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Homepage > About Crisis Group

About Crisis Group

The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

  • 1995, the year Crisis Group was founded
  • U.S.$ 20.5 million, annual budget for 2012
  • Some 130 permanent staff worldwide, from 53 nationalities speaking 50 languages
  • Over 50 conflict and potential conflict situations covered by field analysts
  • Over 120 issues of the CrisisWatch bulletin published since 2003, sent monthly to some 132,000 subscribers
  • Over 1,000 full-length reports and briefings published since 1995
  • Over 159,000 people subscribing online to receive reports
  • President and CEO: Louise Arbour, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (since July 2009)
  • Over 26,000 people like our Facebook page, while there are over 56,000 followers of Crisis Group on twitter.

Every year, Crisis Group:

  • Publishes around 90 reports and briefings, containing between them some 800 separate policy recommendations
  • Conducts some 5,000 advocacy meetings with policymakers and other decision-makers
  • Has almost 2 million website visits
  • Authors more than 200 opinion pieces in major international newspapers, with nearly half in languages other than English
  • Garners more than 5,000 media mentions in print and electronic media
  • Creates some 30 podcasts on select conflict situations, in multiple languages


Our Methodology
Our Organisation
Our Locations

Our Funding
Our History

Our Methodology

What distinguishes Crisis Group from other organisations working on conflict prevention and resolution is a unique combination of field-based analysis, practical policy prescriptions and high-level advocacy, with key roles being played by senior staff highly experienced in government and by an active Board of Trustees comprising two former prime ministers, two former presidents, eight former foreign ministers, one former European Commissioner, one Nobel Peace Prize winner and many other leaders from the fields of politics, diplomacy, business and the media.

Thomas R. Pickering Mark Malloch-Brown Crisis Group’s Board is co-chaired by Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria; and Mark Malloch-Brown, former UN Deputy Secretary-General and Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
   
Ayo Obe



Ghassan
The Board also has two vice-chairs: Ayo Obe, Legal Practitioner, Lagos, Nigeria, and Ghassan Salamé, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po.
     
Louise Arbour Crisis Group’s President and CEO is Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. She succeeded Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-96) and a member of many international panels and commissions, who served as President between January 2000 and July 2009.

Over the past eighteen years, Crisis Group’s reports and the advocacy associated with them have had a significant direct impact on conflict prevention, management and resolution across the world. Crisis Group has been visible and effective in assisting policymakers determine how best to handle terrorism, nuclear proliferation, impunity for international crimes, trafficking in arms and drugs and other problems associated with fragile or conflict-prone states. Increasingly, high-level interlocutors tell Crisis Group that its work in support of international peace and security has become indispensable.

There are five main ways that Crisis Group plays a key role in preventing and resolving conflict:

  1. Ringing early warning alarm bells through its long-term presence in and coverage of many conflict situations, in its reports, in the monthly CrisisWatch bulletin and in specific ‘conflict risk alerts’ (eg in Mali, Sudan, Syria);
  2. Producing independent and expert field-based analysis and advice on specific policy issues vis-à-vis scores of conflict or potential conflict situations around the world, helping policymakers in the UN Security Council, regional organisations, donor countries and the countries at risk themselves do better in preventing, managing and resolving conflict;
  3. Providing objective analysis and detailed actor mapping unobtainable elsewhere on developments regarding conflict, mass violence and terrorism (eg, on the Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia and the FARC in Colombia);
  4. Offering new strategic thinking on some of the world’s most intractable conflicts and crises, challenging or refining prevailing wisdom (eg, on Kosovo, Myanmar, Sudan/South Sudan, Somalia, the Arab-Israeli conflict and Afghanistan/Pakistan); and
  5. Focusing international attention on forgotten conflicts and peacebuilding processes (eg, on Guinea-Bissau, Sri Lanka, Nagorno-Karabakh, Colombia and Guatemala) when the world’s attention has shifted elsewhere.

Our Organisation

The International Crisis Group is now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Our work has been applauded by key figures of the international community:

“A global voice of conscience, and a genuine force for peace”  
 - Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

“A highly influential and inspiring voice in the field of conflict prevention” 
 - President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso

“In the most troubled corners of the world, the eyes, the ears and the conscience of the global community”
 - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton

“The analysis of the International Crisis Group on Colombia constitutes an important source of reference that helps us better understand our reality, as well as how to sensitively address key issues such as progress and obstacles on human rights, and the enormous challenges of comprehensive victims’ care in our country”
 - Colombian Vice-President Angelino Garzon

“A full-service conflict prevention organisation” 
 - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

“A mirror for the conscience of the world” 
 - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell 

“A widely respected and influential organisation”
 - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

“An indispensible source of information for governments and a wide range of institutions actively working towards peace and conflict resolution”
 - Former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angél Moratinos

“A brilliant idea … beautifully implemented” with reports like CrisisWatch “better than anything I saw in government”
 - Former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the late Richard Holbrooke

“What I especially like, and what sets ICG’s work apart from that of most other analysts, is the focus on policy options. At times I found entirely new options in your reports; at other times your analysis offered confirmation of the various options that were on the table in a given situation, and how much support each would have. Such independent confirmation, given the uncertainty inherent in political-military affairs, is worth its weight in gold.”
 - Deputy Head of Mission Netherlands Embassy in Iraq Mr Gerard Lucius

Crisis Group has regularly received similar endorsement from influential media:

“an essential dose of detailed analysis and hard-nosed realism” 
 - Quentin Peel of the Financial Times 

“invaluable” reports
 - The Economist

Our Locations

Crisis Group Offices

Crisis Group’s international headquarters is in Brussels, and the organisation has offices or representation in 34 locations: Abuja, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Bishkek, Bogotá, Bujumbura, Cairo, Dakar, Damascus, Dubai, Gaza, Guatemala City, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Kabul, Kathmandu, London, Moscow, Nairobi, New York, Port-au-Prince, Pristina, Rabat, Sanaa, Sarajevo, Seoul, Tbilisi, Tripoli, Tunis and Washington DC. 

Crisis Group is also currently covering some 70 areas of actual or potential conflict (through analysts operating from regional or field bases, or consultants). In Africa, this includes, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe; in Asia, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, Indonesia, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; in Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, North Caucasus, Serbia and Turkey; in the Middle East and North Africa, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Western Sahara and Yemen; and in Latin America and the Caribbean, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti and Venezuela.

Our Funding

Income

Crisis Group’s annual budget for 2012-2013 is $20.6 million. Our funding comes from governments (49%), institutional foundations (20%), and individual and corporate donors (31%), mostly in the welcome form of core funding (over 70%) rather than being earmarked for specific programs. For more on Crisis Group funding please see our full list of donors. You can also consult our latest Financial Statements and Auditors’ Report.

Our History

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.

From small beginnings – a two-person office in London, and a tiny field staff in the Balkans and West Africa – Crisis Group has grown very rapidly over the last decade. It currently employs worldwide some 154 permanent staff, representing between them 53 nationalities and speaking 50 different languages, plus at any given time around 20 consultants and 40 interns. Crisis Group publishes annually some 90 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 almost 2 million visits in 2011.

 

Crisis Group 15 Years: 1995-2010

To mark the occasion of Crisis Group's 15 year anniversary, we released two special publications:

Brochure: 15 Years on the Front Lines
Multimedia Presentation: Crisis Group 15 Years

Strategic Framework

Our Strategic Framework sets out Crisis Group’s strategic framework for the financial years 2011–2014.

 

Crisis Group's Official Accreditation with the OECD DAC

OECD Logo

In June 2010, Crisis Group obtained official accreditation as an international development organisation from the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, in recognition of the specific role Crisis Group plays in and for the benefit of developing countries, and for the close intersection between security issues and development outcomes.