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New organisational development grants from the Think Tank Fund

The Open Society Think Tank Fund has launched a call for proposals for organisational development grants from independent, multi-issue think tanks working in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine.

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TTDATAVIS how to series: How to… merge and tidy datasets with Microsoft Excel

In this how to we use Microsoft Excel to merge two different datasets. We mainly focus on the VLOOKUP function, but also remove duplicates.

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Managing budgets in a Think Tank

Eva Cardoso, an experienced think tank administrator writes about managing budgets for think tanks. She uses the project cycle to describe the various stages of budget design, monitoring and closure. She also outlines the different roles and skills that are necessary for an adequate budget management. Finally, she presents useful templates for think tanks to use.

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TTDATAVIS how to series: How to… import live data with GoogleDrive Spreadsheets

In this how to, we will look at how to use Google Drive Spreadsheets to import live data from the web. I should note that this function is available in newer versions of Excel as well, though it operates slightly differently.

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The School of Thinktankers: inspiring the leaders of the future

On Think Tanks has partnered with Canning House to deliver an existing new course for future Latin American think tank leaders. The School of Thinktankers is designed to address a challenge that all think tanks in the world face: good think tank leaders are scarce. More details about The School will be shared soon but this is your chance to sign-up and express your interest in being part of it.

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How transparent are Spanish Think Tanks? A DIY rating with Transparify’s framework

Think tank transparency is emerging as a key issue for 2015. Being influential and popular is no longer enough when it comes to assessing think tanks' value. In this post, 48 Spanish think tanks have been rated using Transparify's method. The authors also offer useful and practical advice to the think tanks.

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TTDATAVIS how to series: How to capture and structure data from websites using Import.io

As part of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition (TTDATAVIS), we have been producing a series of how to posts and videos spanning data capture, data cleaning and data visualisation. We'll be cross-posting the videos on our main blog, but the full posts with instructions are available on the TTDATAVIS website.

In this how to, we explore one aspect of Import.io, which is a massively powerful free piece of software that can help to scrape information from websites.

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Policy Window approach to influence

Think tanks often struggle to keep up with an ever changing agenda. Their efforts to influence unexpected and often chaotic policy processes present significant challenges to their typically project-based business models. By adopting a policy window approach to their research and communications work, however, they may be able to gain some control over their environment.

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Round 3 of ttdatavis now open for submissions!

We're pleased to announce that Round 3 of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition is now open for submissions. Submit your data visualisation and communication strategy now!

This third and final round of the 2014-15 competition is focused on finding data visualisations that have been most successfully used as part of a wider communication strategy.

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The wonkcomms crystal ball: Five things 2015 will bring for think tank communications

Leonora Merry shares her predictions for 2015. This post was first published on WonkComms and focuses on key and exiting developments in the British think tank scene: a focus on elections, new ways of managing projects, the media becoming more like think tanks, and others.

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