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Posts from the ‘Research’ Category

PLAAS seeks to influence land reform policy through media debate

In this post Rebecca Pointer outlines the approach that the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of Cape Town uses to influence land reform policy in the 2014 South African elections. PLAAS' approach emphasises media engagement.

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CSDS: Five decades of Understanding Electoral Politics in India

In this post, Sanjay Kumar, Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), outlines the think tank's work on elections in India. CSDS has one of the largest body of information and knowledge on elections outside Europe and North America. A key lessons is that think tanks can influence elections by studying them.

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Think Tank Transparency: Transparify’s 2015 report is out

Transparify has launched its 2015 annual report on Transparency. Find out which are the most transparent think tanks and learn more about how to reach a 5 star rating.

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A quick and dirty “Transparify-like” assessment of US think tanks

Think tank transparency promises to be one of the most important issues of 2015. In this post we present a DIY rating of some of the most popular US think tanks to accompany Transparify's own rating and annual report.

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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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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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Influencing efforts should affect their influencing objectives -and viceversa

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.

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“Solution Aversion”: Denying a problem when you do not like the solution

New research from Duke University shows that people are more likely to deny a problem if they disagree with the solution. They will even go back and rethink their own views. It is not that they are anti-science or anti-evidence, rather, they are, as one should expect, political. This has important implications for think tanks and for the evidence based policy sector.

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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.

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A quick and dirty Transparify-like analysis of Latin American think tanks

This post presents another Quick and Dirty Transparify rating of a group of Latin American think tanks. It is intended as a kick starter for a greater conversation on Transparency and, hopefully, a DIY trend.

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