This week GRADE hosted an International Conference on Territories and Development in Peru. Over the course of the two day event, GRADE, IEP and TTI had the opportunity to reflect and share lessons on the value of flexible funding. It emerged that flexible funding had contributed to think tanks in Latin America in three ways; by supporting independence and strategic planning; by supporting staffing and improving research quality and improving communications and policy engagement.

As part of its strategic planning process, GRADE identified an opportunity to develop and implement an Institutional Research and Policy Influence Program (PPI) on climate change, economic opportunities and social inclusion with a territorial approach.  This institutional policy influence program required the strengthening of regional research capacities in these themes. With flexible funding support from TTI, GRADE was able to increase outreach, visibility, and the demand and use of its research by government officials, and other national/regional policy stakeholders through a new policy engagement plan for GRADE's Institutional Research and Policy Influence Program.  GRADE used the core funding to hire and strengthen the capacity of its communications unit in order to implement the Policy Engagement Plan.

This conference has provided extensive evidence that GRADE’s work on territorial development issues has made significant contributions to sub-national and national level policy debates and dialogues.

IEP has an Institutional Research Program aimed at addressing questions centered on a social issue of particular relevance in Peru.  IEP has been using part of their TTI core-grant to support the Institutional Program which has allowed them to expand the program to a larger and more diverse pool of researchers. Researchers both junior and senior have increasingly aligned their research agendas to the Institutional Program over the years. The program has become an instrument for studying key social issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. 

With declining appetite for donors to provide core funding to think tanks, evidence from the TTI can be used to encourage donors to see the value in providing more flexible forms of funding beyond traditional research project funding. TTI-funded think tanks themselves have the evidence to argue for the provision of flexible support, showing how they are ultimately able to produce higher quality research that is relevant, timely and accessible to policymakers in their countries and regions.

Watch the video from the mesa de clausura: Lecciones aprendidas sobre la investigación con enfoque territorial (in Spanish only) to hear more about GRADE, IEP and TTI’s insights on the benefits of flexible funding.