Annual report 2009
Proving the impact of Crisis Group's efforts to prevent and resolve deadly conflict around the world is always a challenge. To try to quantify our influence a little more, in January 2009 we conducted an online survey of our primary readership - the 25,000 policymakers and "influentials" who are targeted recipients of our reports, and the more than 120,000 others who subscribe online to Crisis Group reports and briefings. We received over 11,000 replies (a gratifying response for a survey that took some fifteen minutes to complete), with over a third of them coming from our key advocacy targets. Encouragingly, over 50 per cent said that our reports and recommendations had an effect on their opinions "very often", "often" or at least "partially", while more than 20 per cent said our reports were "the best available in the public domain", and 67 per cent said they were "superior to most others".
There were a number of specific areas in 2008 where our reporting and advocacy seemed to make a visible difference, including:
- our alarm-bell ringing in advance of the Georgia-Russia war and follow-up analysis which bolstered the EU's efforts to secure Russia's agreement to withdraw its forces;
- our central role in shifting the debate on Burma/Myanmar after cyclone Nargis, successfully urging modification or reversal of counterproductive aid and trade policies;
- our on-the-ground coverage of Zimbabwe's post-election crisis, offering practical options and a steady flow of information to key actors;
- our detailed analysis of coca production in the Andean region and counter-drug policies in the U.S. and Europe, with a new U.S.-Colombian integrated strategy reflecting our recommendations;
- our guidance to policymakers on the Kirkuk issue in Iraq, with the UN mission there adopting it as its top priority;
- our sustained advocacy to shape the response to the International Criminal Court prosecution of Sudan's President Bashir, emphasising the opportunity to advance both peace and justice there; and
- our continuing advocacy of a more realistic approach to engaging with Iran on an acceptable diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue, and to recognising the reality of Hamas's role in the Occupied Territories.
I am deeply indebted, again, to all the members of the International Crisis Group family - staff, Board members and major donors - for their immense commitment to making this the uniquely productive and influential organisation that it now is and, in these troubled and uncertain times, must remain.
Gareth Evans, President and CEO