Think tanks and elections: a series on experiences from around the world

12 February 2015

[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:

And the experiences of the Latin American series are: