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.
Posts from the ‘Think Tanks’ Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.