Think tank transparency is an issue that is here to stay. A group of funders and think tanks got together at the Think Tank Initiative's Global Exchange in Istanbul to discuss its pros and cons and consider how to address the growing demand for transparency. This post outlines the reasons for and against it, what think tank transparency may involve, and what could think tanks and their funders do about.
Posts from the ‘Opinion’ Category
This post argues that we cannot continue to accept the oversimplification of the complex relationship between ideas, politics and the efforts to transform them. Accepting expressions like "research to action" and "evidence informed/based policy" reinforces the notion that there is a natural and unlovable pecking and logic order: first research then influence. Instead, change, within and outside an organisation, happens in the midst of a co-evolution of influencing objectives and efforts.
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.
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.