In this post, Clara Richards continues her exploration of think tanks from BRICS countries. It is the turn to South Africa. The post reviews a sample of think tanks in South Africa, outlining their main characteristics.
Posts tagged ‘Africa’
[Editor's note: This post was written by Sandrine Ebakisse, a knowledge manager by profession. She carried out this analysis with a research grant from the Communications Division of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). In it she reflects on the strategies of two policy research organisations working in Cameroon's forestry sector.
Transparify has just published an excellent report in which it reviews the financial transparency of over 150 think tanks across the world. Inspired by this effort I have rated the group of think tanks funded by the Think Tank Initiative. For no other reasons that it is a fairly clear set, not too small and not too large, and representative of three developing regions. In this blog post I argue that Transparify has opened a door that other should follow.
In this second post on the think tanks' Summit, Peter da Costa reflects on Prof. Achille Mbembe's presentation at a recent African think tanks summit and poses an important question: can knowledge ever help change Africa unless it is critically grounded in reality? Otherwise, does it risk being nothing more than a provider of narrow solutions to even narrower expert-defined problems?
Peter da Costa reflects on a meeting of African Think Tanks where concerns about global rankings and threats to think tanks were discussed. He argues that think tanks in the region need to come together to learn from each other -but this needs to be an African initiative if it is ever to be successful.
In this third think piece on supporting think tanks, Stephen Yeo critically outlines a not so recent history of initiatives, funds and projects. He identifies a number of compounding challenges: funding, human resources, lack of competition, and leadership. One of the overall results is a limited incentive for transformative change.
Calls for new think tanks in Africa are getting more common. But while some see an opportunity for supporting the formation of several think tanks others favour large national Brookings-style centres. One big one or a few small ones?