Open Briefing is the world’s first civil society intelligence agency; a collaborative platform for insight and analysis of key defence, security and foreign policy issues.
Our international network of analysts provides impartial intelligence and security briefings, so that better informed citizens and civil society organisations can more effectively engage in peace and security debates and influence positive policy developments in these areas.
Open Briefing delivers the information civil society needs. The work of our volunteer team of intelligence, law enforcement, military and government professionals is guided by an international network of experts and civil society organisations, many working on the ground in conflict zones around the world.
Open Briefing promotes a fact-based worldview. Too much defence and security policy development is underpinned by ideology-led worldviews; our work is informed by rigorous research and objective analysis in order to promote evidence-based policies.
Open Briefing is cost effective. Our virtual office and network of volunteers mean overheads are kept to an absolute minimum and the vast majority of our funding is spent directly on our peace and security work: projected at 75% during the next three years (with only 5% budgeted for overheads).
With its rational, thorough and transparent approach, Open Briefing has the potential to become an important corrective to often speculative media coverage.”
Magnus Nome, Editor-in-Chief, openDemocracy
Our activity is divided into four interlinked departments:
Open Briefing exists in order to ensure that it is not only those with power and money who have access to reliable, credible information on security and foreign policy issues; every citizen should have that information. This is the core mandate of our unique intelligence unit.
While undertaking this role, we occasionally identify issues that are not receiving adequate attention or policies that are not working. Our role then becomes to explain these failings, propose evidence-based alternative strategies, and leverage our networks of influence to promote those alternatives to opinion-formers, policymakers and the general public. This is the core mandate of our think tank.
In this way, our intelligence unit directly informs the work of our think tank but advocacy is deliberately kept separate from analysis.
Issues of security and defence are often the least transparent to the public. Open Briefing is an important contribution to ensuring democratic oversight of governments and armies.”
John Feffer, Co-director, Foreign Policy in Focus
Open Briefing was founded in May 2011 by our Executive Director, Chris Abbott, and publicly launched in October of that year. Although based in the United Kingdom, we have a network of analysts and partners around the world. The organisation is a not-for-profit social enterprise funded by charitable foundations and individual supporters.
Vision: The ascendancy of evidence-based policymaking over ideology and assumption in national and international peace and security arenas.
- To help shape the “ecosystem of security” to privilege diplomacy and other non-military means to preventing, mitigating and adapting to threats to peace and security.
- To support the development of a more robust civil society, better able to hold policymakers to account for security decision-making.
- To give citizens the knowledge and tools needed to more effectively engage in peace and security debates and influence positive policy developments in these areas.
Open Briefing is an excellent project with great possibilities for empowering the peace movement and wider civil society. It is typical of Chris Abbott that he should develop it. Moreover, he is one of those rare people who could take it forward and realise its considerable potential.” Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford