… Only Namibian institution featuring in the 100-strong list
By Hilary Mare
THE Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has been rated 35th on the list of the top think tanks in sub-Saharan Africa for 2017 – recently released by the University of Pennsylvania’s Thinks Tanks and Civil Societies Program.
The IPPR is the only Namibian institution featuring in the 100-strong list.
Most of the think tanks ahead of the IPPR are based in Africa’s most populous countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.
Ranked think tanks are regarded as “excelling in research, analysis, and public engagement on a wide range of policy issues with the aim of advancing debate, facilitating cooperation between relevant actors, maintaining public support and funding, and improving the overall quality of life in the relevant country.”
The IPPR is ranked 55th in the list of think tanks worldwide that have the best quality assurance, integrity policies and procedures. The results are based on a global peer and expert survey of more than 1 950 scholars, policy-makers, journalists, and regional and area experts.
The report released with the new rankings, states that around 30 percent of Africa’s think tanks are facing funding crises and are in danger of closing down. The report says: “An urgent effort is needed to raise awareness of the think-tank sustainability crisis in Africa.”
“Many African think tanks survive on small staff complements and low budgets due to insufficient and irregular funding, high staff turnover due to low and inconsistent salaries, and financial instability. African think tanks also need to come together to collaborate, to create a unified African voice, and to show donors how crucial they are to the success of their respective countries,” the report states.
The mission of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) is to increase the profile, capacity and performance of think tanks at the national, regional and global levels so they can better serve policy makers and the public.
The TTCSP conducts research on the relationship between think tanks, politics and public policy, produces the annual Global Go To Think Tank Index, develops capacity-building resources and programs, manages and supports a global network of close to 7000 think tanks and trains future think tank scholars and executives.
The 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) marks the 11th year of continued efforts by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania to acknowledge the important contributions and emerging global trends of think tanks worldwide.
“Our initial effort to generate a ranking of the world’s leading think tanks in 2006 was a response to a series of requests from donors, government officials, journalists, and scholars to produce regional and international rankings of the world’s preeminent think tanks. Since its inception, our on-going objective for the GGTTI report is to gain understanding of the role think tanks play in governments and civil societies.
“Using this knowledge, we hope to assist in improving the capacity and performance of think tanks around the world. Since 2006, the ranking process has been refined and streamlined, and the number and scope of the institutions and individuals involved has steadily grown,” said James McGann, the Director of Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Lauder Institute at University of Pennsylvania in the report.
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