Global Go To Think Tank Index
The Global Go To Think Tank Index is the result of an international survey of over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists who helped rank more than 6,500 think tanks using a set of 18 criteria developed by the TTCSP. The purpose of the index is to help improve the profile and performance of think tanks while highlighting the important work they do for governments and civil societies around the world.
An overview of the ranking process can be read here: http://gotothinktank.com/rankings/the-go-to-index-ranking-process/
Think tanks can update their institutional profile at: http://gotothinktank.com/update-think-tank-information/
Copies of previous Global Go To Think Tank Index reports can be downloaded below.
Global Go To Think Tank Index Reports
by Anar Bata and Gwyn Garrison
The world of think tanks is often envisaged as a flurry of policy briefs and papers inundating the halls of power, but think tanks are increasingly exploring new platforms to keep up with the times, impact policy, and disperse power. As an example, the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) introduced a “Constitutional Convention” in early 2015 as a multi-platform project drawing on crowdsourcing techniques, which is an innovative method to embrace technology, engage the public and inform policy.
The IWA initiated plans for the convention in order to encourage the “Welsh public to engage in a debate on the future make-up of the Union” after the Scottish referendum, in which it became clear to the Director of IWA, Lee Waters, that “Wales’ interests would get left behind again.” Overall, the IWA had around 12,000 total users engage with the Constitutional Convention across the multiple platforms. Platforms for the “convention” included:
- Launch event in Cardiff on “What Wales do you want for your children”
- Blogposts, podcasts, and opinion pieces
- Randomly selected members of the public were asked to participate in audiorecorded vox props and give their opinion on discussions taking place on the site
- Workshops with digital democracy specialists, Vocaleyes
- Use of social media
- Snapshot polls and questionnaire website “Survey Monkey”
This project by IWA demonstrated important ways for think tanks to be creative and resilient:
- Reach larger audiences. IWA not only captured the opinion of the public at large, they made their work more relevant to citizens outside of the policymaking field.
- Make research timely and accessible. Waters stated, “This is a debate that is happening. We can either wait for something massive to come along or we can try to engage with what is already taking place.”
- Collaborate with other organizations. Seen in its many partnerships to pull the Constitutional Convention off, such as the partnership with Vocaleyes.
- Adapt to technical change. IWA utilized the web “to bring experts together to discuss practicalities involved in devolving policies and justice.”
The facets of IWA’s “Constitutional Convention” are indicative of how think tanks can modernize and progress in relation to the changing times.
To learn more about the Institute of Welsh Affairs, visit: http://www.iwa.org.uk/
To learn more about the IWA’s “Constitutional Convention,” visit the report: http://www.iwa.org.uk/en/publications/view/242
 Wales Online. “Welsh think tank to launch eight-week long debate on future of Wales in the UK.” Retrieved from: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-think-tank-launch-eight-week-8381175