[Editor’s note: This summary post of a series of posts on think tanks’ initiatives to contribute to the study of elections in their countries and/or to feed electoral debates with policy research. The series is edited by Leandro Echt, and it draws from a series on Latin American think tanks’ initiative aimed at influencing electoral processes published on On Think Tanks and in Spanish on VIPPAL.]
Think tanks’ initiatives around elections are increasingly deserving the attention of different stakeholders in the policy community around the world. In the last years Latin American think tanks conducted a series of initiatives aimed at influencing electoral debates shaping a sort of “technology of influence” (many of these initiatives have been compiled and edited by On Think Tanks and CIPPEC). More recently WonkComms has talked about an ‘election fever’ and discussed the role of think tanks in the upcoming British election.
Moreover, the upcoming Think Tank Initiative’s Global Exchange set up a panel to discuss the role of think tanks in elections in which different think tankers from Latin America, Asia and Africa will share their experiences.
At On Think Tanks we would like to continue contributing to the understanding of these experiences. We have taken two steps to do so:
Firstly, we have gathered a broad range of projects that think tanks around the world have put into action at the time of the elections. In this page we share the goals of these initiatives, the main activities implemented within them, some resources (like research documents, communication materials, events and videos), their results and their supporters. This site will also be a supporting material for the aforementioned panel at the upcoming TTI’s global exchange. Of course, we know there a huge number of initiatives out there that we could not reach yet, but we hope this effort will provide a space of reference/inspiration for those think tanks seeking to develop initiatives with focus on elections. If your think tank (or other organisations you know) works with similar initiatives at the time of elections, please email me and we will be happy to include it in the webpage so others can benefit from your experience.
Secondly, we decided to expand our series of experiences on think tanks and elections from Latin America. Through this new series, different thinktankers around the world will share their organisations’ initiatives thus fostering cross-learning with their peers and other interested audiences. The series will deepen some of the experiences gathered in the think tanks and elections page, but will also invite other voices to reflect on the broad spectrum of efforts that think tanks can put into practice focusing on elections.
So far the experiences of the series are:
- The IEA presidential debates: 15 years of upholding electoral accountability, by Jean Mensa, Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
- CSDS: Five decades of Understanding Electoral Politics in India, by Sanjay Kumar, Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).
- PLAAS seeks to influence land reform policy through media debate, by Rebecca Pointer, Information and Communication Officer at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS).
- Social scientists have a real opportunity to influence what politicians say in the run-up to the General Election, by Jonathan Breckon, Head of the Alliance for Useful Evidence. This post was originally published at The Impact of Social Sciences blog run by the LSE Public Policy Group.
- FUSADES and 2012 elections in El Salvador: electoral reforms and promotion of the exercise of suffrage, by Luisa Solano, Researcher at the Department of Political Studies of the Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social (FUSADES).
- Think tanks and the UK general election: who lost, who won and who decided not to play? This post was originally published at Rowland Manthorpe at Think Tank Review.
- Making energy matters matter: entering the electoral field, by Tutana Kvaratskhelia, Administrative Officer at World Experience for Georgia (WEG).
And the experiences of the Latin American series are:
- Focusing the electoral debate: CIES’ experience in the 2011 electoral campaign in Peru, by Javier Portocarrero, Executive Director of the Consortium for Economic and Social Research (CIES), with the collaboration of Leandro Echt.
- Think tanks can create spaces for dialogue among relevant actors of the policy community– an interview with Orazio Bellettini Cedeño, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Reforms and Opportunities (Grupo FARO). By Leandro Echt.
- The experience of Fedesarrollo in presidential campaigns in Colombia, by Leonardo Villar, Executive Director of the Foundation for High Education and Development (Fedesarrollo).
- The challenge is refining the think tanks’ ‘technology of influence’ in electoral campaigns– interview with Fernando Straface, Executive Director of the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC). By Leandro Echt.
- Paraguay Debate: the challenge of nourishing the political debate in times of elections, by Marcelo Mancuello, researcher and consultant of the Center of Analysis and Diffusion of the Paraguayan Economy (CADEP).
- Lessons from Latin American think tanks’ role in electoral process – the way forward, by Leandro Echt.
- Implications for think tanks in other regions, by Enrique Mendizabal.