Estonian Institute for Open Society

The non-profit association Estonian Institute for Open Society is an independent research institution, which is not affiliated with any political party or movement.


The mission of the Estonian Institute for Open Society is to serve as a road sign for an open and democratic society. Our activities are addressed to all individuals primarily in Estonia, but also in other countries, who are open to both social and personal development.

Our principle: professional knowledge of the society and various spheres of social affairs must be accessible and comprehensible to all members of the society, regardless their education, gender, ethnicity, social class etc.

Our mission: analysing the trends of social development in Estonia, addressing problems as yet not discussed in Estonia or other countries, introducing taboo issues. Accordingly the Institute has been a forerunner in various fields, from ethnic relations to abuse of women. In 2001 the Estonian Institute for Open Society carried out the first study concerning domestic abuse and violence against women; in 2003 it carried out the first gender equality monitoring in Estonia and in 2006 the first ann-Estonian quantitative study of women involved in prostitution.

Social scientists of the Estonian Institute for Open Society have played a trailblazing role in Estonia in addressing the issue of domestic abuse. Detailed background research carried out by the Institute, which allowed for the all-round study of domestic abuse from the viewpoints of the victims as well as various specialists (police personnel, social workers, medics) were a key factor in achieving success. The system for the prevention of domestic abuse and helping the victims, developed by the Estonian Institute for Open Society, was successfully applied in Georgia in 2008-2011 within an Estonian-Georgian joint project.



1.                  Carrying out sociological studies

2.                  Compiling training and study materials

3.                  Organising seminars, training events and conferences

4.                  Issuing books and information publications

5.                  Mapping strategic developments based on research


Primary research directions:

1.                  Gender equality, the role and social status of women

2.                  Domestic abuse, intimate partner violence

3.                  Prostitution, trafficking in women

4.                  Female entrepreneurship

5.                  The youth, education and employment

6.                  The role and social status of the elderly

7.                  Ethnic relations

8.                  Democracy and human rights

9.                  Social deprivation and stratification


Sources of financing of the organisation:

The Estonian Institute for Open Society operates as a non-profit association using the project-based approach. The projects carried out by the Institute are financed by the European Union, international organisations, foundations operating in Estonia, foreign embassies as well as local governments and government institutions.

Our carious projects have been financed by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI); the Nordic Council of Ministers; the Leonardo da Vinci programme; the ILO (International Labour Organisation); the US Embassy; the Open Estonia Foundation; the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Social Affairs; the Republic of Estonia Population Affairs Minister’s office, the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Tallinn City Chancellery, the EU Social Fund programme EQUAL, the INNOVE Foundation, the Penal Reform International, Regional Office in the South Caucasus and others.