Why does this directory exist?
There is no shortage of information about think tanks on the web, but it is scattered across different sites with different focus areas and is seldom kept up to date. And information that is up to date tends to be proprietary. So, questions like the following are almost impossible to answer:
- Are there more think tanks in Lima, Peru, or Lahore, Pakistan?
- What is the oldest think tank in the world?
- Which countries have the most politically independent think tanks?
- Are there more think tanks focusing on climate change or on education?
This directory aims to pull together everything into one place. We want to make sure it’s as accessible as possible. That’s why it’s an open database — it’s available in its entirety to download and use for non-commercial purposes.
The information in this directory is of different levels of reliability. We aim to be transparent in this by labelling the level or processing the data we present has had. There are four levels of reliability, described below:
- Imported: This information is the most basic level. We have compiled information from different credible sources. However, this data has not been reviewed at all by On Think Tanks and may not be up to date
- Authenticated: Data collectors from around the globe sourced the information by validating information available on the Internet, which may be of variable quality (On Think Tanks has not reviewed the accuracy of this data).
- Think tank verified:The organisation has reviewed the information and has ensured its accuracy.
- OTT reviewed: Members of On Think Tanks have looked at the information and are satisfied that it is in the correct format and accurate. They have also made decisions about whether it should be included in the directory.
Who is On Think Tanks?
On Think Tanks focuses on a range of issues of relevance and interest to think tanks as well as their staff and supporters.We hope that our initiatives and the articles and the resources published here will support think tanks to be more strategic in the ways they make short and long-term decisions; and that this will result in better policy advice and policy outcomes for all.
Why do I have to register in order to download the database?
This is an open database – that means that it costs nothing and you are free to use it for any purposes. We ask you to register in order to download the full directory so that we can contact you in case of updates to the information contained in the database. We may also send important announcements about the data, or ask for case studies about how the information in the directory is being used. You can unsubscribe from our messages at any time, and you are not required to inform us about how you use the database.
How have we defined which organisation´s to include?
The inclusion criteria were:
- The organisation had to carry out some form of research with the aims of informing public policies – those doing research without a public policy angle were not considered, neither were organisations mainly focusing on advocacy and not carrying out research.
- The organisation had to have an independent identity (particularly in the case of university affiliated centres).
What is a boundary organisation?
During the process, we realised that some organisations somewhat met the criteria but were not think tanks in the classical definition, their characteristics were different. We decided to include them in the database but mark them as boundary organisations. A centre was deemed a boundary organisation if it carried out some form of research to inform public policy, but it´s main activities were others (pure research, advocacy, programme implementation, etc.). We have kept them in the directory but they are excluded from country and general averages of data.