Why Transparency Matters, according to the think tanks

While a number of media outlets reported on the release of Transparify’s 2016 report, numerous think tanks also released statements in response.

Chatham House’s Keith Burnet stated, “Think tanks can have an important role to play in providing objective analysis in the current political climate of change general instability, the rise of populist movements and a backlash against mainstream politics. At the same time, they have rightfully been subject to increasing public scrutiny. Indeed, it would be disingenuous and wrong of think tanks to promote their ideas without being open about the sources of the funding that supported their development and dissemination in the first place. The institute is required by its 1926 Royal Charter to maintain rigorous impartiality and objectivity across all activities and outputs. Transparify’s aim of encouraging greater financial transparency in the think tank sector is helping think tanks to put this goal into practice proactively.”

Transparency International UK’s Steve Goodrich stated, “The Transparify initiative evaluates and promotes financial openness amongst think tanks from all across the political spectrum...In a time when the public have little trust in their political parties and politicians, we all need to do everything we can to help provide confidence in the democratic process. It’s time we all embraced [openness] instead of hiding away in the shadows.”

SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna stated, “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.”

Maya Grigolia, Research Director at PMC Research stated, “We believe that transparency and accountability is not something unique but should be an inseparable part of every organizations nature. We are more than sure that it is the only way to progress and contribute to development.” 

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


Also check out the contributions of several think tanks on our own blog, by scrolling down.  Transparify will begin re-rating think tanks in November 2017, and we look forward to being able to report even more transparent institutions in our next report!