Strengthening policy research institutions is a long-term endeavour. That’s why the Think Tank Initiative has been designed as a 10-year program, to give the think tanks the time and support they need to increase their capacity and effectiveness.

The program was first launched in 2008 and is set to end in 2019. A mid-program external evaluation was conducted and the lessons that emerged from that exercise, as well as from our ongoing internal reflection, helped to guide planning and implementation for the second half of the program.

Getting Results

Our long-term vision is that policymakers in participating countries consistently use objective, high quality research to develop and implement policies that lead to more equitable and prosperous societies. Our specific objectives are to:

  • Support a group of promising think tanks and assist them to maintain effective strategies to improve organizational performance and monitor progress
  • Provide a combination of core funding and access to capacity development support to enable think tanks, both individually and collectively, to achieve improvements in organizational performance, research quality, and policy engagement
  • Facilitate and share learning about strategies for defining, building and managing successful, sustainable think tanks with a wide range of interested stakeholders

Our Results Framework shows how we measure our progress.

Our evaluations on another hand, show what we have learned and achieved over the past 10 years of programming. The 2013 External Evaluation was for instance, commissioned to look at achievements and lessons learned from Phase 1 of programming (2009-2014) and help us improve the design of Phase 2 (2015-2019).

In 2015, we adopted a different approach to assessing results and elected for an accompaniment approach as a means to receive independent, timely and actionable feedback, and allow for an adaptive management of the Program. The Phase 2 evaluation thus sought to accompany the program from start to finish and provide in-depth reflections for the Program to act on along the way. This resulted in drawing on findings from the following Interim Evaluations: