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Posts from the ‘Think Tanks’ Category

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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Policy Window approach to influence

Think tanks often struggle to keep up with an ever changing agenda. Their efforts to influence unexpected and often chaotic policy processes present significant challenges to their typically project-based business models. By adopting a policy window approach to their research and communications work, however, they may be able to gain some control over their environment.

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The wonkcomms crystal ball: Five things 2015 will bring for think tank communications

Leonora Merry shares her predictions for 2015. This post was first published on WonkComms and focuses on key and exiting developments in the British think tank scene: a focus on elections, new ways of managing projects, the media becoming more like think tanks, and others.

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Communications as an Orchestra

Communicating is like playing music. Heads of communications need to behave as the conductor of an orchestra. They must prepare their musicians and their instruments to be ready to entertain their audience, keep them engaged, and 'move' them, even encourage them to sing along. This post outlines an alternative to strategic communication plans.

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An initiative model for a plural think tank: a space of policy ideas

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.

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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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How to produce a public event

Public events are an excellent communication and convening tool for think tanks but few use them to their full potential. This post outlines some advice on how to produce an event for impact. It argues that events can be cheap and entertaining -for speakers and audiences alike- but they have to be produced more carefully.

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A peer-to-peer approach to supporting think tanks in Zambia

In this post, Guy Lodge and Will Paxton write about a new initiative to support think tanks in Zambia: the Zambian Economic Advocacy Programme (ZEAP). This initiative, comparable to the much larger Think Tank Initiative and Knowledge Sector Initiative (in Indonesia), aims to improve the quality of economic policy debate in the country by relying on the role of experienced peers to support a group of think tanks. It offers a promising alternative to much more expensive models.

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An on the record discussion about think tanks (también en castellano)

José Luis Chicoma, Executive Director of Ethos Public Policy Lab, reflects on a recent gathering of Latin American think tanks. He puts forward 'a theory of the evolution of think tanks' that leads to the formation of much more politically engaged organisations, working closely with grassroots and other actors that hitherto, think tanks have not been known for working closely with.

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Think Tank Effectiveness – An outsider view

Neeta Krishna, Associate Professor, Father C Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai, offers a fresh take at think tank effectiveness. She outlines a number of factors that may help describe and understand think tank effectiveness. She draws comparisons (sometimes possible, sometimes not) from the private sector offering interesting insights into how to assess think tanks value.

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