On Think Tanks COVID-19 initiative

On Think Tanks is mindful of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on think tanks. We wish to support think tanks globally to weather the COVID-19 storm. Our response is based on our four core pillars of work: generating knowledge, learning, convening, and sharing content and resources.

The impact of COVID-19 on think tanks will vary across countries, sectors and organisations. Some may benefit from a sudden interest for expert advice on related policy issues, but many may struggle to remain relevant, see their funding dry out, or watch their business model get pushed to the brink.

On Think Tanks is mindful of these challenges, and we wish to support think tanks globally to weather the COVID-19 storm.

Between 2020-2021 we will run a survey with think tanks at least two times to assess:

  • How COVID-19 is affecting think tanks across the world.
  • How they are responding during the crisis and recovery phase.
  • The main challenges they are facing now.
  • The challenges they foresee in the mid- to long-term.
  • What support they will most need.

Download the first survey report.



We are requesting articles from the OTT global community on:

  • How the crisis has affected think tanks, and what actions they’ve taken to address this.
  • How think tanks are contributing to policy debate and public information about the crisis, with an attempt to reflect on what is working and why.
  • Critical reflection on the effects that COVID-19 may have on think tanks and evidence-informed policymaking more broadly, now and in the future.

Authors writing about how the crisis has affected them may consider:

  • How your boards have responded and supported you.
  • How you have addressed financial difficulties e.g. reaching out to funders or renegotiating contracts.
  • How you are handling the management of your office while staff have to stay home.
  • Have you reviewed your communications strategy?
  • Have you had to lay off staff?
  • Ideas on productivity and maintaining a healthy work-life balance during lockdown.
  • How you are promoting physical and mental health of staff.
  • How you are maintaining connectivity
  • Ideas on think tank leadership during a crisis.

Case studies and practices

If you would like to submit a case study on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on your organisation, please download this template.

If you would like to submit an example of a practice your organisation has implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis, please use this template.

Download case study template

Download practice template

Please email your contributions to [email protected]

Read our first articles on the subject:

And more: COVID-19 Series

What else are we doing?

Find out more here.

Request for support

OTT would like to request support from organisations wishing to partner with us to:

  • Help disseminate the survey and call for articles
  • Write articles or papers on the key questions outlined in this concept note – or others of relevance
  • Host or participate in webinars
  • Fund or help fund our COVID -19 initiative

Contact: Enrique Mendizabal [email protected]