In 2010, the Sociological program, which in 2009 resumed its function as an autonomous structural unit within the Center for the Study of Democracy, established itself in the development and implementation of research projects in key socio-economic fields at both the national and European levels. In its activities, the Sociological Program has focused on the following key priorities:
- Policies for the integration of immigrants and refugees. Throughout the past year the Sociological Program consolidated its position as a department with research potential in the fields of migration studies and the integration of immigrants and refugees at the national and European levels. The program developed methods and indicators to assess the results and impacts of policies for the integration of immigrants. Social impact assessments were also conducted with respect to the integration policies and their effects on both third country nationals and the host Bulgarian society. A methodology was developed for the identification and evaluation of good practices in the educational integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children.
- Evaluation of public policies and programs. The Sociological Program has enhanced its capacity to develop methods and indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of public policies in several key fields – migration and integration, justice and home affairs, violence against children, and others. The methodological handbook entitled “Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Policies and Programs” was published.
- Development of civil society in Bulgaria:. In 2010, the Sociological Program focused its efforts on strengthening governance in the NGO sector in Bulgaria and preventing the phenomenon of ‘civil society capture’. Five seminars and round tables were carried out in relation to the topic, along with the preparation of the report entitled “Development of Civil Society in Bulgaria: Trends and Risks”.
- Development of expertise in the Sociological program and institutional cooperation: Experts from the Sociological program have provided methodological support and have collaborated with external organizations in several key areas:
- Research on the grey economy and undeclared employment;
- Public trust in the judicial system;
- Social policy and the protection of vulnerable groups;
- Protection of human rights and civic activism.