History and principles

The Russian (until 1992 Union) Public Opinion Research Center – VCIOM – is the oldest and most widely-known Russian company conducting public opinion surveys.

VCIOM was founded in December 1987 as part of the USSR Ministry of Labor and the Council of the Trade Unions (VTsSPS). In 1998, the Center was re-registered as a state unitary enterprise (SUE) and in 1999 the Center was accorded the status of academic institution. In 2003 VCIOM was reorganized as an open joint-stock company with full state ownership.

The Board of Directors of VCIOM includes representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the Ministry of Property Relations, and the Presidential Administration. Direct management of VCIOM is conducted by the Director-General, who is aided by the Scientific Expert Council.Currently VCIOM is the leading Russian research organization in the field of public opinion studies. The priority sphere of VCIOM is conducting socio-economic, socio-political, and electoral studies to orders of both federal and regional governmental structures.

VCIOM also carries out large numbers of market research studies, works in the field of trade-mark expertise, corporate studies, real estate surveys, and research in the field of sports.

VCIOM managers are members of ESOMAR. In its activities, VCIOM follows the principles of academic objectivity, following the ESOMAR code of ethics.

VCIOM employs a wide range of research techniques used in sociological practice. These include face-to-face interviews, telephones interviews, focus groups, in-depth interviews, expert studies, product-packaging and advertising tests, diary studies, retail trade audits, and others. The Center provides a full technological cycle of research work - from planning research programs to presenting analytical reports.

VCIOM has a specialized sampling program which encompasses the whole of Russia. This is based on government statistical information for the present year and extensive archive of earlier research. In order to minimize sampling overlap, which inevitably arises in the course of fieldwork, a specially-worked out program of data weighting is used.

VCIOM maintains partner links with public opinion research centers in both the CIS and Baltic countries. Cooperation is based on a common research philosophy, similar research techniques, and close coordination of work. With close contacts with colleagues, VCIOM conducts regular research projects in the three CIS countries, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and periodically in most countries of the post-Soviet area.

Now, VCIOM is solving tasks of maintaining dynamic development and growth, perfecting scientific methodological base, and enlisting the best sociologists of the country, emphasizing on promising young researchers. Along with the traditional set of issues studied by the Center—namely, analysis of political situation and market research, we conduct research programs of studies in socio-economic development, labor market, migration, and overcoming poverty.

We are glad to welcome you at the VCIOM’s new site, and we are eager to cooperate in scientific and applied political, economic, and marketing studies. In the near future, we are planning to increase the number of publications of the Center and announce new projects. An important step in our development is sharing experience with Russian and foreign research institutions, and increasing international cooperation of VCIOM.

We hope that our knowledge and experience will prove to be useful to you.