CAAN is a new, integrated platform designed to increase Central Asian citizens’ access to objective information and analysis. CAAN provides factual information and critical thinking in Russian and in the national languages of Central Asia on domestic and global affairs. The Network connects various communities of producers of information and analysis – professional journalists, social activists, bloggers, experts, and scholars, by using the already existing human capital that has been built up over the last two decades in the region.
This project is the achievement of a group of young scholars and experts from Central Asia who are tired of hearing only Western-or Russian, or Chinese-observers discussing what is happening in their countries. They want to have their own voices taken into account. They believe that a young generation of Central Asians are ready to participate fully in the debate about the future of the region. They think that a plurality of opinions is welcome, and that regional dialogue is not only possible but needed. In the current context, where local voices do not reach Western capitals and local production is dominated by frameworks formulated outside the region-whether in Moscow, in Washington, in Beijing …. or in Syria-CAAN finally returns the region to itself.
Information is not a mere succession of raw data devoid of sense, but is informed by critical thinking, and augmented analysis. This is the entire stake around which CAAN revolves: to enable critical thinking to emerge and flourish among young Central Asians, in order to aid them in understanding the world, their region, their countries, use this understanding to articulate their own opinions.