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Posts from the ‘Research’ 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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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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Think tanks, communication, and impact

Francesc Quintana has developed a model to monitor the impact of think tanks: A Tracking Outcome System, understood as part of the internal self-learning process by which a Think Tank defines its mission and goals, internal organisation, resources provision and allocation, communication plan and action plan. In this post he outlines the model and describes how it may be put into practice.

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More on think tanks in BRICS: South Africa

In this post, Clara Richards continues her exploration of think tanks from BRICS countries. It is the turn to South Africa. The post reviews a sample of think tanks in South Africa, outlining their main characteristics.

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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.

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Lessons on the role of Latin American think tanks in electoral processes – the way forward

In this post, Leandro Echt outlines a number of key lessons from cases of Latin American think tanks working to inform and improve the electoral processes in their countries. He also provides a set of recommendations for action to help share the lessons learned in Latin America with other regions.

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