BIDPA ranked top for the third year in a row

BIDPA ranked top for the third year in a row

The Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis, (BIDPA) has once again been ranked the Top Think Tank in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2019 by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. This follows the 2018 and 2017 top rankings.

Announcing the rankings to Staff, BIDPA Executive Director Dr Tebogo Seleka commended the Institute's Researchers for their performance, saying the top ranking is a result of their research output, some of which has been published in leading journals.

Dr Seleka said a lot still needs to be done to align the Institute’s research programs with national and regional development agendas to ensure relevance and impact on public policy. He called on researchers to embark on projects that will contribute to the country’s transformation agenda

Since its inception in 1989, the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program has focused on collecting data and conducting research on think tank trends  and the role think tanks play as civil society actors in the policy making process.

2019 Global Go-To Think Tank Index Nomination and Ranking Criteria

• The quality and commitment of the think tank’s leadership (chief executive and governing body). This involves effectively managing the mission and programs of the think tank, mobilizing the financial and human resources necessary to fulfill the mission and monitoring the quality, independence and impact of the think tank;
• The quality and reputation of the think tank’s staff. Ability to assemble a critical mass of highly skilled, experienced and productive scholars and analysts who are recognized as either emerging or established experts in their respective area of research;
• The quality and reputation of the research and analysis produced. The ability to produce high quality, rigorous, policy-oriented research that is accessible to policy makers, media and the public;
• Ability to recruit and retain elite scholars and analysts;
• Academic performance and reputation. This involves the academic rigor associated with the research conducted. This includes formal accreditation of a think tank’s scholars and analysts, the number and type of scholarly publications produced such as: books, journals and conference papers and the number of presentations delivered at scholarly and other professional meeting and the number and type of citations of the think tanks scholars’ research in scholarly publications produced by other scholars;
• The quality, number, and reach of its publications;• The impact of a think-tank’s research and programs on policy makers and other policy actors. Policy recommendations considered or actually adopted by policy makers, civil society or policy actors;
• Reputation with policymakers (name recognition associated with specific issues or programs, number of briefings and official appointments, number of policy briefs and white papers produced, legislative testimony delivered);
• A demonstrated commitment to producing independent research and analysis. This involves standards and policies for producing rigorous evidence based research and analysis that are posted and monitored by the organization, research teams and individual researchers.

This includes disclosure of conflict of interest (financial, institutional or personal) and a commitment to non-partisanship and established professional standards for research in the social sciences;
• Access to key institutions. The ability to reach and connect with key audiences and personnel such as government officials (elected and appointed), civil society, traditional and new media, and academia;
• Ability to convene key policy actors and to develop effective networks and partnerships with other think tanks and policy actors;
• Overall output of the organization (policy proposals, web visits, briefings, publications, interviews, conferences, staff nominated to official posts);
• Utilization of research, policy proposal and other products. The effective transmission and utilization of policy briefs, reports, policy recommendations and other products by policy makers and the policy community, number of current and former staff serving in advisory roles to policy makers, advisory commissions, etc., awards given to scholars for scholarly achievement or public service;
• Usefulness of organization’s information in public engagement, advocacy work, preparing legislation or testimony, preparing academic papers or presentations, conducting research or teaching;
• Ability to use electronic, print and new media to communicate research and reach key audiences;
• Media reputation (number of media appearances, interviews and citations);
• Ability to use the Internet including social media tools, to engage with policy makers, journalists
and the public;
• Website and Digital presence. The quality, accessibility, effective maintenance of the organization’s web presence, as well as, the quality and level of digital traffic and engagement (quality, accessibility and navigability of website, number of website visitors, page views, time spent on pages, “likes” or followers); Level, diversity and stability of funding. The ability of an organization to mobilize the necessary financial resources to support and sustain the think tank over time (endowment, membership fees, annual donations, government and private contracts, earned income);
• Effective management and allocation of financial and human resources. The ability of a think tank to effectively manage its money and people so that they produce high quality outputs that achieve maximum impact;
• Ability of the organization to effectively fulfill the terms of the gifts, grants and contracts from government(s),individuals, corporations and foundations who have provided financial support to the think tank (financial stewardship);
• The organization’s ability to produce new knowledge, innovative policy proposals or alternative ideas on policy;
• Ability to bridge the gap between the academic and policy making communities;
• Ability to bridge the gap between policy makers and the public;

• Ability to include new voices in the policy making process;
• Ability of organization to be inscribed within issue and policy networks;
• Success in challenging the traditional wisdom of policymakers and in generating innovative policy ideas and programs; and,
• The impact on society. Direct relationship between the organization’s efforts in a particular area to a positive change in societal values such as significant changes in the quality of life within respective country (amounts of goods and services available to citizens, state of physical and mental health, quality of environment, quality of political rights, access to institutions).

social position

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