Gjergji Vurmo, Programme Director at the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) in Albania, shares his experience in preparing an application for core funding from the Think Tank Fund. He reflects on the process and offers advice to others planing to follow a similar path. He argues that core funding cannot be treated as business as usual project funding.
Posts by Enrique Mendizabal
Organisational change is becoming as core an activity as research for many think tanks. Funding is increasingly conditioned to changes or reforms within the organisation. Not all think tanks have the capacity to manage this change, however. They can learn from each other, they can contract experts and consultants to support them, and they may even rely on their own skills. But many more could do with more support on this front. Think tank funders interested in organisational development should invest in their own organisational change capacity to service the think tanks they support.
The exact definition of think tanks eludes us. With more and more organisations using the label to describe themselves, how can we decide what is and what isn't one. The Premio PODER to the best Peruvian think tanks provides an opportunity to set out the boundaries of a fluid and porous definition. One that is likely to change over time as more (or fewer) organisations assume the functions we associate with think tanks.
Do we really want to know who funds or funded think tanks and researchers? Do we want to know all about how they get their funding, who they've worked with, or for in the past? In this post, I play devil's advocate and present some arguments against complete transparency. Would it make it impossible for the system to function?