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On Think Tanks was founded in mid 2010. It has evolved from a blog into a global platform dedicated to study and support policy research and policy research centres, or think tanks. The members of the On Think Tanks Team and its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents!


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Our funding

Our funding story

On Think Tanks (OTT) started as a blog, set up by OTT founder Enrique Mendizabal in 2010. At the same time, Enrique set up OTT Consulting Ltd, a small UK-based consultancy that services think tanks, funders and other policy actors, to support OTT’s mission.

From 2010-2015, Enrique used profits from consultancy projects to support all of OTT’s initiatives and to cover travel costs, website development and research assistants.

2015 was a big year for OTT as we received our first external grant from the Hewlett Foundation. Since 2015, OTT has been financed through the generous support of the Hewlett Foundation and the profits from OTT Consulting Ltd. We also are incredibly grateful to all the people and institutions who volunteer and contribute time and expertise to OTT.

Transparency about funding is important to us, and we’re always seeking to polish our Transparify stars by providing up-to-date information about our funding here. If there is anything you feel isn’t covered by this page or you have any questions about our funding, please get in touch.

Our funding

OTT has two main fiscal hosts (i.e. organisations that receive and manage funds for OTT activities): OTT Consulting Ltd and Universidad del Pacífico.

OTT Consulting Ltd is a small, UK-based, consultancy set up by OTT’s founder Enrique Mendizabal to undertake consultancy work in support of OTT’s mission.

Universidad del Pacífico is the fiscal host for a fund from the Hewlett Foundation, which has supported OTT since 2015. OTT’s leadership, communications, research agenda, core roles within the OTT School, and other ongoing activities are covered by these funds.

Institutional support received by OTT

Here’s a summary of the Hewlett Foundation funds, channelled through Universidad del Pacífico, since 2015:

  • For the period 2015-2016, OTT received USD 230,000
  • For the period 2017-2018, OTT received USD 380,000
  • For the period 2019-2021, OTT will receive USD 800,00
  • USD 300,000 for 2019
  • USD 250,000 for 2020
  • USD 250,000 for 2021

Grant and project funding managed by OTT Consulting Ltd

In 2019, OTT Consulting provided support to OTT of about USD 58,000

Here’s an overview of all grant and project funding received and managed by OTT Consulting in 2019 (this includes expenses such as sub-contractors, travel and accommodation) are:

  • IPRE, Moldova: USD 2,860
  • Southern Voice: USD 2,934
  • Open Society Foundations (1): USD 20,000
  • World Bank: USD 9,957
  • WHO: USD2 4,850
  • American Institute of Physics: USD 102,430
  • CBM: USD 950
  • Open Society Foundations (2): USD 73,000
  • TAI: USD 14,073
  • UNICEF: USD 27,340
  • Open Society Foundations (3): USD 61,991
  • Global Development Networks: USD 3,775
  • Southern Hemisphere: USD 2,430
  • University of Nottingham: GBP 9,572
  • IDRC (1): GBP 111,825
  • IDRC (2): GBP 58,187
  • BvLF: GBP 12,120
  • Research Consulting UK: GBP 2,900
  • Robert Bosch Stiftung: EUR 22,266

Voluntary work and in contributions

Much of what OTT has been able to achieve since it was founded in 2010 has been down to the voluntary work and contributions of a number of institutions and individuals. We couldn’t do what we do without them. In particular we’d like to recognise:

  • Soapbox – who developed our website and who provides some in-kind help, including technical and communications support
  • Jeff Knezovich and Nick Scott – who helped develop the first versions of the site; and Jeff in particular for leading OTT’s initial communications work ad honorem
  • OTT’s regional editors – whose work is not remunerated except for small support for travel and research
  • Vanesa Weyrauch and Leandro Echt – who were involved in the launch of the OTT School
  • Many others, including the hundreds of contributors who produce most of the content shared by OTT.