Election time: how can think tanks help?

25 May 2017

In 2014 On Think Tanks embarked in a study of Latin American experiences of think tanks seeking to contribute to the electoral processes in their countries. This effort was consolidated in the publication Think Tanks & Elections, which incorporated experiences from around the world: Series on think tanks and elections.

As a result, more than 20 experiences from think tanks around the world have been documented so far. These cases come from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the United States and global projects. Initiatives include projects that seek to raise the quality of the debate with research inputs, efforts to organise debates among candidates both at the national or regional level, research studies on electoral reforms or results, civic education campaigns to help citizens understand features of the elections, and projects that evaluate candidates’ proposals.

Building on this first effort, in 2017 On Think Tanks and the Latin American network of think tanks (ILAIPP) partnered to seek out new practices from around the world, document them and produce practical resources for other think tanks to follow.

Does your think tank have a good story to share on how it contributes to electoral processes? Are you willing to share this story with other think tanks from around the world to help them inform their own efforts?

If your answers to these questions is YES, then please get in touch with us.

We have prepared a simple form you can fill to let us know about your story. We will be in touch right away.

What kind of initiatives are we looking for? There are many ways to contribute to electoral processes. Think tanks may undertake:

  • Projects that seek to inform the electoral process by raising the quality of the debate with research and policy analysis;
  • Efforts to organise debates among candidates;
  • Civic education campaigns to inform the public about the issues and/or the electoral process;
  • Projects that evaluate candidates’ proposals;
  • Initiatives that promote the participation of civil society in the electoral process;
  • Efforts to check candidates’ speeches, statements and manifestos (fact-checking); and
  • Many others

We are looking for past, current and future initiatives. All are welcome!

You can share your cases in English or Spanish. We will take care of making them available in both languages.

What will be do with these cases?

Once we have identified them, we will produce brief “best practice” notes describing each initiative. We will accompany them with a review of their key characteristics and the lessons that can be drawn from them. We will produce very short videos or gifs to help disseminate these.

In addition, we will review each experience and identify specific tools, for instance: a policy brief, a debate, a media briefing, a fact-checking report, etc. Drawing from all the relevant experiences, we will produce a brief notes on each and accompany them with short videos or gifs of some of them.

All these resources will be actively shared by On Think Tanks and ILAIPP.

How do you express your willingness in sharing your story?

  • Just fill this very brief form with basic information from your organization and the initiative. We will follow up with more questions.

Even if you do not work for a think tank but know about an interesting experience, we would like to hear from you.

And if you have a story but you are not sure if it suits what we are looking for? Please get in contact with us and we will help clarify this.

Please help us share this initiative.