About Crisis Group
The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.
Our Mission and Method
Field Work, Analysis, Advocacy
Crisis Group decides which situations to cover based on a number of factors. These include: the seriousness of a situation, whether we can add value to international understanding
and response, whether we have or can raise the necessary resources to ensure high-quality
reporting and effective follow-through, and whether we can safely operate in the field.
Policy and Operations
Operating in the field
Crisis Group’s analysts are drawn mostly from experienced former diplomats, journalists,
academics and NGO staff, often leading world experts in their areas. Of 116 positions
on 1 February 2014, 63 were based in the field in 26 locations. Others worked from our
Brussels head office and other key regional offices. Security for our field staff is monitored
by a security team that meets on an ongoing basis.
In the initial drafting of reports and brieﬁng papers, ﬁeld analysts work with our regional program directors. A research and advocacy team in Brussels also provides input, especially on EU and NATO developments, while our Washington and New York advocacy ofﬁces assist with U.S. and UN perspectives, supplementing our national and regional advocacy in Beijing, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Nairobi and elsewhere. The policy prescriptions attached to Crisis Group reports are settled with input from ﬁeld and senior staff, and Board members, as well as consultation with governments, inter-governmental organisations, academics and other think-tanks and NGOs.
Getting the story out
Strong advocacy means effective communication. Crisis Group reports and briefing papers
go to tens of thousands of targeted recipients (including government ministers, heads of
international agencies, diplomats and officials in key roles, and journalists) as well as to
the more than 200,000 subscribers who request specific types of mailings online. We also
maintain top-level public exposure through quality mainstream media worldwide, an
extensive social media presence, and influential commentary published in multiple
Much of Crisis Group’s most successful advocacy is done behind closed doors, requiring
access to policymakers in major international centres and in the regions where we operate.
In 2013, offices in Brussels, Washington and New York continued to ensure Crisis Group
has the access and influence at the highest levels of the U.S. and European governments,
as well as with the UN, EU and NATO. Our Beijing office ensures Crisis
Group’s influence in China. Our teams spread out over offices in five continents
have increased Crisis Group’s worldwide access and impact.
Crisis Group Approach: Three Basic Elements
1. 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 who matter and discover what or who inﬂuences them. And they consider the actual and potential role for other countries and inter-govern-mental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and African Union.
2. 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 prescriptions 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.
3. 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. Crisis Group’s board is instrumental in giving us access at high levels of governments.
Crisis Group Operations Around the World
Crisis Group's international headquarters is in Brussels.
The organisation also has offices or representation in the following locations:
Abuja, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Bishkek, Bogotá, Cairo, Dakar, Gaza, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Kabul, London, Mexico City, Nairobi, New York, Seoul, Tbilisi, Tripoli, Tunis and Washington DC.
Crisis Group field analysts cover the following countries:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan (including Nagorno - Karabakh), Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China/Japan, Colombia, Côte d’ Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia (North Caucasus), Somalia, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
View the financial statements and the Form 990 for the year ended 30 June 2014. For more on our funding, see Financials.
Crisis Group's Board of Trustees
Crisis Group's Board is co-chaired by Lord (Mark) Malloch-Brown, former UN Deputy Secretary-General and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ghassan Salamé, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po. The Board also has one Vice-Chair, Ayo Obe, Legal Practitioner, Columnist and TV Presenter, Nigeria.
See our full Board of Trustees.
Crisis Group's President
Crisis Group’s President and CEO is Jean-Marie Guéhenno. He succeeds Louise Arbour, who served as President from 2009 - 2014, and before her, Gareth Evans, who held the post from 2000 - 2009.
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. They were led by Morton Abramowitz (former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Thailand, then President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Mark Malloch-Brown (former head of the UN Development Programme, then UN Deputy Secretary-General and UK Minister), and its first Chairman, Senator George Mitchell. 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.
The International Crisis Group is today generally regarded as the world's leading source of information, analysis and policy advice on preventing and resolving deadly conflict.