Free webinar: Strengthening policy research organizations – what we’ve learned from the Think Tank Initiative

Event type Courses
Start date 14 November 2019 4pm UTC

Over 10 years, the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) helped think tanks across three continents become institutionally stronger and better positioned to influence policy with research evidence. Many lessons emerged throughout TTI, but some in particular have helped transform the way we think about strengthening policy research organisations.

In this webinar, we invite you to join Sarah Lucas of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Peter Taylor of the International Development Research Centre, in reflecting on the learnings that have most shaped their own thinking, and to engage in a dialogue on how these lessons might inform potential ways forward.

We will cover:

  1. What is the Think Tank Initiative?
  2. What do we understand as “impact” when supporting think tanks?
  3. How to support think tanks?
  4. What have we learned -and are yet to lean?


Thursday 14 November 2019, 4pm UTC.


This 45-minute webinar is free.


Sarah T. Lucas is as a Program Officer in Global Development and Population at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She manages a portfolio of grants designed to increase the use of data and evidence to improve public policies in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.

Previously, Sarah worked at the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, where she served as the country team lead for Liberia and as a senior policy adviser representing the agency in government-wide initiatives to advance the president’s global development policy.

Sarah has also worked at the Center for Global Development where she led strategy to make the center’s research influential for legislative and executive branch policymakers and advocacy groups. She has traveled and conducted policy analysis in Africa and Central America, and spent three years working with NGOs in southern Mexico.

Peter Taylor is currently Director, Strategic Development, at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada where he is responsible for leading IDRC’s strategic planning processes. During his ten years with IDRC, he also served as Acting Director of IDRC’s Inclusive Economies Program Area, and as Associate Director for the Think Tank Initiative, a 10-year, multi-partner program that supports strengthening of policy research organisations in Africa, South Asia and Latin America.

He has more than 30 years of experience in international development. Prior to moving to Canada, he worked for six years at the Institute of Development Studies, UK during which time he was a Research Fellow, Head of Graduate Studies, and Leader of the Participation, Power and Social Change Team. Prior to that he was based in Hanoi, Vietnam as Education Technical Advisor with the Swiss NGO Helvetas; Lecturer in Agricultural Education at the Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Department at the University of Reading, UK; and head of the agriculture department in a rural secondary school in northern Botswana.