience and to include them in a wider professional and ethical world. We combine long-term education with brief training courses for various target groups and audiences.

Think-tanking includes debates, research (themes), consultancy and publications. The debates focus on issues of importance to society. Research fills the gap between information and understanding of the region and its development. Publications, disseminated throughout the Caucasus and former USSR, provide an insight into the problems of our region. Our audiences, researchers and speakers come from various backgrounds – journalism, research, education, development, government and civil society. Our events are valued for wide variety of opinion voiced in a neutral setting, in an atmosphere allowing people to get their messages home. Our topics are current issues: We discuss online publication strategies and election coverage, the politics of oil and migration tendencies, cultural cooperation and foreign policy. As a climax, we have our special annual event held every spring, called the Caucasus Conference, where we bring together all sorts of people and agendas to sum up the previous year’s issues and debates in the region. The event is followed by the trademark CI publication, the Caucasus Yearbook.

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