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Posts from the ‘Think Tanks’ Category

Undue influence: what is it, how is it exerted, and how to address it in the future?

Extra, extra, think tanks are funded by foreign governments! This may have come as a shock to the readers of the New York Times but its an every day affair for think tanks in the developing world. This blog provides an overview of some of the mechanisms through which foreign funders fund think tanks in developing countries. Some pose significant challenges to their credibility and independence. Looking forward, a balance of foreign versus domestic funding will have to change.

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Think tank accountability: are they really just hired guns or is it slightly more complicated than that?

Questions over think tank foreign funding have opened the door to a very interesting debate in the US. Concerns for foreign funding are also present in developing countries -India being one example. In this blog post, Enrique Mendizabal argues that what matters most isn't the source of the funding but the conditions attached to it. Greater transparency could help address concerns.

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How to encourage researchers to publish more

In this post Enrique Mendizabal presents several ideas to increase think tanks' publications numbers. Using associates, introducing publication targets, and investing in new skills and systems, think tanks can avoid falling into a publications' draught. Once in one, it will be harder to turn things around.

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The art of creating time: invest, don’t spend

Are some organisations too successful for their own good? How can think tanks take a brake from donor led project funding to develop their own agendas and take the initiative on the projects that they pursue? In this post, Enrique Mendizabal offers some advice based on his own experience. He argues that think tanks must change the way they think about the way the spend their profits: think investment, not expenses.

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More on think tanks in India, what are they like?

Clara Richards writes about think tanks in India based on a study of economic think tanks in BRICS countries. She finds an interesting and changing environment that presents both challenges and opportunities for think tanks. in light of the new President's call for more and better think tanks, how ready are they?

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Selecting different ways to reach audiences: a strategically ongoing effort

In this third post in the series on audience segmentation and development Vanesa Weyrauch offers some practical advice on which communication tools may work best for some of the main think tank audiences.

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The challenge of communicating with different actors: is segmentation a good investment for think tanks?

Vanesa Weyrauch writes about segmenting audiences: if think tanks audiences are different should think tanks not have different communication approaches for each one of them? She reports on a study conducted with ASIES, in Guatemala, and provides some conceptual and practical advice.

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What think tanks do? A view from India

Neeta Krishna, Associate Professor, Father C Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies, writes about the functions and main activities of think tanks. This is the second of a series of three posts written for the Aiditi project at CSTEP, which aims to capture information, anecdotes and data from various Think Tanks.

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More research and less activism for think tanks in India

In this post, Samar Verma and Anshu Bharadwaj. They outline several of the challenges that think tanks in India face but also make a new and important argument. Efforts like the Think Tank initiative, the Think Tank Fund and the Knowledge Sector Initiative are not just relevant for other international think tanks funders. They offer countries like India possible models to support their own think tank communities.

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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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