Tag Archives: think tanks

CIPE Partners are Top Global “Go To” Think Tanks

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Think tanks play a vital role in any democratic society, providing policy analysis, carrying out advocacy campaigns, and keeping politics focused on key policy issues. Particularly in developing countries or societies in transition, a good think tank can make enormous contributions to democracy — as in Ghana, where CIPE partner IEA sponsored the first-ever presidential debates and helped ensure a smooth and peaceful electoral process in 2008.

The important role played by many of CIPE’s think tank partners around the world was confirmed again this year by the Think Tanks and Civil Society Program at the University of Pennsylvania. In their annual list of global “go-to” think tanks, at least 14 current and former CIPE partners were listed among the most influential in their respective regions and even globally.

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The Most Important Lessons from My ThinkTankLINKS Fellowship

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Sally Roshdy was a CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS Fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

It was a great pleasure participating in the Think Tank LINKS Fellowship in Washington DC and serving at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). Once I learned that the accepted applicants would serve at an American think tank, I was very interested in applying to this prestigious fellowship. The first time I heard the term “think tank” was in my second year at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University when one of my professors emphasized the significance of think tanks and their role in helping decision-makers in all fields of public policy.

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Six Months of ThinkTankLINKS Fellowship: Final Thoughts

ThinkTankLINKS participants and CIPE Program Officer at a baseball game in DC. Maksim Karliuk is second from right.

ThinkTankLINKS participants and CIPE Program Officer at a baseball game in DC. Maksim Karliuk is second from right.

Maksim Karliuk was a CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS  Fellow at the Cato Institute.

The very first CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS Fellowship is now over. I can say that it was definitely a success for me. I have achieved all the goals that I set in the beginning: to learn best practices and know-how in managing a think tank; to improve my skills in analytical research work; and to learn how to disseminate policy proposals efficiently and ensure their implementation.

My host organization was the Cato Institute. The experience there was essential in terms of achieving all my goals, and more beyond that. Constant interactions with the scholars and staff made the experience truly rewarding. What is quite special to Cato is that there are informal discussions that take place all the time and on various topics. I learned a lot from them and even managed to contribute a “European perspective,” as some referred to it.

Some of the most rewarding experiences during my stay were the one-on-one meetings with the representatives of the major think tanks and research institutions in DC. Of course, I had the opportunity to do that at Cato, which included weekly meetings with senior fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale with whom we worked closely on the issues of financial crisis in the U.S. I had a stunning discussion of economics and politics with the senior fellow Andrei Illarionov, former chief economic adviser of Vladimir Putin. In terms of managing think tanks, I had a great opportunity to learn about best practices in managing Cato personally from its Executive Vice President David Boaz.

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Calling All Young Researchers!

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CIPE and Atlas Corps are inviting young researchers interested in learning how to better articulate youth’s position in democratic or economic reform issue to apply to our program, the CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS Fellowship!

Think Tank LINKS Fellows will shadow researchers and experts at leading U.S. think tanks for 6 months (January to July 2013), and will gain valuable insights and skills to improve their advocacy and leadership skills.

This is a fantastic opportunity that you don’t want to miss!

Learn more about the program by watching an interview with Maksim Karliuk from the inaugural class of Think Tank LINKS Fellowship, or reading about their experiences on CIPE’s blog.

The deadline is August 2, 2013 so don’t wait until the last minute to apply!

Think Tanks in Belarus

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Maksim Karliuk is a CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS  Fellow serving at the Cato Institute.

The recently published report by the NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, Democracy Think Tanks in Action: Translating Research into Policy in Young and Emerging Democracies, is a great start for assessing the environment for think tanks in a number of relatively new or struggling democracies. The report analyzes think tanks in nine countries (Argentina, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Lebanon, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea and Turkey), and it shows both similarities and differences in the context within which think tanks operate, their aims and objectives, the ways in which they overcome difficulties in their respective countries and best practices. This initiative should be expanded in the future to cover more countries, including Belarus, and should also identify clear indicators to have a comprehensive comparative picture of think tanks in the identified group of countries.

Below I will provide a succinct overview of the think tank scene in Belarus. To start with, the political situation in the country does not favor the work of independent think tanks. They have to operate in the context of restricted political and civil rights, which include limited freedom of speech and association. This leads to practical problems for the very existence of think tanks (in terms of registering the organizations in the country), as well as making it difficult to hold events, and impairs presence in the media. At the same time, the government generally does not trust the opinion of independent institutions, which diminishes the role of think tanks in society. Yet being one the least reformed countries in the post-Soviet space, Belarus vitally needs new ideas and policy proposals to address the various challenges the country faces.

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Think Tanks in Emerging Democracies

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One of the greatest advantages of democracy is that any citizen can openly engage with policy ideas. Think tanks and research institutions help augment policy debates and provide alternative viewpoints to the public and decision-makers. Yet in young and emerging democracies where civil society is limited and political instability makes policy reform almost impossible, think tanks face numerous challenges that limit their capacities to help translate their ideas into reality.

On June 3, the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), CIPE and Atlas Corps co-hosted a discussion about this topic as part of launching NED’s newest report, Democracy Think Tanks in Action: Translating Research into Policy in Young and Emerging Democracies.

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One Month into the Fellowship

Maksim Karliuk  is a CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS  Fellow serving at the Cato Institute.

I have been in the US for over a month now, and it has been quite an intense period full of professional and social engagements and making  new acquaintances.

Being here on a fellowship program that has a complicated structure makes the experience very enriching. The Think Tank LINKS Fellowship is managed by CIPE and Atlas Corps, while I’m serving the fellowship at the Cato Institute.

After the first highlight of my stay in DC, namely attending the Inauguration of the 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama, I dove into the first two weeks of the fellowship. They were organized by the Atlas Corps in the form of introductory orientation (first week) and professional training (second week). This period was quite useful in order to get acquainted with other fellows, get settled in DC, get used to things and gain some new skills. During that time, I also had an introductory meeting at CIPE together with other Think Tank LINKS fellows. Later on, this meeting had a follow up in an individual manner with the representatives of the Eastern Europe and Eurasia Department where we discussed economic and political issues in Belarus and within the Eurasian integration process.

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