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Think Tank Initiative Phase 2: Strengthening Research Capacity

This project will strengthen a select group of independent policy research organizations, or think tanks, based in developing countries. It will enable them to provide more objective, high-quality research that both informs and influences policy.

Local experts, better results
Among the key international development lessons learned, one in particular stands out. Public policies work best when local actors design and implement them. Without locally generated data and analysis, well-intentioned programs rarely respond to realities on the ground. Local experts are also needed to monitor implementation. Otherwise, the most thoughtfully designed projects may lose momentum or even collapse over the longer term.

More and more, international and domestic donors recognize that local ownership is critical to successful development interventions. However, they often fail to invest in those national organizations that can do the ongoing research and analysis needed to effect improvements over time.

In light of this situation, this project provides a basis to implement the second phase of the Think Tank Initiative (TTI).

Research for policy influence
TTI is a multi-funder program dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions, or think tanks, in developing countries. The program aims to enhance their ability to provide sound research that informs and influences policy.

Maintaining the focus on selected countries in East and West Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, TTI Phase 2 intends to further strengthen 43 think tanks.

Specifically, the project funds will
-renew a group of promising TTI Phase 1 think tanks and help them improve and monitor organizational performance
-provide core funding and access to capacity development support to enable think tanks to improve organizational performance, research quality, and policy engagement
-facilitate and share learning about strategies for defining, building, and managing successful, sustainable think tanks with other policy research organizations and stakeholders

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
57 months
IDRC Officer
Andrew Hurst
Total Funding
CA$ 12,403,408.00
Think Tank Initiative
Think Tank Initiative