We at The Exchange want to be as transparent as possible. This is part of our M&E approach.
Applications for The Exchange were received until the 30th November 2013. In total we received 38 valid applications. We have had to leave out applications made by individuals -with no affiliation to a think tank or from organisations that are clearly not think tanks. We have, though, been more flexible when it comes to university research departments.
We received applications from several regions but there was a clear focus on three: Latin America and Central and Easter Europe, and the Former Soviet Republic. The final tally:
- 12 from Latin America
- 19 from Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republic
- 3 from Africa
- 3 from South East Asia
- 1 from the Middle East
We will do out best to ensure the best balance between regions as well as the right mix of skills, interests, and organisations for a successful exchange.
Interestingly, there has been an emphasis on some of the following policy issues:
- Human rights and democracy
- Economic policy
- Labour policy
But there are also region-specific interests. The Exchange will, we hope, present an opportunity to learn on common interests but also to bridge between them.
We had a few glitches in the application process: e.g. some applications were not completed in their entirety as we had not made this clear from the start (but we were able to contact those involved and asked for a new application); some, too, did not provide CVs so we have contacted the candidates who didn’t and requested them (the vast majority have provided one). We will carryout a more detailed After Action Review as soon as this phase is over. We will be looking, for instance, at the relative regional imbalance among the applications.
This week, the panel (the Steering Committee) will review the candidates and identify their favourite 8 -providing reasons from their choices. We will then review all our preferred choices and attempt to come up with a final group of 8.
This should be done by the 20th of December, 2013. We will then be able to communicate directly with those selected and then make the announcement via this blog.
So, if all goes well, you should know by Christmas.
We thank all those who have applied and hope that those who get to join us in this pilot will find it has been a worthwhile effort.