Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

CGD’s Think Tank Public Profile Rankings Are Back

In 2013, our CGD colleagues Julia Clark and David Roodman designed a low-cost quantitative approach to rank US and international development think tanks by the strength of their public profile. Think tanks trade in ideas and ideas need to be noticed to be adopted. Thus, think tanks’ ability to garner public attention is likely to be a good marker of their influence and potential for impact. 

The Best Job in the World

When my children were young we sometimes played a game at the Thanksgiving table: each diner wrote on a slip of paper something for which she or he was grateful, folded it and placed it in a basket. We then passed the basket and took turns picking one, reading it out loud and guessing who wrote it. I often wrote: "I am grateful to have meaningful work" and when it came time to explain I would say that I felt very lucky to work at CGD and to have what was for me the very best job in the world. 

What Should Think Tanks Do? Read This Book to Find Out

A prior version of this post appeared in the On Think Tanks blog.

Andrew Selee, vice president for programs at the Wilson Center, a think tank in Washington DC, has written a slim volume that will be useful to anybody who is part of a think tank leadership team. The book, What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact, focuses on Washington tanks and will therefore be of particular interest to those of us inside the beltway. Nonetheless, the issues Andrew discusses will resonate with think tank leaders—and funders—everywhere.

Bragging by the President

The CGD authors (Clark and Roodman) of this paper use five quantitative measures to rank the public profile of think tanks: social media fans, incoming links, web traffic, media mentions, and scholarly citations.  They are careful and modest about the profile of CGD that emerges compared to other US-based think tanks and compared to other development think tanks.  T

Cato Tops New CGD Index of Think Tank Profile

This Thursday, the World bank will host the unveiling of the latest edition of the best-known ranking of think tanks, which is produced by the University of Pennsylvania. The public event will reveal whether the Brookings Institution has lost its hold on "Think Tank of the Year," which tanks made the top 50 worldwide, which are best in Latin America, and so on.