Transparency and Funding of Think Tanks in France

 A compilation of publications on think tank funding and think tank transparency and a review of relevant websites in French language published on the Transparify website today provides a snapshot of relevant debates in France and suggests that French think tank may be less transparent than their peers elsewhere in the European Union.

The literature review section shows that debates about think tanks’ influence, their financing and their intellectual independence are global in scope. Do think tanks strengthen or weaken democracy? How do funding pressures shape think tanks’ operations? How independent are policy wonks from those who fund them? Which economic sectors finance which think tanks, and why? Clearly, these questions are seen to be relevant beyond the world of “Anglo-Saxon” policy research.

The author, Alexis Courbon Michel, also visited the websites of some prominent French think tanks and reviewed their conflict of interest policies, funding strategies and available financial data. A mixed picture emerges from his review. On the one hand, French think tanks seem aware of debates about the intellectual integrity of the field. Many seek to signal their credibility by detailing how they manage donor relations, and/or by disclosing substantial amounts of financial data. On the other hand, the author was unable to find any funding information whatsoever on the websites of several prominent French think tanks.

This suggests that think tanks based in France may on average be less transparent than their peers in the European Union. Transparify’s 2015 report, released last month, showed that nearly a third of EU think tanks are transparent or highly transparent. Most other policy shops in the EU assessed by Transparify provide at least some funding information. (Only two think tanks surveyed, both in Britain, are completely opaque: the Institute of Economic Affairs and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. In addition, numerous Spanish think tanks are reportedly also keeping their books firmly shut.)

Transparify would like to thank Alexis Courbon Michel for generously sharing his research with us, and with the wider think tank community. Those interested in learning more about the policy research landscape in France should visit the website of the French Think Tank Observatory

 

Roundup of Reactions to Transparify’s 2015 Report

Two weeks ago, we released our 2015 REPORT documenting significant progress towards greater think tank transparency worldwide. Especially the U.S. results were encouraging – over half of think tanks there are now transparent. In contrast, results for the UK were disappointing.

The Financial Times led off its coverage with the observation that “British think-tanks are less transparent about their sources of funding than their European counterparts.” It noted that “only one of 11 British think-tanks assessed, the Institute for Public Policy Research, was rated as transparent,” while three prominent institutions including the International Institute for Strategic Studies were rated as highly opaque.

The Brussels-based EU Observer titled its article “UK and Hungarian think tanks least transparent in EU”. It noted that think tanks based in Brussels itself performed well: “Three of the thinktanks evaluated are based in Brussels: Bruegel (5 stars), International Crisis Group (4 stars), Centre for European Policy Studies (3 stars).”

One World led with the sentence that “Only three think tanks got ‘significantly more opaque’ during 2014, and one of them is Britain’s Overseas Development Institute.” The author suggested that our survey “addresses an important issue because secrecy about funding sources undermines the credibility” of many think tanks.

Broadcaster KBC in Kenya noted the 5-star performance of two Kenyan think tanks, adding that “donor funding has been a contentious issue in the not-for-profit sector with government proposing stringent laws to cap funding to ensure accountability and openness of funding sources”. The issue is also controversial in Hungary, where the government has recently been accused of orchestrating a crackdown on independent NGOs, including think tanks. Transparify’s report sparked a lively debate in Hungary that is still ongoing; we will provide a separate summary at a later point. Several media outlets in Georgia and Montenegro have also covered the story.

On Think Tanks produced a great map of the global results.

Numerous think tanks released statements explaining their commitment to transparency.

“AERC endeavors to observe best global practices in everything it does, and it is encouraging that our outstanding efforts are receiving global acknowledgment,” said Prof. Lemma Senbet, the Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium, a think tank based in Kenya with strong global name recognition among international development experts.

Also in Kenya, Kwame Owino, the Executive Director of its Institute of Economic Affairs, tweeted that “If we fail to aim for high transparency, we reduce our ability to demand budget transparency in #Kenya".

In Sweden, Johan Kuylenstierna from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) commented that “we believe transparency is essential for building trust and credibility. We provide full disclosure of our funding and invite our partners and stakeholders to assess our objectivity and hold us accountable to our mission… Transparency is a keystone in bridging science and policy.”

Why does transparency matter to think tanks? A list of statements by think tanks on their 2015 transparency ratings, including links to the full text of each, is below.

THINK TANK REACTIONS

Check also the contributions by several think tanks on our own blog, by scrolling down.  Transparify will begin re-rating think tanks in November 2016. We look forward to being able to report even more transparent institutions in our next report!

Transparency in Hungary – Political Capital

Guest blogger Péter Krekó from Political Capital, a think tank in Budapest, reacts to Transparify’s recent report, and highlights the country context in Hungary.

Political Capital’s funding transparency recently was assessed by Transparify, and the rating was not particularly flattering. Political Capital does embrace transparency and has nothing to hide about its finances. Given that our institute only receives project funding from its donors, and no core funding, we had put the list of donors on our thematic project websites, here, here and here. We also highlighted our funders with every study, in our press releases, and at our public events.

Transparify's ratings, however, offered a good reminder to make this information even more easily available, therefore we have recently published the list of our Foundation donors on our main website. Additionally, most of our donors do publish information about funding they give to us on their respective websites. We are currently in touch with our donors to ensure that they all agree to publish more information. We are committed to increase our transparency to at least a 3-star level.

At the same time, it is also important to note the regional and national context of transparency. In Hungary for example, there have been several governmental attacks against NGOs and think-tanks over their foreign funding, following the Russian model of action against NGOs. While we are still embracing transparency, as most of the NGO actors in Hungary do, the readers of the study should also understand that the “dangers” of transparency nowadays definitely are higher in some countries in Eastern Europe. 

For more information on the Political Capital Institute, see www.politicalcapital.hu

THE 2015 TRANSPARIFY REPORT IS OUT

Transparify proudly presents its 2015 think tank transparency report, detailing the levels of financial disclosure of over 160 think tanks located in 47 countries worldwide.

Good news:

·         Over 26 think tanks have disclosed significantly more data over the past year

·         A total of 31 policy research institutions are now highly transparent (5-star)

·         Over half of U.S. think tanks are now broadly or highly transparent

For more details, please see our 2015 REPORT and accompanying PRESS RELEASE with media contact details.

Over the coming two days, we will collect reactions from the media and think tankers worldwide and post a summary on this blog.

Why is think tank transparency important? Nobody can answer that question better than think tanks themselves. Scroll down to learn why three excellent institutions – the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Social Policy and Development Centre, and the Stimson Center– chose to become fully transparent, and follow the links to their funding pages to see what full disclosure looks like in practice.

 

 

Stimson: Being Transparent Builds Trust and Boosts Impact

Guest blogger Brian Finlay from the Stimson Center, a leading U.S. think tank, explains why his institution is committed to transparency.

Since its birth in the early 1900s, the American think tank has come to occupy a unique space in American democracy and the international policy landscape: that of the collaborative ‘problem solver’. As the world grows increasingly complex, addressing the grand global challenges of our time necessitates inclusion and innovation. Meeting the threat of climate change, the scourge of terrorism, or the plague of inadequate public health cannot be achieved in isolation—aloft on the Hill or in the ivory towers of academia. Rather, transparent, trusting relationships within and between governments, with industry, and across civil society must be forged in order to evaluate, critique and implement effective policies to sustainably meet these challenges. This is the function of the modern think tank.

Stimson has continually been recognized as an innovative, creative and effective institution. Through our rigorous and non-partisan analysis, Stimson develops unique approaches to the major challenges of our time — including resource competition and scarcity and  humanitarian crises, while playing an important brokering role in debates on nuclear proliferation, arms trafficking and defense policy. 

Stimson is on the cutting edge in its sector, not only in our innovative research and analysis, but also on financial transparency following the belief that think tanks must ‘practice what we preach’. With transparency and cooperation as main tenets of our theory of change, they must be prerequisites to all of the work that we do. In Transparify’s 2015 report, the Stimson Center is awarded a 5-star rating, the highest possible, in recognition for its leadership in the global think tank movement towards transparency.

Since its non-partisan founding twenty-five years ago, Stimson has worked to serve a larger purpose—taking pragmatic steps toward peace and security, and not that of partisan groups such as the US government, foreign governments, corporations or any other funder of our work. This top rating for financial transparency demonstrates Stimson’s successful commitment to the highest standards of integrity and transparency in our research and in our coalition-building: openly identifying our supporters and ensuring the highest standards of scholarly independence and freedom of expression.

Stimson’s dedication to the transparency movement echoes the pride we take in our partnerships and in our research.  Full disclosure about funding and partnerships enhances trust within and outside of our organization, strengthens our recommendations and findings, and ultimately facilitates the organization’s ability to effect change according to our mission of providing pragmatic solutions to the global security threats of our time.

Brian Finlay is the Vice President at Stimson and also directs the Center's Managing Across Boundaries initiative. Stimson’s website features its annual funding report and the think tank’s internal guidelines on corporate and government funding.

 

Transparency as a Public Good: Why SPDC Publishes Who Funds Us

Guest blogger Muhammad AsifIqbal from the Social Policy and Development Centre, a leading think tank in Pakistan that is highly transparent, explains why his organization posts detailed donor information online.

Being a civil society organization, the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) considers its own financial transparency an obligation towards society as a whole and towards its stakeholders in particular.  SPDC is non-profit research think tank established in 1995 with the mission to contribute to national economic and social development policies and programmes in Pakistan to make them more accountable, pro-poor, engendered and equitable.

Under Pakistani law, financial statements must be provided to the corporate regulating authority, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.Although any citizen can request this body to provide audit reports of public and non-profit companies, public awareness in this regard is generally lacking.

Almost four years ago, SPDC’s management committee (which comprises the managing director and senior research staff) decided that in order to manifest our commitment toward transparency, we should make our financial information public and place it on the website. The debate in the management committee revolved around the issues of public good and organizational integrity.

Since civil society organizations are meant to work for public good, citizens have the right to know about their work and financial sources. Unfortunately, development NGOs in Pakistan have a very limited (or almost non-existent) constituency of local donors such as indigenous philanthropy or government support; they have to rely on the international donor community. The attitude of government and media (and sometimes of the general public) towards these organizations is not always positive. Their integrity is frequently questioned on the grounds of transparency.

We at SPDC felt a need to improve the communication between civil society organisations and their stakeholders in order to deal effectively with the prevailing misconceptions. Making financial information easily accessible to the public is very important in this regard. Therefore, SPDC decided to upload its audited accounts on the website.

Later, after communicating with Transparify, we felt that the information provided on our website could be made more ‘reader friendly’ since the financial statements are in a format that can be difficult for some people to understand. Consequently, we also shared our annual reports (detailing activities) and a summary of donors’ grants on SPDC’s website. We are committed to maintaining and further improving the communication with our stakeholders and citizens.

Muhammad AsifIqbal is SPDC’s Principal Economist. The think tank’s funding page can be found here.

Seeing Stars: How and Why NRGI Improved Its Financial Reporting

Guest blogger Daniel Kaufmann from the Natural Resource Governance Institute looks back on his organization’s journey towards full financial disclosure.

“Walking the talk.”“Practicing what you preach.” These oft-invoked metaphors speak to the importance of matching actions to words. Another cliché is “pulling back the curtain”—showing the world that you have nothing to hide. At the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), we assumed we were doing all of these things—until Transparify rang our bell.

Let me explain: Over the years we have conducted much research, policy analysis and technical assistance on transparency around the globe.  The evidence clearly suggests that transparency matters, whether with regard to socioeconomic development in general, or in key sectors like the extractive industries.

So it’s no surprise that we at NRGI are deeply committed to the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance in the oil, gas and mining sectors. We’re passionate about those principles—without information, citizens can’t hold their governments accountable for the proceeds from natural resources that should fund human and economic development.

Shining a light in dark corners, where information valuable to citizens is often hidden, is one of the pillars of our work. Yet, we had never really turned our critical gaze inward to determine whether we were observing the very disclosure practices we advocate.

Last year, Transparify assessed more than 150 think tanks in over 40 countries, focusing on the extent to which organizations disclose information about who funds their work. NRGI was rated above average, receiving three out of five stars. But what is above average for some,was worse than mediocre for us; the rating was a real wake-up call. It served as an important impetus to our efforts to immediately improve our own transparency, so we did the homework and took concrete action.  We are pleased that this year we have been given a five-star rating by Transparify—signaling that our disclosure of donor funds is now “highly transparent.”

In the spirit of our multi-stakeholder approach, our review involved consultation with our board, staff, donor partners, Transparify, and organizations previously awarded five stars, like the Center for Global Development and the World Resources Institute. Within a few months of our 2014 rating, we disclosed additional financial information, going beyond what is traditionally made available in annual financial statements and IRS tax forms. Specifically, we published donor names, total grant amounts, annual grant amounts, grant periods and short descriptions of how funds are being used. We provided this data for contributions and grants of $100,000 or more, which account for more than 90 percent of NRGI’s annual funding.

Transparify’s work in the think tank sphere complements initiatives to improve the transparency of official development aid funding, such as Publish What You Fund (PWYF) and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), with which I have collaborated. We at NRGI appreciate Transparify’s initiative to make transparency organizations more transparent. Its efforts have nudged us to ensure that we are fully in sync with our own policy prescriptions and open to the scrutiny that we—and all who work in the public interest—deserve. But we will not rest on these five-star laurels—instead we strive to continue improving on all facets of transparency.

Daniel Kaufmann is the president of the Natural Resource Governance Institute, which discloses comprehensive and detailed funding data online. 

Transparify to Launch 2015 Report on 17 February – Embargoed Copies Available

Transparify will release its 2015 report on the financial transparency of think tanks on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.

Transparify’s 2015 report will cover 169 think tanks across dozens of countries worldwide, and will for the first time display full rating results for every single think tank. We expect strong coverage by various U.S. media outlets, and additional coverage by British, Spanish, and Brussels-based media.

The report will be released at 02:01 EST (08:01 Berlin time) via the Transparify website.

To receive the report straight into your inbox when we release it sign up here. Alternatively, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

To request an embargoed copy of the report in advance, or to schedule a phone interview, please contact our advocacy manager. Our D.C. representative will be available for radio and TV interviews.

A Debate Worth Having: Anonymity & Remaining Opacity

As think tanks, especially in the United States, have been putting more information online, their disclosure has invited scrutiny and public debate. In the last days there were several items, see Greg Sargent for the Washington Post and Dan Berman in the National Journal

We welcome the debate and attention to think tank funding. Greg Sargent quotes our statement on this debate in detail, and we are reposting it here once more: 

Transparify strongly welcomes the Center for American Progress' recent shift towards greater transparency. While we have not formally assessed and rated CAP's new disclosure level yet, it is clear that it represents a substantial improvement over CAP's previous level of disclosure. CAP's move reflects a broad and significant shift by the American think tank community as a whole towards greater transparency over the past year. 

Some commentators have highlighted the fact that CAP, like some other think tanks, has not disclosed the names of some of its donors. Transparify obviously encourages full disclosure, but at the same time realizes that large institutions in particular may need to take one step towards transparency at a time. CAP is definitely moving into the right direction. 

Should there be anonymous donors at all? As Transparify has documented, there are various sides to the debate. Some donors do not want to be named. While we prefer as much transparency as possible, our ratings at this point make allowance for up to 15% of donations being anonymous. The rationale is that sensible organizations typically will not risk their reputations for a small portion of their funding. This rule-of-thumb is not meant to settle the discussion on anonymous funding. It is intended to make it possible to have a constructive debate on such funding, in the first place.

Meanwhile, a small (and rapidly shrinking) minority of American think tanks continue to dig their heels in and refuse to open their books. It's understandable and legitimate that the public is focusing on the funding makeup of institutions who are opening their books.  However, in terms of research integrity, what is far more worrying is what is completely unknown -- the funding makeup of opaque think tanks. 

It's important to ask who is funding 3% of a more transparent think tank's operations. But it's even more important to ask opaque think tanks who do not disclose who their main donors are why they continue to keep their books closed while their peers are progressively disclosing more data.

[one typo amended from original statement]

We will soon be releasing our transparency rating of 150+ think tanks from around the world. To be notified, follow us on Facebook, sign up to our mailing list or follow us on Twitter

Thinks Tanks Begin Planning for the 2016 Presidential Transition

Guest blogger Heath Brown discusses the role of think tanks in the US presidential transition, and calls for more transparency in the process. Transparify does not edit the content of guest blogs; the views expressed in this blog are those of the author alone, and may not reflect the views of Transparify.

It may seem shockingly early to start talking about the 2016 campaign, but with a near permanent campaign infrastructure in place, the major candidates are getting ready. Funding plans, social media strategies, and celebrity endorsements are discretely in the works for Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul.

Less attention has been drawn to the equally important planning for the 2016 presidential transition – the 11 week period between the election and the inauguration. While media consultants are busy cutting the first campaign advertisements, wonks are figuring out the mechanics of a transition between presidents to insure a safe, efficient, and orderly process occurs. Most of these wonks and policy experts now work for the research think tanks that dot Washington and other major US cities.

Starting this early is not a new thing. In 1960, the most famous think tank, the Brookings Institution, practically invented the concept of a carefully planned presidential transition when it briefed representatives of candidates John Kennedy and Richard Nixon during the later stages of the campaign. Brookings feared Cold War threats might be exacerbated if partisan wrangling interrupted the work of the foreign policy establishment prior to the January inauguration.

Twenty years later, and prior to when President Reagan was elected in 1980, scholars at the Heritage Foundation – the conservative think tank founded in the early 1970s by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, and Joseph Coors – had already mapped an initial policy agenda and identified specific individuals to be appointed to the new Reagan administration.

And in 1999, long before the controversial recount, George W. Bush had tasked one of his closest advisers, Clay Johnson, with developing a personnel plan for his White House. The American Enterprise Institute and other conservative think tanks eventually advised on elements of the Bush transition, including the controversial Energy Task Force chaired by Dick Cheney (see:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/cheney_energy_task_force.html).

In 2008, the Center for American Progress (CAP) had been aggressively planning for the transition, and the president-elect chose that think tank’s leader, John Podesta, to co-chair his transition team (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/24/AR2008112403005.html). Ultimately many of CAPs key staffers were appointed to the Obama White House and other important federal positions.

So, it is not too early to expect the planning to begin, but where can we expect presidential planning in 2015? Since we do not even know who is officially running, we can just speculate at this point.

If Hillary Clinton decides to run, it is reasonable to expect that the Center for American Progress will again be actively planning, since John Podesta is already talked about as a member of the inner circle of her campaign team. But it is also reasonable to expect that the dozens of experts at the Clinton Foundation are developing some of the foreign policy and international affairs ideas that could later make up a Clinton policy agenda.

If Jeb Bush decides to run, many of the same think tanks that supported his brother in 2000 – including the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute – will again be active. But organizations tied to Jeb Bush’s favored policy issues, especially school reform, should also be central. Bush founded the Foundation for Excellence in Education and continues to serve as the Chair of its Board (see: http://excelined.org/team/governor-jeb-bush/). His foundation will likely be identifying ways to reorganize the US Department of Education and which education policymakers might be nominated to crucial positions.

If Rand Paul decides to run we cannot rely on precedent as we can for Clinton and Bush. Instead, Paul’s libertarian leanings might invite the Cato Institute into the process, and a new array of policy experts with a very different perspective would take part in the process.

Unfortunately, the moment word gets out that a candidate is even tacitly coordinating transition planning they will be accused of “measuring the White House drapes” or “counting chickens before they hatch.” The tendency of the media to frame pre-election transition planning as presumptuous prevents candidates and think tanks from the type of transparency that would advance rather than hinder democracy.  Think tanks should be involved in planning, but transition planning should be made as public as Federal Election Commission regulations require major aspects of the campaign. Greater transparency would reduce concerns that voters and other large segments of the country are shut out of a critical aspect of federal policymaking. Think tanks can be leaders in this move toward openness if they openly report the transition planning that will likely dominate their work in the new year.

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Heath Brown is assistant professor of public policy at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. He is the author of Lobbying the New Presidents: Interests in Transition that has just been released in paper-back (see: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138848993/).

Think Tanks Are A Billion Dollar Business

A new data set compiled by Transparify shows that a group of 21 top U.S. think tanks broke the billion-dollar expenditure barrier in 2013, showing just how huge the sector has become.

The 21 think tanks in the sample collectively spent over one billion dollars in 2013, probably for the first time in history, and employed a total of 7,333 people, including part-time employees. Their total net assets grew 8% to USD 2.65 billion.

Many individual think tanks in the U.S. are larger than the entire sector in most other countries of the world. The median think tank in our sample had a revenue of USD 39m, expenditures of USD 32m, held assets worth USD 87m, and had 211 employees.

“America’s think tank sector is far bigger, and far more influential, than most people realize,” said Hans Gutbrod, Executive Director of Transparify. “This underlines the importance for think tanks to be transparent about who funds them, and for what purposes.”

Transparify put together the data to provide fellow researchers, funders and think tanks themselves with a comprehensive snapshot of one aspect of the sector. We would like to emphasize that the most important thing about a think tank is the integrity and quality of its research, not the size of its budget or staff. Therefore, the figures presented permit no conclusions about which think tank is “better” or “worse” than its peers – only which is bigger or smaller in size.

The narrative report and a separate data set in Excel format can be accessed from our publications page.

Please follow the On Think Tanks blog for more detailed analyses of the data presented here and to join in discussions of the findings. Also, follow us on Twitter or connect on Facebook to get notified of reactions by journalists, bloggers and assorted wonks.

In a separate endeavor, Transparify is currently rating the transparency of a larger sample of think tanks worldwide. “While the numbers are not all in yet, we are seeing a clear trend towards greater transparency, which is excellent”, Dr Gutbrod added. “The sector as a whole is beginning to live up to its responsibility as a major democratic player.” Transparify will publish the results of its transparency ratings in January 2015.

To ensure that you do not miss our headline transparency report and other publications, sign up for email updates now.

Five Stars for our Fellow Transparency Advocates

How transparent are transparency advocates about their own funding? Are pro-accountability advocacy groups setting a good example for governments, businesses and others to follow?

In order to answer this question, Transparify recently looked at the websites of 15 NGOs focused on transparency and accountability issues, applying the same rating methodology that we apply to think tanks. We then contacted each organization with its score and invited it to comment and, if applicable, put more data online.

We are happy to report that some transparency groups were already 5-star transparent when we visited their websites. Many others welcomed our initiative and said that they plan to update their websites soon.

Among the most enthusiastic organization of those we contacted was Global Integrity, which champions transparent and accountable government around the world by producing innovative research and technologies that inform, connect, and empower civic, private, and public reformers seeking more open societies.

Global Integrity immediately went to work on their website and produced a concise yet crystal clear funding page. Global Integrity now lists every donor together with the exact sum given by that donor, and the purpose of the donation, plus the time frame of related activities. In other words, Global Integrity is clearly 5-star transparent.

Corruption Watch, one of the leading anti-corruption watchdogs in sub-Saharan Africa, has also updated their website to reach 5-star transparency, by giving detailed information on its donors and projects.

Now that Global Integrity and Corruption Watch have shown how easy becoming 5-star transparent can be, we trust that many others will be keen to follow in their footsteps, and to be publicly recognized for doing so.

Transparify will publish more on transparency in the transparency sector, early next year. Right now, we are busy rating nearly 200 think tanks worldwide, and preparing to publish the results of this second round of think tank ratings in early 2015.

To keep up to date about our work with think tanks and NGOs, and to receive our next report straight into your inbox, sign up for email updates here.  

Transparify Will Begin Re-Rating All Think Tanks In December

Transparify will begin re-rating all 169 think tanks covered in our previous survey of think tank transparency in December 2014. (We may also rate some additional institutions – so if you were not rated last time, this message may still apply to you.)

We will use the same methodology and rating criteria as last time to award 0-5 stars. Think tanks receiving four stars are broadly transparent, while those with the maximum of five stars are highly transparent. (Click here to see how you can get five stars.)

There will be only one major change during this rating round. Last time, we published full and detailed rating results only for think tanks in the United States. This time, our report will list every think tank worldwide by name and the number of stars received.

---TRANSPARIFY ADVISES ALL THINK TANKS TO COMPLETE ANY PLANNED CHANGES IN THE FINANCIAL INFORMATION THEY PROVIDE ON THEIR WEBSITES BY SUNDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2014---

Our raters may miss information uploaded onto websites after this date, and we cannot revisit websites we have already rated due to logistical constraints.

While Transparify obviously encourages all think tanks to make the changes required to achieve a minimum of four stars, this is especially true for those institutions that in early 2014 told us that they would place more information online soon. They were highlighted in our 2014 report and data set as “updating” and listed on a special page on our website.

 In the United States, six think tanks said they would update their disclosure:

  • Atlantic Council
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • German Marshall Fund of the US
  • Pew Research Center 
  • Stimson Center

Beyond the United States, the following think tanks said they would soon begin to walk the transparency talk:

  • Analitika - Center for Social Research (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Basel Institute on Governance (Switzerland)
  • Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis (Hungary)
  • Centre for Liberal Strategies (Bulgaria)
  • Chatham House (United Kingdom)
  • CSTEP - Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (India)
  • Demos (United Kingdom)
  • Economic and Social Research Foundation (Tanzania)
  • EMinS - European Movement in Serbia (Serbia)
  • IEA Ghana
  • IEA Kenya
  • IMANI Center for Policy and Education (Ghana)
  • Institut für Weltwirtschaft IFW (Germany)
  • ISSER - Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (Ghana)
  • ISET Policy Institute (Georgia)
  • Lowy Institute (Australia)
  • Norwegian Institute for International Affairs
  • Observer Research Foundation (India)
  • Political Capital Kft. (Hungary)
  • South African Institute of International Affairs (South Africa)
  • Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Germany)

If your think tank has any questions about the ratings process, or needs help in becoming more transparent, please look at our website’s Frequently Asked Questions and subscribe to our email updates. You can also follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook. For any further questions, please contact our advocacy manager, who will be happy to assist you. 

One year ago, Transparify was able to celebrate a 40% increase in the number of transparent think tanks around the world. We look forward to welcoming many more institutions into the family of transparent think tanks during our second rating round!

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For your convenience, here is how to achieve 5-star transparency.