About Us

Think tank Populari is a non-governmental, non-profit organization established in 2007 as one of the first of its kind in the Western Balkans. Think tank Populari is uniquely recognized for its independent research on European Integration processes, Good Governance, Emigration and Socio-economic dynamics in the region and it has been repeatedly ranked among the best think tanks in South and Eastern Europe.

Think tank Populari focuses its analysis primarily on political and economic affairs, with a strong convergence towards social trends research.

Since its establishment in 2007, Populari promoted informed decision making, combining rigorous research and analysis with fieldwork. It was created in response to the shortage of good quality, comprehensible and the original research products.

Today, Populari is uniquely recognized for its ability to capture national debates and place them into the regional and European context, thus providing wider perspectives on some of the key challenges the Western Balkans faces with.

Populari gathers a group of individuals with decades of experience in the areas of Public Policy Research and Analysis. It operates throughout the region and in the EU capitals, with a team of associated researchers across the EU.

One of our key strengths has always been an innovative methodology that combines qualitative and quantitative research methods, field research, case studies, hard facts and evidence-based narratives into a unique multidisciplinary approach. Through a wide range of research activities Populari contributes to society’s understanding of important reforms and processes by providing research that influences policy making process and guides policy changes.

We have produced dozens of reports, policy papers, briefings, and organized range of meetings, promoting innovative approaches and offering policy ideas on how to solve some of the most persistent problems in the region setting. Our research is often highlighted in key international media outlets and out recommendations and policy proposals often part of the national debates.

Populari works with national governments, national parliaments, national and international organizations and collaborates with academics, journalists and universities.  Moreover, our network is supported by the prominent intellectuals, civil society leaders, journalists and friends of Populari, from the Western Balkans and the EU, who often provide valuable advice.

Alida Vračić is a political scientist and a co/founder and the executive director of think tank Populari, Western Balkans think tank specializing in the post-conflict state building processes democratization, good governance and migration. She holds a Law degree from University of Sarajevo and Karl- Franzens-Universitaet Graz, where she specialized in criminal proceeding law. She also holds M.Sc. in International public policy form University College London (UCL) and the Executive Education for non-government executives at Kennedy School of governance (Harvard).

Prior to founding Populari, Alida worked for the State Court prosecutor’s team in Bosnia and at the Human Rights Commission within the Constitutional Court of Bosnia. She also led several Balkan-wide projects for the Human Rights Centre at Sarajevo University and the Spanish Institutional Programme. Recognized for her leadership skills Alida was invited to take part in several fellowship and degree programmes, including those of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Merkator Stiftung.

She regularly presents her work at all major European capitals and has been cited as a regional expert in numerous Balkan and European media – The New York Times, The Economist, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Der Standard, Reuters, Deutsche Welle – as well as North American news outlets.

Vesna Balta has worked for Populari since the very beginning as the Administration and Finance Manager. She possesses a long experience in working with local and international non-governmental organizations and media houses, caring for the successful conduct of their financial operations. Apart from Populari, Vesna also serves as a Finance Director at Mozaik Foundation.