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2nd PAIC Workshop with representatives of Ukrainian Think Tanks: „Professional Scientific Standards and Policy Analysis“

Between 18 and 20 October this year, the Institute for European Politics (IEP) conducted the workshop “Profes­sional Scien­tific Standards and Policy Analysis” for repre­sen­ta­tives of Ukrainian think tanks in Kyiv.

The 16 partic­i­pants work for think tanks which are based in Kyiv as well as in other Ukrainian regions and mainly deal with social affairs, and internal and external policies. Under the guidance of IEP research associate Ljudmyla Melnyk, Oksana Huss, doctoral candidate at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Human­ities and co-founder of the Inter­dis­ci­plinary Corruption Research Network (ICRnetwork), and Katerina Bosko, editor of “Ukraine-Analysen” and researcher at the Research Center for East European Studies at the University of Bremen, the workshop focused on strength­ening and expanding compe­tences in policy analysis and inter­cul­tural communication.

The first part of the three day workshop was led by Oksana Huss who gave profes­sional theoretical impulses on the prepa­ration of target-oriented research questions as well as the structure of analytical outputs. Katerina Busko comple­mented the first thematic session with a practical-active part on the devel­opment of arguments. Due to high demand, the work on devel­oping arguments will be discussed further in the following workshop.

A great part of the workshop was about research design. Since partic­i­pants showed stark interest in method­ological techniques, future workshops will deal with quali­tative approaches in greater detail in compliance with their wishes. Additionally, a seminar is envisaged on discourse analysis and guided interviews.

Based on the study “Think Tanks in Germany and Ukraine: Differ­ences and Perspec­tives for Cooper­ation” Ljudmyla Melnyk’s workshop on inter­cul­tural commu­ni­cation was well received. Building on the study’s results the session was amended with visual commu­ni­cation of analytical publi­ca­tions and skills in the commu­ni­cation with European partners. Inter­cul­tural differ­ences in commu­ni­cation styles became visible not only in layout but also in email corre­spon­dence. For this reason, the team decided to prior­itize the issue and include a seminar on corporate design for think tanks.

The three day event offered a compre­hensive dealing with a great number of scien­tific topics. A demand for further method­ological instru­ments and inter­cul­tural commu­ni­cation became apparent, which could help to strengthen compe­tences of Ukrainian think tanks and foster cooper­ation between Ukrainian and German think tanks. Furthermore, a lack of objective data was regis­tered, which can be attributed to insuf­fi­cient data collection by the Ukrainian state. For instance, the last census took place in 2001 and the next one is planned in 2020.

The feedback forms suggest that partic­i­pants appre­ciated the inter­dis­ci­pli­narity, high quality of seminars and the oppor­tunity to network which was partic­u­larly valuable to repre­sen­ta­tives of regional think tanks. Depending on their interest, partic­i­pants can hand in an exposé and put their newly acquired knowledge to practice. The prepa­ration of analytic publi­ca­tions is peer-review supported and continues in the subse­quent workshop in February 2017. Assorted policy papers will be published in a German web-based series and presented during a think tank conference in Berlin.

The workshop took part within the framework of the project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) which is conducted by Institute for European Politics (IEP, Berlin) in cooper­ation with the Inter­na­tional Renais­sance Foundation (IRF, Kyiv), Ilko Kucheriv Democ­ratic Initia­tives Foundation (DIF, Kyiv) and the think tank initiative think twice UA (Kyiv). The project is supported by the Federal foreign office of Germany in 2017 – 2018.