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Posts tagged ‘think tanks’

Event: WonkComms 1 year on

A year ago, WonkComms was launched at an event in London. The blog, LinkedIn group, rotating Twitter account and Pinterest board soon followed. The aim was to bring people together to think about the future of think tank and research communications, and help them move towards that future. This event -Friday, 2 May - will review the last year, and also look forward to the challenges ahead. Watch it online!

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Transparify: Donors need to reveal their funding to think tanks abroad

Till Bruckner writes about the importance of demanding more openness from think tanks. He argues that their funders should expect them to be open about their sources of founding and the amounts the receive from them. In doing so he introduces a new and exiting initiative: Transparify. This new collaborative effort aims to rate the level of transparency of think tanks across the world.

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The On Think Tanks Exchange: first meeting

The On Think Tanks Exchange is a new initiative that aims to encourage and support exchanges between think tanks for the purpose of developing new relationships, facilitating collaboration in research projects, institutional development, and policy influencing efforts. Its first meeting was held in Lima in March 2014.

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Building sustainable think tanks is a long-run endeavour: the future of ACBF

This post outlines the Africa Capacity Building Foundation's new plans. It appears that a stronger focus on results and deeper engagement with 'senior demand side' players is on the cards. Also interesting, especially for a funder used to helping set up new think tanks, a focus on mature ones. Peter da Costa offers this as a closing post on a series dealing with a recent think tank summit in Africa.

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“Think Tanks in Africa: Catalysts for Ideas and Action” by Dr. Frannie Léautier

In this post Peter da Costa turns his attention to Dr. Frannie Léautier's presentation at the think tank summit. She argues that think tanks play a number of important roles as: Mediators, Trusted Advisors, Transformers, and Independent Thinkers. More importantly, she makes a strong case against the obsession with results: “If ACBF wanted immediate impact it would never have invested in think tanks for more than 20 years!"

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Observations from a gathering of African Think Tanks: Of visas, rankings and existential threats

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.

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Supporting think tanks series: synthesis of the think pieces – context related lessons

A year ago, On Think Tanks commissioned a series of think pieces on supporting think tanks for the evaluation of a pilot for the Knowledge Sector Initiative in Indonesia. This post outlines a number of lessons related to the challenges that the context places on think tanks - donor relationships. The think pieces identify at least six key aspects of the context that should appear high in any assessment of think tank support efforts: culture; politics; the labour market; information availability; donor–grantee relationships; and donor/grantee interests.

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Call for applications: Prospect Think Tank of the Year Awards 2014

Prospect Magazine has launched its 2014 Think Tank of the Year Awards. Entries are now open for this interesting and worthwhile celebration of think tanks. This year, the winners will be chosen from the US, the UK, and Europe.

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Better Sooner than Later: Addressing think tanks’ governance and management challenges to take full advantage of new funding and support opportunities

In this first of three posts I outline the importance of addressing Governance and Management challenges early on in any capacity development effort. Leaving these issues for later can lead to insurmountable problems later on and unnecessary waste of the resources allocated to think tanks. Getting the foundations and the basic structure right is crucial.

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How to fund think tanks? A few questions that may help decide

Funding think tanks requires careful consideration of a number of variable: who is funding, who receives the funding, what is it for, and how is it delivered. Think tanks should not be funded as if they were just another organisation; nor should they all be funded the same way across the board. In this post I try to outline some of the questions (and analysis) that funders may want to consider before funding think tanks.

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