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?
Posts tagged ‘Think Tank’
Contracts stand between think tanks and the funds they need. But these contracts are hardly ever developed for think tanks -or with think tanks in mind. They pose enormous challenges for them, often compromising their own core asset: their intellectual capital. This post considers three typical contracts and puts forward some recommendations to improve the terms of the contracts that think tanks in developing countries receive.
The last three WonkComms events considered the ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘where’ of think tank communications. This event turned its attention to ‘who’ – the human resources think tanks can call on for their communications, what skills are needed to progress in the sector and how to develop them.
The Think Tank Initiative has contracted Results for Development and University of Washington researchers to learn more about the different contexts in which think tanks work and about the strategies they use to achieve success within these diverse environments. As part of this study, they invite you to participate in a survey.
A couple of months ago I published a couple of blogs about a new project funded by the TTI to study the relationship between think tanks and universities. The project in Latin America is now underway and the team has set up a new website: +Saber América Latina.
The previous post suggested that this can be achieved by working through three steps: a) what should get done, b) who is best placed to do it, and c) empowering those who are best placed to do it to do it.
To answer the first question, the post examined what an informed content strategy looked like. And before we dive into step b, let’s consider first why we even need a content strategy.
Are all think tanks non-for-profits? It seems that many think tanks in Hungary are for-profit companies that look, talk, walk like think tanks. Should their legal status make a difference on whether they get funding or not? Should donors just accept that difference is the rule?
Understanding the audience of a particular think tank or initiative is key to determining whether its outputs are 'fit for purpose', which is what this post covers. It begins by articulating a challenge faced by many think tanks and initiatives working in the international arena. It then provides an overview of various methods for understanding and targeting audiences relevant to both institutions and programmes. It concludes with some tips for putting it all together.