About BISS

About BISS

 What is BISS?

Baltic Institute of Social Sciences (BISS) is a private non-profit research institute. The aim of BISS is to work for the benefit of whole society and its main activities are related to socio-political research and distribution of information in Latvia that is based on scientific research.

BISS has initiated and implemented different research projects on current topics of social and political life of Latvia. It researches for those aspects and issues, which have not been sufficiently studied and analyzed in previous research projects. BISS offers full service - development of research design, its implementation and consultations for policy-makers and implementers and others interested in research.

During recent years BISS has carried out several big budget scientific research projects on social integration, education policy and its reform and aspects of labor market. On the basis of previous research and policy analysis BISS makes recommendations for policy makers and policy implementers at all levels of government, as well as distributes information to all stakeholders, social partners and society in general. In that way BISS participates in decision making process in different fields of state, regional and local policy, as well as promotes the quality of living of society.


Our experience

Till the fall of 2004 the board of BISS and other leading researchers of the institute worked in non-profit Ltd. "Baltic Institute of Social Sciences"(2000-2004) and Department of Academic Research of Baltic Data House (till 2000).

Dr. Soc. Brigita Zepa, member of the board of BISS and professor at University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences has more than 20 year experience of research in Latvia and leading researchers of the institute work in the field of social research for more than 10 years.

  • public policy analysis: BISS has carried out a number of policy analysis projects in key sectors of Latvia’s social and political life: society integration, official language use, bilingual education, health care reform, administrative procedures and their burden. Major studies in recent years: “Analysis of Administrative Requirements and Evaluation of the Work of Control Institutions in Health Services in Latvia” (2012); “Surveys of Inhabitants – Evaluation of Administrative Procedures” (2010-2014).
  • research projects on ethnic and social integration: already since 1991, leading researchers of BISS have realized research projects on issues of society integration. Among them are such research projects as "Towards a Civic Society" (1st stage - 1997/1998, 2nd stage - 2000/2001); "Language" (1996-2008); "Survey of the New Naturalized Citizens" (2001); "Ethnic Tolerance and Integration of the Latvian Society" (2004);  "Integration of Minority Youth in the Society of Latvia in the Context of Education Reform" (2004); "Ethno-political Tension in Latvia: Looking for the Conflict Solution" (2005); "Disabled Wheelchair Users Integration in the Labor Market" (2006); "Poorly Educated Minority Youth Integration in the Labor Market" (2006); "Integration Practice and Perspectives" (2006); "National Holidays and Their Celebration for the Unity of Society" (2007-2008); "Third Country Nationals' Integration System Development" (2009); "Research on the Situation in Voluntary Return and Reintegration Area" (2009); "Handbook on Assessment Methodology of the Third Country Nationals' Integration Policy" (2011); "Ethnic Heterogeneity in Pre-primary Education Institutions in Latvia: Study of Linguistic Situation and Readiness for Implementation of Bilingual Education" (2013).  
  • program and project evaluation studies:  BISS has developed research direction of various programs and projects evaluation, covering the evaluation of the EU and other foreign support fund financed program performance, public awareness campaign analysis and evaluation, and also evaluation of specific program project applications and their implementation. Major studies in recent years: "Evaluation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism "NGO Fund" Programme of the 2004 to 2009 Period” (2011); “Soros Foundation - Latvia Initiatives (Financial Aid) "Change Opportunities for Schools” Impact Assessment” (2011; 2013); Study “Capacity Building for Implementation of Projects Financed by the EU and Other Foreign Support in Dobele Municipality” (2012); " Assessment of the Integration of Third Country Nationals Fund in Latvia from 2007 to 2010 Implementation,  Established within the Framework of the General Program "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" (2012); "Evaluation of the Project Proposals for EU Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 “Leonardo da Vinci” Mobility and Innovation” (2012, 2013).
  • international comparative studies: BISS has participated in a number of international research projects: World Values Survey (WVS); European Values Survey (EVS); New Baltic Barometer (NBB); Nordic-Baltic Barometer; YiES - Youth and inter Ethnic Schools (the Daphne project), Training and Mentoring of Science Shops (TRAMS), Strategies for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe from Education (INCLUD-ED), Youth in Europe: Youth and Wealth (ECAD - European Cities Against Drugs).
  • distribution of information and knowledge for stakeholders, among social partners and society in general: since 2004, BISS publishes and disseminates most of studies conducted by the foundation (on average, most of studies are printed into 100-150 copies).

  Fields of research

  • civil society
  • democracy
  • discourse analysis
  • education policy
  • employment policy
  • ethnopolitics
  • health policy
  • migration
  • minorities
  • social inclusion
  • values

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