Oxford Research Group is pleased to publish its annual impact report for 2014. This explores the vital roles our programmes played in influencing Middle Eastern peace processes and UK security discourse during a year of enormous global turbulence, and explains our commitment and priorities for 2015 and beyond.
2014 was a year of major change and renewal for ORG as well as of results from the persistence of our work in the Middle East and UK. With the break-out of the Islamic State, the break-down of the Kerry Process and renewed war in Gaza, the disintegration of Libya and a new cold war emerging between Russia and NATO, the need for ORG’s quiet, long-term engagement with global security issues could not have been more obvious.
The impact of our work is not always so immediately apparent, not least because of ORG’s focus on discreet high-level dialogue to understand and address the personal and national insecurities in which physical and international insecurity is grounded. In 2015 we are only beginning to see the potentially huge impact of our work in 2012-2013 in facilitating dialogue between Iran and its western adversaries on the nuclear issue. It may take years more for the full impact of our work in Israel and Palestine or the UK to be realised but we don’t doubt the importance of the alternative visions for peace that ORG inspires and articulates.
During 2014 our Every Casualty Programme transitioned to become an independent organisation as its campaign to record all casualties of conflict gathered momentum. We continue to work closely together and wish Every Casualty Worldwide well. After five years as Managing Director, Chris Langdon also left ORG in November to return to his first love of film and documentary-making through a new project in Sri Lanka.
It is gratifying that ORG’s work is growing in 2015, both as we extend the scope of our work in the Middle East to Egypt and Syria and as we deepen our engagement with UK practitioners and policy-makers on how to put conflict prevention at the heart of foreign policy. Our analytic output has also grown and informs our practice as a ‘think-and-action-tank’.