In the month since we published our 2016 report rating the financial transparency of 200 think tanks around the world, several think tanks have already moved their transparency forward or committed to greater financial disclosure in the near future.
The Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa has become the first think tank in Nigeria to implement 5-star financial disclosure. CSEA was established in 2008 by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Managing Director of the World Bank who also served two terms as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance. CSEA’s embrace of full transparency is important globally, regionally and nationally:
- Globally, because it once again demonstrates that weak national governance structures and fragile security environments do not preclude full disclosure of funding by policy relevant NGOs working in such environments;
- Regionally, because Nigeria as a country is a political, economic, demographic and intellectual heavyweight in anglophone Africa, so innovations and successes there reverberate far beyond its borders;
Nationally, because other think tanks in Nigeria now have a domestic institution modeling the gold standard for financial transparency, which raises the bar for all other players.
CSEA’s new funding page discloses all its donors, the precise amount received from each, and the purpose of each donation.
The Macedonian Center for European Training has become the third Macedonian think tank to achieve 5-star disclosure by uploading an annual report that includes extensive financial information to its website. The overall picture nationally in Macedonia remains mixed, with think tanks spanning the entire spectrum from highly transparent to highly opaque.
The Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies has committed itself to achieving 5-star transparency by November 2016. GFSIS is one of the longest established and best known think tanks in Georgia, a country that emerged this year as the world leader in policy research transparency.
The Hudson Institute became a 4-star (broadly transparent) institution earlier this year, in the time period between our annual assessment and publication of the 2016 report. Their disclosure of additional information means that only four institutions in our United States sample still remain highly opaque: American Enterprise Institute, Earth Institute, Hoover Institution, and Open Society Foundations. A clear majority of large U.S. think tanks are now transparent.