Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Opinion’ Category

An initiative model for a plural think tank: a space of policy ideas

What can plural think tanks do when faced with a highly political and ideologically charged issues? They cannot fully commit to a single policy option when some of their own researchers are fiercely against it. This kind of internal opposition can even kill great ideas. This blog post puts forward a new approach for plural think tanks. It argues that it is possible to be the source of a solution even if this solution has been developed elsewhere. Creating the space for debate is a function that needs to be given more attention to.

Read more

The one billion dollar business: American think tanks

Transapreify has shared some interesting data on 21 US think tanks. We put together a few data visualisations to see if we could make a bit more sense of the data. The picture is a complex and exiting one. It turns out that being big does not necessarily mean you are more visible and this says little about the perception others have of you. When it comes to think tank, painting by numbers if not enough; we need a freestyle painting.

Read more

How to produce a public event

Public events are an excellent communication and convening tool for think tanks but few use them to their full potential. This post outlines some advice on how to produce an event for impact. It argues that events can be cheap and entertaining -for speakers and audiences alike- but they have to be produced more carefully.

Read more

What happens when foreign donors leave (and they will)? Domestic funders wanted

Foreign funding for think tanks has raised a few eyebrows lately. There is an increasing concern that this involves meddling with domestic politics. In developing countries this comes alongside an already very drying up of foreign funds for research. Domestic funders, especially corporations, foundations and individual philanthropists will have to step in to pick up the bill. Think tanks, however, will have to rethink how they raise funds and work if they want to tap into this opportunity.

Read more

Celebrating and learning about think tanks

The Premio PODER to think tank in Peru has provided an opportunity to celebrate the good work of think tanks but also to learn quite a lot about them. It has offered insights into the definition of think tank in the country, their business models, their contributions to society, and their influencing approaches. This blog outlines some of these lessons and argues that this is a model that could be replicated in other countries.

Read more

Criticism or defamation?

What happens when a think tank critiques the government? Not much should happen. But what happens if the government and their leaders decide to use the law to punish them? Defamation legislation is emerging as a possible risk to think tanks.

Read more

Organisational change in think tanks: it takes more than great plans

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.

Read more

What is a think tank? Defining the boundaries of the label

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.

Read more

Think tanks and electoral processes: an opportunity that should not be missed

About 4 years ago, Fernando Straface from CIPPEC called for Latin American think tanks to share what he called a new technology of influence in electoral years. After close to a decade of projects in more than 5 countries in the region, it is now possible to share this innovation with others. This series has presented some of the lessons learned by think tanks in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay. In this post, Enrique Mendizabal argues for its replicability in other regions and provides some advice on how to go about it.

Read more

#TheExchangeJakarta: learning about collaboration from the On Think Tanks Exchange

The On Think Tanks Exchange is coming to Jakarta this week. This post outlines some of the lessons that the participating think tanks have learned already. The post also presents links to papers and posts written by the participants themselves. This week, follow us: #TheExchangeJakarta

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,522 other followers