Several think tanks worldwide have now agreed to promote transparency by putting more information on their funding online. Transparify has tried to directly contact all of the over 160 think tanks we are rating, and by now, many of them have gotten back to us. To date, more than 20 think tanks have already committed themselves to achieving a five star transparency rating over the coming weeks by publishing details on who funds them on their websites.
In total, think tanks from more than 12 countries have decided to embrace transparency. The ranks of transparent research institutions worldwide has to date grown by five think tanks in Africa, at least three in Asia, at least eight in Europe, and currently five in North America. (We will release the names of all leading institutions later this month, when we have the completed our data set.)
The large geographical spread shows that financial transparency is possible in a wide range of political, legal and administrative contexts, leaving few excuses for opacity by those think tanks that still lag behind. At the same time, think tank critics should note that several think tanks immediately responded positively to our request, showing that many – though not all – institutions are very open to constructive engagement on this issue and feel that they have confidence in the integrity of their work.
Note that the figures above do not include the (small minority) of think tanks that were already highly transparent when we initially assessed them.
Transparify hopes that more think tanks will boost the credibility of their research by committing themselves to transparency before Transparify releases its complete rating results later this month and honours the leaders in the field.