Contracts stand between think tanks and the funds they need. But these contracts are hardly ever developed for think tanks -or with think tanks in mind. They pose enormous challenges for them, often compromising their own core asset: their intellectual capital. This post considers three typical contracts and puts forward some recommendations to improve the terms of the contracts that think tanks in developing countries receive.
Posts from the ‘Research’ Category
Non-partisan think tanks are praised by their neutrality. But, as Claudio Jones argues, partisan think tanks play an important and necessary function in any democracy -certainly in emerging ones. In this post he outlines some characteristics of partisan think tanks, the challenges they face, and the functions they can fulfil.
In his second post, Philippe Martin outlines some of the key findings of his study of the effect that certain contextual factors have on think tanks' performance. He concludes with a number of interesting research questions to inform any efforts for further analysis.
Philippe Martin has used the Think Tank Initiative's database to test a number of hypothesis about the effect that certain contextual factors have on think tanks' performance. In this first post of two, he outlines some of the hypothesis studied.
David Walker presents and discusses a Knowledge Society Index developed to attempt to explain the effect of the context on think tanks formation and success. Developing such an index presents an attractive opportunity to quantify the fussy relationship between context and think tanks but leads to critical challenges that David addresses. What do you think of the index? Are the costs and challenges too large to merit the effort?
Thomas Medvetz 2013 book, Think Tanks in America, describes think tanks as political operators and provides a great account of how they go about claiming and gaining political power for themselves and their sector. The book provides a critical history of think tanks in the US that shines a new light on them; from technocratic and neutral knights to ideological and partisan knaves (not all of course). Read the book.
The Think Tank Initiative has contracted Results for Development and University of Washington researchers to learn more about the different contexts in which think tanks work and about the strategies they use to achieve success within these diverse environments. As part of this study, they invite you to participate in a survey.