As a social research institute, ISIS carries out empirical surveys and theoretical analyses. Many tools for quantitative and qualitative research are at our disposal. We conduct research interviews at both low threshold and expert levels; i.e., we select the most appropriate research and examination methods, depending on the object of the investigation. We compile our results into reports and models and make them available to contracting entities and interested members of the general public.
ISIS undertakes initial analyses of socio-political situations, identifies barriers that could impede implementation and develops appropriate models for resolution. From the outset, we use planning techniques which involve responsible persons from the political sphere, specialists, target groups and local key figures. In this way, participation at the lowest level is assured while taking advantage of all available expertise. Objectives are elaborated in workshops or by the implementation of independent feasibility studies which may include source analysis and empirical surveys. ISIS believes strongly in building networks. In developing multilateral projects, thematic and personal networks are extremely valuable because they facilitate the compilation of various approaches and content. For example, this might be achieved through a discussion of good and not so good procedures which could lead to a reduction of project expenses or a more effective use of available funding.
In questions of scientific assistance, we have adopted a concept that focuses on technical support in project implementation and evaluates whether or not the target objectives have been achieved. In this way, ISIS contributes to the improvement of results and can implement any necessary changes. During these monitoring processes, ISIS applies methods of formative evaluation and supports project partners in implementing methods of self-evaluation. Furthermore, ISIS evaluates results of concluded projects and conducts impact analyses. In this way, qualitative and quantitative indicators for the assessment of results can be defined – preferably in conjunction with the parties in question. Methods of evaluation vary from analysis of data generated during various processes to interviews with experts and target group stakeholders as well as implementation of representative surveys.