- Category: News and Highlights
The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) was named by the 2016 Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report as the second think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa. This was a slight drop considering the institute was ranked number one for the past two consecutive years. KIPPRA’s global ranking, however, improved to 134 this year from 143 last year.
KIPPRA also did well in the following categories: Think tanks with the best external relations/public engagement programme; Think tanks with the most significant impact on public policy; Think tanks with outstanding policy-oriented research programmes; Best think tank conference; Best use of social media and networks and Best government affiliated think tanks.
In the introduction, the report predicts that current political changes will greatly shape the work of think tanks worldwide. According to the report, the recent election of US President Donald Trump and Britain’s exit from the European Union were some of the examples that suggest a paradigm shift that think tanks cannot ignore. The report observes that there seems to be an anti-establishment, anti-elite and anti-globalization movement committed to putting an end to policy gridlock.
The report also urged think tanks to embrace current technological innovations to adapt to the growing demand for rapid data and analysis and to ensure their research outputs are of the highest quality, timely and accessible in order to effectively engage policy makers, the media and the public.
“Gone are the days when a think tank could operate with the motto ‘research it, write it and they will find it’ — publishing a white paper and assuming that an influential policy maker would come across it eventually. To have meaningful effect, think tanks must place relevant analysis in the right hands, in the right format, at the right time. This means strategic use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, infographics and brief videos to communicate information and analysis on key policy issues,” says the report.
The key considerations in the ranking criteria include: the quality and commitment of the think tank’s leadership and staff; quality and reputation of the research and analysis produced; ability to recruit and retain elite scholars and analysts; the quality, number, and reach of its publications; the impact of a think tank’s research to policy makers; a demonstrated commitment to producing independent research and analysis; ability to convene key policy actors and to develop effective networks and partnerships with other think tanks and policy actors; usefulness of organization’s information in public engagement; ability to use electronic, print and the new media to communicate research and reach key audiences; ability to use the internet including social media tools to engage with policy makers, journalists and the public; website and digital presence and the level, diversity and stability of funding.