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Focusing the electoral debate: CIES’ experience during the Peru 2011 campaign

In this second post of the series of Think Tanks and Elections Javier Portocarrero reflects on the lessons learned from CIES' most recent effort to influence the electoral debate win Peru. CIES' 2006 project has served as a guide for think tanks across Latin America. The lessons presented in this post are useful for think tanks and donors interested in adopting this new Latin American Technology.

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Think tanks and the electoral process: lessons from Latin America

Many think tanks argue that elections are the worst time to attempt to influence policy. Think tanks in Latin America, disagree. There, they have developed a new technology of influence that is able to influence both policy and the policy context. This post introduces a series edited by Leandro Echt that collects cases from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay.

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Round 1 of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition 2014 is now Open!

The wait is over! The On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition is back in a newer -- and better -- incarnation for the 2014-15 season. The competition is now open to think tanks all over the world. The new and improved competition site has more information, more resources and will provide greater opportunities to learn about data visualisation.

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#TheExchangeJakarta: learning about collaboration from the On Think Tanks Exchange

The On Think Tanks Exchange is coming to Jakarta this week. This post outlines some of the lessons that the participating think tanks have learned already. The post also presents links to papers and posts written by the participants themselves. This week, follow us: #TheExchangeJakarta

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Think Tank Quickies

A weekend reading list courtesy of Think Tank Watch: a news source about think tanks around the world.

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Is too much transparency a bit of a problem?

Do we really want to know who funds or funded think tanks and researchers? Do we want to know all about how they get their funding, who they've worked with, or for in the past? In this post, I play devil's advocate and present some arguments against complete transparency. Would it make it impossible for the system to function?

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Learning about collaboration: The Exchange

Thinktankers from 10 centres will be meeting in Indonesia next week to work on collaborative projects and learn more about inter-regional collaboration between think tanks. This post presents some short reflections from the participants on their previous collaboration experiences.

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Too much think, not enough tank?

Stephen Colbert makes fun of the think tanks' transparency scandal. but he make s a good point: think tanks claim to be independent from all influences when they probably aren't. This is a double edge sword.

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Scenarios for the future of think tank support initiatives

The move towards long term institutional support for think tanks has led to great improvements in their capacity. There are already a number of stories of success coming from initiatives like the TTI and KSI. But what will happen when they come to an end? Will they? How could these initiatives look like in the future and how could thinking about these scenarios today help them to achieve their objectives?

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Think Tanks Stress Test

Think tanks can be fragile organisations. They may look strong and solid but could, overnight, lose funding and staff and see their fortunes change. Unlike other organisations they cannot map out a steady stream of contracts or sales. Funding will largely depend on facts such as: the political cycle, the interests of funders in far away lands (and driven by their own politics), the capacity of key researchers to attract funds, the laws that they have little influence over. This post outlines a number of questions that think tanks could ask themselves (our could be asked about them) to assess the soundness of their business model.

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