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Posts from the ‘Think Tanks’ Category

Transparify is about to begin rating think tanks transparency credentials

Transparify is about to start rating think tanks transparency. This is your chance to go through your websites and try to make sure that it is easy to find the right information about funding -amounts, sources, and uses.

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What happens when foreign donors leave (and they will)? Domestic funders wanted

Foreign funding for think tanks has raised a few eyebrows lately. There is an increasing concern that this involves meddling with domestic politics. In developing countries this comes alongside an already very drying up of foreign funds for research. Domestic funders, especially corporations, foundations and individual philanthropists will have to step in to pick up the bill. Think tanks, however, will have to rethink how they raise funds and work if they want to tap into this opportunity.

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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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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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Criticism or defamation?

What happens when a think tank critiques the government? Not much should happen. But what happens if the government and their leaders decide to use the law to punish them? Defamation legislation is emerging as a possible risk to think tanks.

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Core vs. project funding for think tanks: Managing development

In this second post, Gjergji Vurmo, Programme Director at the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) in Albania, shares his experience in managing think tank funds. It is not about spending the money in existing or new researchers, he argues, but about developing the right skills and capacities that the organisation needs to deliver in the future -without core funding support.

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Developing a think tank: first hand experience with non-project support

Gjergji Vurmo, Programme Director at the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) in Albania, shares his experience in preparing an application for core funding from the Think Tank Fund. He reflects on the process and offers advice to others planing to follow a similar path. He argues that core funding cannot be treated as business as usual project funding.

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Organisational change in think tanks: it takes more than great plans

Organisational change is becoming as core an activity as research for many think tanks. Funding is increasingly conditioned to changes or reforms within the organisation. Not all think tanks have the capacity to manage this change, however. They can learn from each other, they can contract experts and consultants to support them, and they may even rely on their own skills. But many more could do with more support on this front. Think tank funders interested in organisational development should invest in their own organisational change capacity to service the think tanks they support.

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What is a think tank? Defining the boundaries of the label

The exact definition of think tanks eludes us. With more and more organisations using the label to describe themselves, how can we decide what is and what isn't one. The Premio PODER to the best Peruvian think tanks provides an opportunity to set out the boundaries of a fluid and porous definition. One that is likely to change over time as more (or fewer) organisations assume the functions we associate with think tanks.

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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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