Transparify is about to begin rating think tanks transparency credentials

19 November 2014
Transparify is about to start rating think tanks transparency. This is your chance to go through your websites and try to make sure that it is easy to find the right information about funding -amounts, sources, and uses.

[This post was first posted on the Transparify website.  If you have any questions about this post and the rating (as well as the method used), please go to the Transparify website and contact them directly. Also, if you are in a developing country and would like to learn more about how think tanks in Latin America, Africa and Asia are doing, check out these DIY ratings. Transparify is one of the initiatives that On Think Tank supports. If you want to know more about these efforts please visit On Think Tanks Lab.] 

Transparify will begin re-rating all 169 think tanks covered in our previous survey of think tank transparency in December 2014. (We may also rate some additional institutions – so if you were not rated last time, this message may still apply to you.)

We will use the same methodology and rating criteria as last time to award 0-5 stars. Think tanks receiving four stars are broadly transparent, while those with the maximum of five stars are highly transparent. (Click here to see how you can get five stars.)

There will be only one major change during this rating round. Last time, we published full and detailed rating results only for think tanks in the United States. This time, our report will list every think tank worldwide by name and the number of stars received.


Our raters may miss information uploaded onto websites after this date, and we cannot revisit websites we have already rated due to logistical constraints.

While Transparify obviously encourages all think tanks to make the changes required to achieve a minimum of four stars, this is especially true for those institutions that in early 2014 told us that they would place more information online soon. They were highlighted in our 2014 report and data set as “updating” and listed on a special page on our website.

In the United States, six think tanks said they would update their disclosure:

  • Atlantic Council
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • German Marshall Fund of the US
  • Pew Research Center
  • Stimson Center

Beyond the United States, the following think tanks said they would soon begin to walk the transparency talk:

  • Analitika – Center for Social Research (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Basel Institute on Governance (Switzerland)
  • Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis (Hungary)
  • Centre for Liberal Strategies (Bulgaria)
  • Chatham House (United Kingdom)
  • CSTEP – Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (India)
  • Demos (United Kingdom)
  • Economic and Social Research Foundation (Tanzania)
  • EMinS – European Movement in Serbia (Serbia)
  • IEA Ghana
  • IEA Kenya
  • IMANI Center for Policy and Education (Ghana)
  • Institut für Weltwirtschaft IFW (Germany)
  • ISSER – Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (Ghana)
  • ISET Policy Institute (Georgia)
  • Lowy Institute (Australia)
  • Norwegian Institute for International Affairs
  • Observer Research Foundation (India)
  • Political Capital Kft. (Hungary)
  • South African Institute of International Affairs (South Africa)
  • Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Germany)

If your think tank has any questions about the ratings process, or needs help in becoming more transparent, please look at our website’s Frequently Asked Questions and subscribe to our email updates. You can also follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook. For any further questions, please contact our advocacy manager, who will be happy to assist you.

One year ago, Transparify was able to celebrate a 40% increase in the number of transparent think tanks around the world. We look forward to welcoming many more institutions into the family of transparent think tanks during our second rating round!

[Once again, if you have any questions please visit the Transparify website.]