Comparative projects: Performance Self-Assessments for Think Tanks

31 March 2015
SERIES About The On Think Tanks Exchange

Like the “business models” project, the PSATT team spent January and February narrowing their very broad topic – “think tank performance” to something more manageable and “doable”.

The team agreed to focus on four dimensions of performance:

  1. strategic direction;
  2. the role of the board;
  3. knowledge management; and
  4. quality control,

Once this decision was taken, they could begin drafting the survey for the staff of their think tanks.

After piloting a draft of the survey on a small group of staff, they have just begun to administer the revised questionnaire to all the staff, using the online tool SurveyGizmo. In parallel with the staff survey, each member of the team is busy with “desk research” on performance, using a common set of research questions.

The survey and desk research are a prelude to a set of structured interviews with key staff members, which will explore in more depth the key issues about performance identified by the survey and research.

The survey, research and interviews will provide a foundation for the case studies of the think tanks.

The team already have a common template for their case studies, and aim to present initial drafts of the case studies in Quito.