The second annual CRRC methodological conference took place on the 25th of June at Tbilisi State University. With over fifty attendees and a packed program of presentations, the conference drew together policy practitioners and researchers from the South Caucasus and beyond.
This year, for the first time, there was also a number of pre-conference workshops on the 24th of June at the CRRC-Georgia offices. Michael Robbins of the Arab Barometer presented on the matching techniques he has used to examine the Arab Spring, and Mihail Peleah from UNDP Europe and CIS presented an introduction to the methodology behind the UNDP’s Social Exclusion Index.
These provided an excellent introduction to the themes of social inequality in the South Caucasus and its wider neighborhood, also giving participants an opportunity to reflect on the implications of the methodological choices that we make on the results that we generate. There was a lively discussion about how to define and work with broad topics like social exclusion and inequality, and participants showed a keen interest in how these concepts had been applied in the Arab world, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
During the main conference, the geographic scope was expanded further to include in-depth studies on access to higher education, water subsidies and migration push factors in Armenia, inequality in educational achievement, local government performance, and domestic violence in Georgia, access to the benefits of a more technologically connected world in Azerbaijan, visual sociology in the post-soviet space, and data collection and visualization across the South Caucasus.