OTT research support service

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We offer quality, relevant and timely research to support busy organisations with strategic and day-to-day decision making. Think of us as your ‘extended workbench’. Get in touch to discuss your specific needs.

OTT has spent over a decade supporting and working with organisations who generate, communicate, use and fund evidence. We know how hard teams work to deliver on their missions. We also know that day-to-day priorities can leave little time for much else. Our research support service (RSS) is designed to fill this gap.

We help teams and organisations keep abreast of sector developments and emerging evidence, to scope out investment opportunities or new markets, to bring in different perspectives, and much more.

If this sounds interesting, here’s how it works in practice.

Your needs

Our engagement with your organisation begins with an open discussion about your needs and whether we’re the right fit. Together, we will work through questions to better understand the level of support you’re looking for. What type of information you need and for what. Whether you need us to be more responsive or proactive. What formats are most useful to you and how we should best keep you updated.

  • What level of support are you looking for?
  • What information do you need, who needs it and for what?
  • What formats are most useful to you?
  • Do you need us to be more responsive or proactive?
  • How should we keep you updated?
  • Will outputs be for internal use only or shared as a public good?

If we decide to work together, the first one-three months will be an inception phase to co-design, tailor and test the collaboration.

Tailored support

You will have an OTT main contact throughout our work together. The RSS team usually includes one-two researchers plus topic experts as required.

A major value add of the RSS is that we bring local research knowledge to your organisation. We often partner with local think tanks to deliver bespoke research, or facilitate issue-based dialogues that help your organisation better understand the areas it is trying to study or affect change in. This has the dual benefit of bringing local expertise and knowledge to regional or global decision making spaces, while also supporting local think tank communities.

Examples of RSS knowledge outputs and services we have provided to organisations:

  • Horizon scans in new and emerging areas of interest
  • Regular content updates or topic guides
  • Summaries of key readings or roundups of events
  • Facilitated discussions with think tanks in the Global South
  • Scoping of new think tank markets and potential grantees
  • Analysis for strategy and portfolio planning and development
  • Develop new investment/ funding projects
  • Targeted monitoring, learning and synthesis work
  • Secretariat services for internal communities of practice

Research may be desk-based, or you may want us to reach out to stakeholders.

OTT also has an extensive network to draw upon. For example, we maintain an Open Think Tank Directory – a global database of policy research organisations that is a useful tool for deep dives into specific fields or markets to identify new and promising partners.

Whatever the source, we will always develop a resource database that is updated continuously.

If we work together, you will need:

  • A principal contact person to liaise with the RSS team.
  • A starting idea of what knowledge you need and how much you can invest.
  • A willingness to share appropriate organisational information with our team.
  • A willingness to share feedback during the pilot period.
  • An openness to being supported so you can focus on your core activities while we keep you informed!

Your investment

We’ve identified three basic levels of support. If you have a different level of support or investment in mind, we are happy to discuss.

Investment  Typical services and outputs 
Level 1
From USD 50,000 per year
  • Continuous scanning of relevant resources
  • Monthly roundup
  • Monthly check-ins
  • Additional outputs on request for an at-cost fee
Level 2
From USD 100-200,000 per year
  • Continuous scanning of relevant resources
  • Monthly roundup
  • Monthly check-ins
  • 2-4 content updates per month
  • Annual survey of think tanks in market/sector of interest
  • 5-10 ad-hoc research requests/advisory per year
Level 3
From USD 300,000 per year
  • Continuous scanning of relevant resources
  • Fortnightly roundups
  • Monthly check-ins
  • 2-4 content updates per month
  • Quarterly long reads on emerging areas of interest
  • Access to senior experts in the field
  • Annual survey of think tanks in market/sector of interest
  • 10 ad-hoc research requests/advisory per year

In addition, for all levels, as part of the RSS service, we offer partners:

Get in touch

If your team or organisation could benefit from OTT’s RSS, get in touch with Enrique Mendizabal: [email protected]. We’ll schedule a call to hear more about your needs and come back to you with a short proposal.