Areas of Focus

Highlighting the synergies between our areas of focus is one of the biggest strengths of Praxis, because our experts cover all the main topics of socio-economic development.


  1. Improving coherence between the education system and the labour market
    Like many other countries, one of Estonia’s main challenges is the skills mismatch – our education system is not able to provide enough people with the skills and knowledge that the labour market needs. At the same time, there is not enough information to properly assess the needs of employers. Through our actions, we aim to assist education and labour market policy-making in order to make it more coherent and effective. We believe that the education system should not only serve the needs of the labour market, but also provide opportunities for self-realisation and personal growth, thus increasing social cohesion.
  2. The quality of teaching
    The knowledge and skills acquired in school often depend on the competence of teachers. Teaching skills are becoming increasingly important as students need to acquire adaptable skills (as opposed to highly specific knowledge) to succeed in the rapidly changing world. By drawing more attention to the development of teaching skills, we want to increase employers’, teachers’ and students’ satisfaction with the quality of education and to decrease dropout rates. We also wish to distribute the responsibility for effective education more equally among the three counterparts.
  3. Equal access to education
    Students from different backgrounds often do not have equal opportunities to access formal and non-formal education, participate in training and graduate efficiently. They also experience various obstacles during their studies. Given Estonia’s limited human capital and an aging and decreasing population, it is particularly important to ensure that all learners have equal access to education based on their abilities and are not prevented from learning by secondary factors like income. We work to make sure that equal access to education is constantly monitored and given enough attention in the policy-making process.



  1. Developing knowledge-based and regionally balanced entrepreneurship
    The state’s actions have thus far been primarily focused on large and innovative exporting companies, even though the development of entrepreneurship is also greatly influenced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). More efficient support of SMEs operating outside the major cities would reduce regional imbalances. In addition, economic development requires an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. Although business activity is at a fairly good level in Estonia low entrepreneurial skills still present a problem that needs to be solved.
  2. Increasing the competitiveness of the economy and its sectors
    Low productivity, low export capacity and a shortage of highly skilled labour have become the main obstacles to Estonia’s economic development. One inhibiting factor to productivity growth is the disparity between the content of education and the needs of the labour market. Due to its small size, Estonia depends on the foreign markets, which creates a constant need for analysis and assessment of the changing external environment. We want to help generate structural changes in economic sectors and in solving economic problems through policy measures.
  3. More efficient use of public money and better consideration of the impact of tax changes
    Government expenditures and the tax system are constantly changing together with people’s preferences for public services and politics. The tax system is also affected by other countries’ decisions on tax policy. Through our work, we help to find ways to use public money more effectively. We also offer ideas on how the reallocation of taxes could encourage economic growth.
  4. Ensuring sustainable development and more efficient use of resources
    One of today’s main challenges is figuring out how to ensure sustainable development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the interests of future generations. As our resources are limited, we need to learn how to use them more efficiently. Even though natural resources have usually been the focus of this debate, social and economic aspects should also be considered. Through our work, we increase awareness of socio-economic factors in important decisions regarding the natural environment. By doing this, we wish to promote a more resource-efficient way of thinking.


Governance and Civil Society

  1. Capability and impact of non-governmental organisations
    Active, caring citizens and their associations are the main guarantees of a democratic, open and cohesive society. NGOs’ ability to provide solutions to our society’s problems depends of their capability and sustainability. Estonia’s third sector is characterised by a sound legal environment, cooperation and infrastructure. However, organisational capability and financial capacity still require development. Voluntary activity and supporting structures of NGOs also need developing. We promote the development of civil society by helping to raise issues, carrying out research and making policy recommendations.
  2. The development of public services
    Social innovation, entrepreneurship and the delegation of public services are areas that need to be developed in order to foster cooperation between citizens and the public sector. The end goal is to raise the quality and accessibility of public services. We support the development of public services by analysing the current cooperation between service providers, citizens and NGOs. We also participate in the wider development of the field by raising issues and evaluating the impact of policy so that new and effective solutions can be taken into use.
  3. Coherent and effective governance
    We influence governance by participating in the creation of new concepts and development plans. We also promote comprehensive policy-making and public engagement. An important part of our work is offering support regarding open governance and e-governance as well as increasing the transparency of government. We do that with the help of our own e-solutions.
  4. State personnel policy that supports strategic objectives
    Human resources development is the cornerstone of good governance, because the capability of the state depends on the competence of its civil servants. We want to contribute to the state’s personnel policy as a number of state employment issues still remain to be solved. It is also necessary to implement new human resources management techniques.



  1. Sustainability and strategic management of the healthcare system
    According to current forecasts, the Estonian healthcare system is not sustainable. There is also no clear strategy on how to achieve it. Different parts of the healthcare system are managed too separately, which does not allow systemic changes to be made. Through our work, we want to make sustainability oriented policies more evidence-based. The discussion on healthcare policy should be meaningful and take previous agreements into account.
  2. Quality and patient-centred care
    We promote a patient-centred approach, when it comes to offering healthcare services and measuring quality. From the patient’s perspective, cooperation between different parts of the health system is currently inadequate – for example, IT systems and telemedicine are not being used enough. There is also no clear division of roles in coordinating treatment, which results in a lack of continuity. In addition to there being no standard quality indicators, measurements are carried out too infrequently both at the healthcare system level as well as the service provider level. We wish to analyse the current situation of patient-centeredness, healthcare integration and continuity of treatment. We also want to help make quality measurement an integral part of the healthcare system.
  3. Mental health
    There is little awareness of mental health issues in current healthcare policy as well as the society at large. As a result, there are no long-term goals or action plans for improving mental health in Estonia. Our work is aimed at creating a comprehensive mental health policy and making the subject the focus of a larger discussion.
  4. Long-term care
    Previous studies on long-term care have shown that the current financing model is not sustainable and the services are not available to all who need them. The need for care services has not been evaluated and cooperation between the social welfare and healthcare systems is not sufficient. It is also not clearly defined who is responsible for carrying out the service. These deficiencies directly affect the healthcare system, which has to deal with problems that should have been solved by long-term care. We are working on finding ways to improve the long-term care system both at the national as well as the regional level. These solutions should ensure sustainability, quality and human-centred services.


Employment and Social Life

  1. Taxes and benefits
    We evaluate the impact of pensions, social benefits and taxes on work incentives, poverty alleviation, and wealth redistribution. We analyse the sustainability of the Estonian social security system. Our analyses contribute to stakeholders’ growing awareness of the effects of reforms in the tax-benefits system on labour market efficiency, inequality, poverty reduction and sustainability of pension and healthcare financing.
  2. Access to the labour market and participation in working life
    Both the quantity and quality of our labour supply need to be increased in order to adjust to an aging and decreasing population. This could be done by involving the largest possible proportion of working-age people in the labour market. We analyse the labour market participation of different socio-economic groups (young people, the elderly, people with loss of ability to work, non-Estonians) and look at the barriers that stop them from participating. We assess whether and how the state’s labour market and social services support working and quality of life. We also analyse whether the available labour skills meet the needs of the labour market and examine labour migration issues.
  3. Industrial relations and social dialogue
    Labour relation policy is based on the premise that workers and employers do not always agree on the best working relations and conditions. Therefore, the state has to intervene to protect the interests of employees, employers and the public. In our analyses, we explain whether and how the state and its social partners should intervene in labour relations in order to improve them.
  4. Health and safety at work
    With its policies, the state obliges employers to create a safe working environment. Through our work, we try to find the optimal way in which the state and its social partners should intervene in labour relations to ensure a safe working environment.
  5. Gender equality
    We contribute to reducing gender inequality as a way to ensure equal opportunities, life without discrimination and efficient use of labour. We support the formulation of policies that will lead to changes in behaviour, reduce gender inequalities and help to introduce a more gender-sensitive policy-making process. As a result, people become more aware and see the world in a gender-sensitive way. Gender stereotypes that limit the choices and opportunities of men and women become less prevalent.
  6. Children’s rights and parenting
    We want to make society more child-friendly. To achieve this, we support society’s growing awareness of children’s rights and help to reduce attitudes that endanger those rights. We also analyse different policies, services and aspects of life from the perspective of children. This way, children’s well-being is increased and their rights protected. Children’s rights are closely linked to parenting skills, so studying and introducing good parenting practices is the basis for ensuring the rights of the child.


Horizontal Courses of Action

In addition to the above-mentioned objectives, we have also formulated several high-priority horizontal areas of focus, which cover all the policy areas and which we want to actively pursue in the coming years.

  1. Participatory democracy
    Participatory democracy and engagement are nowadays seen as an integral part of good governance. By conducting analyses and training people, we can develop participatory culture and increase trust between citizens and the state. This contributes to developing political culture and democracy.
  2. Empowering the parties
    It is important to develop the capabilities of target groups in all our areas of focus. As a result, we will have more competent policy-makers, government officials and social partners. Their decisions will be more knowledge-based, legitimate, comprehensive and forward-looking. Training and developing people allows us to take the knowledge accumulated by analytical work directly to our target groups and to achieve a greater and more sustainable impact than would be possible with analysis only.
  3. Open governance
    Open governance combines the developments of information society with innovative governance. This means using technology to further transparency and accountability as well as to offer e-services. Open governance is also characterised by liberal data policy, especially regarding open data. We believe that as an advanced information society, Estonia could be one of the pioneers and role models of open governance in the world.