Sustainable Think Tank

The Sustainable Think Tank project was supported by TTI and Implemented by ISET-Nepal and CSTEP Banglore, India. ISET-Nepal took the lead in coordinating and communicating with Think Tanks in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India in publishing the book “Strengthening Policy Research: The Role of Think Tank Initiative in South Asia” and CSTEP took the lead in preparing podcast, documentary and talking head videos.

The book, podcast, and the videos capture and document the transformative role that TTI has played to help theirs over the past 7-8 years of the organizational support. It captures the stories of organizational change in the lives of think tanks and their directors. These products is expected to inform policy-makers and other think tanks to demonstrate the value of core support in strengthening think tank. It is also expected to demonstrate how stronger and more sustainable policy research organizations can increase the likelihood of improved research uptake and better evidence-informed public policy to address national and sub-national challenges, and equally to enable country governments to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) towards a world where no one is left behind.

Project Objectives
  • Showcase and document the crucial role played by TTI’s transformative contribution to strengthening think tanks and the knowledge ecosystem in South Asia.
  • Outline how the context in which think tanks have worked, particularly the evolution of social science research landscape in South Asia, has impacted think tanks organizational journeys within TTI, and affected their abilities to engage in public policy making in the region
  • Highlight the contribution that strengthened think tanks can play to the achievement of the SDGs and other key development-related policy agendas.

The project explored these issues across 14 think tanks in Bangladesh (2), Pakistan (2), India (7), Nepal (1) and Sri Lanka (2)

  • A Book “Strengthening Policy Research: A Role of Think Tank Initiative in South Asia
  • Podcast
  • A documentary
  • Taking head short videos of 14 EDs of the Think Tanks
  • Face book page highlighting these outputs
Expected Outcome
  • Sensitising new donors on the role of and best form of support to TTs in engineering social change
  • Catalysing and seeding the policy research ecosystem with core funding from current and new donors including national research granting councils
  • Increased value of evidence in public policy making
  • Improvement in public perception on use of expertise and evidence produced by think tanks in enabling social change
  • Demonstration that the inclusion of gender in organisational processes and in research portfolios contributes to stronger and more sustainable think tanks
Strengthening Policy Research: Role of Think Tank Initiative in South Asia

Strengthening Policy Research: Role of Think Tank Initiative in South Asia is a vivid presentation of the diverse journeys of think tanks under the aegis of the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) programme managed by the International Development Research Centre in South Asia. The book extensively discusses the three areas of TTI support to strengthen think tanks, viz., organizational performance, research quality and policy engagement. It emphatically demonstrates the crucial role of long-term core support in strengthening think tanks for more rigorous research quality as the basis for public policymaking. It presents a rich tapestry of complex pathways that each think...

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Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed delivering speech at ISET Platform Lecture (March 1 2014 at Hotel Annapurana, Durbar Marg, Kathmandu).
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