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Posts from the ‘Contributions’ Category

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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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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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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A peer-to-peer approach to supporting think tanks in Zambia

In this post, Guy Lodge and Will Paxton write about a new initiative to support think tanks in Zambia: the Zambian Economic Advocacy Programme (ZEAP). This initiative, comparable to the much larger Think Tank Initiative and Knowledge Sector Initiative (in Indonesia), aims to improve the quality of economic policy debate in the country by relying on the role of experienced peers to support a group of think tanks. It offers a promising alternative to much more expensive models.

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An on the record discussion about think tanks (también en castellano)

José Luis Chicoma, Executive Director of Ethos Public Policy Lab, reflects on a recent gathering of Latin American think tanks. He puts forward 'a theory of the evolution of think tanks' that leads to the formation of much more politically engaged organisations, working closely with grassroots and other actors that hitherto, think tanks have not been known for working closely with.

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Think Tank Effectiveness – An outsider view

Neeta Krishna, Associate Professor, Father C Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai, offers a fresh take at think tank effectiveness. She outlines a number of factors that may help describe and understand think tank effectiveness. She draws comparisons (sometimes possible, sometimes not) from the private sector offering interesting insights into how to assess think tanks value.

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Life after core funding

In this last post, Gjergji Vurmo, Programme Director at the Institute for Democracy and Mediation, in Albania, offers a final reflection on life after core funding. He discusses the effect that core funding has had on the organisation's governance, staffing decisions, and research agenda.

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Transparency for think tanks: the latest fashion or an urgent reform?

This post was written by Orazio Bellettini, Executive Director of Grupo FARO in Ecuador. It presents ideas and reflections generated on the panel “From Research to Impact, from Transparency to Independence” included in the Latin American Think Tanks Summit organized by the Getulio Vargas Foundation. Orazio considers some of the arguments for and against greater transparency.

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