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On Think Tanks was founded in mid 2010. It has evolved from a blog into a global platform dedicated to study and support policy research and policy research centres, or think tanks. The members of the On Think Tanks Team and its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents!


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series

  1. 1

    Book Review: Improving Think Tank Management by Raymond Struyk

    Anyone working or interested in working in the think tanks´ field should have “Improving think tank management” at hand. With an impressive strategy to gather and systematise cutting edge thinking and real practices (and in a savvy and natural way building on what others have already... Read full article
  2. 2

    Creating team leaders – the Managing Think Tanks Series

    There cannot be good research organisation without a good team leader. This week’s final Managing Think Tanks chapter is all about team leaders, also known as center directors, department heads, division managers, etc. Their responsibilities, aside carrying out projects, include keeping... Read full article
  3. 3

    Teams or stars? Options for restructuring the research staff – the Managing Think Tanks series

    Last week we discussed the importance of constant information for senior managers - so is research organisation. During think tanks’ early operations, much emphasis is placed on winning projects and completing them well than on management and organisational decisions, including research... Read full article
  4. 4

    The information that senior management needs: the Managing Think Tanks Series

    Just like ensuring financial sustainability and accountability, effective leadership means being fully aware of how the various parts of the organisation are working – in order words, being informed. This ranges from having information about basic finances to how the think tank has... Read full article
  5. 5

    Financial Management: Sustainability and Accountability – the Managing Think Tanks Series

    Think tanks are usually in a constant search for funding, particularly those in developing countries where local sources of funding are virtually nonexistent.  Thus, it is important for think tanks to have the technical qualities to be competitive in their market. This means that... Read full article
  6. 6

    Winning work from government agencies: the Managing Think Tanks series

    Diversification of funding sources is important for think tanks – it allows them to have more freedom and flexibility when deciding what projects to undertake and what issues to tackle. We have covered think tank funding extensively at on think tanks, and this week’s Managing Think Tanks... Read full article
  7. 7

    Renewing the Work Program: the Managing Think Tanks series

    Just like having an efficient board of directors, setting an agenda is important for effective and efficient work in a think tank. Think tankers must not forget, however, to renew the agenda from time to time - the focus of this week's Managing Think Tanks chapter. This is important for three... Read full article
  8. 8

    Getting the most out of your board – the Managing Think Tanks series

    Most think tanks around the world have a board of trustees or directors that oversee the think tank’s functions and performance. The board can be a very valuable asset, and yet, problems abound within them. This is due to factors such as ill-defined roles, an ineffective use of its members’... Read full article
  9. 9

    Communicating results – the Managing Think Tanks Series

    In this blog we have put much importance on communicating research, findings and results as a part of the policy influencing (and research making) process. It does not do much good when, even when having high quality research, you cannot make said work reach your intended audience. This... Read full article
  10. 10

    Ensuring good advice – the Managing Think Tanks Series

    The importance of high quality research is undisputed among think tanks, which is why they put a high premium on having a strong reputation. Our last post from this series looked at hiring and retaining highly capable staff members as a way of ensuring quality work. This week, we will focus... Read full article
  11. 11

    Organising Staff Training – the Managing Think Tanks Series

    Last week’s chapter dealt with good practices for motivating and retaining think tank staff. It also touched upon training programs – this week’s chapter expands on that subject and considers the development and implementation of a routine program of staff training. It is common for... Read full article
  12. 12

    Motivating staff for higher productivity -the Managing Think Tanks series

    How to motivate staff ranked first in a survey conducted in 2001 by the Urban Institute. Think tanks in nine countries of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States most want this issue to be addressed in a training session; leaders of other think tanks in the region also want to... Read full article
  13. 13

    Why pay attention to management? -the Managing Think Tanks series

    The title of this blog post is also the title of the first chapter of Ray Struyk's book, Managing Think Tanks. During the following weeks, we will be publishing chapter summaries in order to delve deeper into governance structures, staff management, improving leadership and streamlining... Read full article
  14. 14

    What makes a successful policy research organisation in a developing country? Review of Ray Struyk’s latest paper

    Ray Struyk has worked on think tanks for quite some time -and has great insights into what makes them work. But I wonder if these insights can (or should) be quantified. Following RAPID's work on the factors affecting the uptake of research (context, evidence and links) he and Sammuel... Read full article