Out of our sample of 169 major think tanks worldwide in our 2015 report, 31 received the maximum possible five-star rating, reflecting their exemplary transparency when it comes to publicly disclosing their sources of funding. These think tanks use their websites to disclose in great detail who funds them, with what sums, and for what research projects. They set the gold standard for the field as a whole.

The broad geographical spread of five-star institutions highlights that think tanks can achieve high levels of transparency in a variety of settings. Highly transparent think tanks can be found in all major continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. 

There is significant momentum toward greater transparency. In our December 2013 baseline, only 12 think tanks had 5-star transparency. The number of highly transparent think tanks has nearly tripled, since then. We expect that this trend towards more transparency will accelerate, and several institutions listed above have joined to become highly transparent even though they were not covered by our original study. 

To see what 5-star think tanks say about transparency, read the blog posts by the Center for Global Development, Global Integrity, the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Stimson Center, and the World Resources Institute in the United States; Transparency International in Georgia;  and the Social Policy and Development Centre in Pakistan. 

Interested in joining leading think tanks? Your institution, too, could be listed here. Find out how to get 5-star transparency.