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Posts from the ‘Reviews’ Category

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.

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A new political economy of research uptake: overview from studies in Latin America, Africa and Asia

This posts summarises a number of studies produced by ODI, IDEA International and others between 2009 and 2012 on the political economy of research uptake. It presents cases from South America, Africa and Asia, edited books and other resources.

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A Think Tank History: A view from India

In this post (the first of three) Neeta Krishna, Associate Professor, Father C Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai, writes about the history of think tanks and in India in particular. She sets the scene for a more in-depth analysis of think tank's functions in a future post. It is part of a series of articles commissioned by the Aiditi project at CSTEP which aims to capture information/ anecdotes/data from various Think Tanks.

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Think tanks are on the agenda in India: Skills, Scale and Speed

Think tanks find it difficult to fundraise in developing countries. Outside of the usual international development agencies, few domestic private funders exist. The new Indian Government offers new arguments in favour of funding think tanks that should be considered by think tanks and their supporters alike. If it is good for India (and China) ...

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Think tank rankings and awards: rigged, futile, or useful

Are all think tank awards useless? In this article I argue that awards can be developed to celebrate good work, increase the visibility of think tanks in their societies, and contribute to the development of the think tank community as a whole. After reviewing three rankings: the UPenn go to think tank ranking, the RePEc economics think tanks ranking, and the ICCG environment and energy think tank map and ranking, and compares them with the Prospect Award. I argue that the Prospect Magazine Award offer a model to follow and adapt in different countries and an alternative to global or regional de-contextualised rankings.

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New Topic Pages: an On Think Tanks digest

After 4 years of On Think Tanks there are quite a lot of posts on the blog. Even I have lost track of some of them, and the ideas they contain. Tomás Garzón de la Roza and Leandro Echt have edited 9 Topic Pages to help you, the reader, navigate through close to 600 posts.

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What do policymakers want?

What do policymakers want? Three studies, one from the White House, one from Whitehall, and one from Australia, provide excellent information and insights into what they need from researchers and how they prefer to get it. You may not be surprised to find that they like theory and distrust anyone who talks more jargon than them.

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Think Tanks transparency: a new opportunity thanks to Transparify

Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing the transparency of think tanks in different programmes using Transparify's approach. I hope this analysis will contribute to greater openness among think tanks as well as their supporters. This post outlines the approach taken and links to the ratings themselves.

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Corporate interests and think tanks: an overview of current debates

To be sustainable think tanks have to court the private sector (this is where the money is, after all), whether directly or indirectly by means of their foundations. But, as any half-baked economics think tanks would know: there is no such thing as a free lunch. So: how to get funded and remain independent (or at least intellectually autonomous)? Tranfarify offers some answers (and a lot more questions).

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On the KSI pilot evaluation and lessons for the programme implementation

Supporting think tanks is a complex matter. DFAT (Australia) has taken on a massive task of developing the knowledge sector in Indonesia, of which think tanks are a part of. An evaluation of a pilot offered some recommendations that were duly considered by the funder. Here, I offer some comments on the recommendations and the funder's response.

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