EaP Cultural Observatory: Team, Goals, and Plans

The Observatory was founded under the EU-EaP Culture and Creativity Programme. It will be established as a non-profit organisation after the closure of the Programme in 2018. The Observatory’s mission is to inform and improve continuous policymaking and have a debate about culture and the creative industries as the key drivers for economic, social and humanitarian development in the six EaP countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. You can find the latest briefs of EaP Cultural Observatory here.


The team of the EaP Cultural Observatory is planning to implement:

  • Release of monthly comparative Briefs on selected topics. 

  • Public debates held online, offline, and in real life setting

  • Regional networks, bound by shared ideals and common actions, expanding into a potential pool of experts in culture and creativity

  • Consulting services, responding to international or national queries

  • Education, ranging from one-stop events to training courses

  • Research: surveys, statistical analysis, etc.

“The implementation of the business plan designed by the Observatory members will hopefully lead to the establishment of the EaP Cultural Observatory and will develop a legacy for the Programme. Hopefully, the business plan will be successful, and we will be able to continue to inform, improve and strengthen cultural policymaking in the six EaP countries.” / Nairi Khatchadourian

“I believe it is really important to have a regional network, bound by shared ideals and common actions. We have to develop a sustainable, proactive and trusted non-profit organisation, which will inform all potential stakeholders about policymaking processes in culture and creative industries in the EaP countries.” / Zviad Mchedlishvili

Team of Experts

Nairi Khatchadourian, Armenia. Nairi is an art historian, independent curator, educator, entrepreneur and co-founder of UP Design Pavilion.

Tarlan Rasulov, Azerbaijan. Tarlan worked as general manager of YUG State Theatre (Azerbaijan) for 10 years. Currently, he is the founder and director of the dOM independent theatre group. Also, Tarlan is a member of the Theatre Union of Azerbaijan and the Union of Filmmakers of Azerbaijan. He is a PhD candidate at the Azerbaijan University of Culture and Arts.

Maria Savushkina, Belarus. Maria has over 10 years of experience in international projects as an expert, a journalist, an editor, and a communication specialist. As National PR Coordinator for the EU-EaP Culture and Creativity Programme in Belarus, Maria gained unique experience in promoting culture and running the communication campaign to support cultural development. Maria has experience in research and provides consulting services to NGOs, the media, and businesses.

Zviad Mchedlishvili, Georgia. Zviad is the founder and director of Creative Georgia (NGO). Also, he is the founder of Georgian and Caucasian Studies, where he consults FGCS management in digital preservation of cultural heritage, works on cultural policy modernisation and promotion. Between 2015 and 2016, he was the Cultural Strategy Elaboration Process Consultant in the Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection of Georgia.

Kateryna Kravchuk, Ukraine. Kateryna has a background in economics and cultural studies. Over the past seven years, she worked for regional development projects in Ukraine, dealing mainly with multistakeholder initiatives, social innovations and business support. Currently, Kateryna is engaged as a strategy consultant for several creative organisations, and she is a local facilitator of Creative Enterprise program run by NESTA and British Council in Ukraine.

International Advisers

Levan Khetaguri, Georgia. Levan is an international expert in theatre studies, higher education in arts, cultural policy, cultural research. He is the founding member of EC world traditional theatre forum. He is the director and professor of Arts Research Institute of Georgia, Ex-Chairman of adviser’s board of the Eastern Partnership culture programme. Dr Levan Khetaguri is the president of Stichting Caucasus Foundation/The Netherlands. In the EaP Cultural Observatory, he is the assistant project leader for supervising, planning and strategy.

Péter Inkei, Director of the Budapest Observatory (regional observatory of culture in Eastern and Central Europe). This non-profit organisation conducts comparative projects on issues of cultural policy and planning. Péter was a deputy Minister for Culture between 1996 and 1998. In addition to his post at the Budapest Observatory, Péter is a consultant for the Council of Europe (The Mosaic Project, Albania Cultural Policy Review, CultureWatchEurope events, etc.), the Open Society Institute–Budapest, the World Bank, the National Development Agency of Hungary, etc.

Inspiring Cases

Here, you will find the information about the biggest cultural observatories. Most of the EaP Cultural Observatory’s experts agree that the most inspiring case is The Budapest Observatory.

“One of my areas of interest is corporate social responsibility, and I am inspired by many watchdog platforms that observe and highlight the societal impact of the business. I was involved in the project of creating the CSR observatory in Ukraine. We have implemented only the first steps, but I can see that there is great demand for analytics and big data visualization in Ukraine, as well as for the ensuing public debate that involves all relevant stakeholders. Publication of the whitepapers and infographics is a good reason to gather key actors in the field for a solid discussion. This inspires me even more to tackle cultural issues because we are not used to speaking about culture with facts and figures”. / Kateryna Kravchuk

“Any case which could inspire an audience to become customers of a cultural product is very important for society’s development. At the same time, it is very important to manage regular studies in the field of culture, audience development, mappings, marketing research, etc. All of this is important for professional cultural policymaking in any democratic country”.  / Levan Khetaguri

How Can the Observatory Contribute to EaP Countries?

“The Observatory aims to create a platform to provide an overview of the EaP region, particularly the cultural and creative sectors of each country. The comparative briefs bring both statistical and evidence-based materials to compare and identify the priorities of the region. The positive impact could be measured through the development of new policy initiatives, links between the public and private sectors, and international collaborations and partnerships”. / Nairi Khatchadourian

“I think that through our research and reports, we can achieve a positive impact on the development of creative industries in our countries, give them good consultation and guidance for development.” / Tarlan Rasulov

“The monitoring, data collection and analysis have so far been underestimated in cultural policy in Belarus. In our Cultural Observatory, we try to initiate work to enhance evidence-based policymaking in the future.” / Maria Savushkina

“One of the major challenges in all of our countries is the lack of evidence-based policymaking for the cultural and creative sectors. There were many initiatives developed during the last three years with the support of the EU-EaP Culture and Creativity Programme that provide reliable information and statistics that can serve evidence-based decision-making. On the other hand, there is no sufficient experience on how to use this information in practice in the region. It is essential to have an institution that can develop practical examples of using data for designing evidence and activating public debate on national cultural policies in EaP countries. It is also important to have accurate evidence of the contribution made by cultural and creative industries to the economy and employment for convincing national and local governments to support those sectors.” / Zviad Mchedlishvili

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