As published in Dawn today, The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) has been ranked the premier think tank in Pakistan. The PIIA’s work relates to the fields of international relations, politics, economics and law. According to the ‘Top Think Tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific’, (table 10, page 80) of the 2014 Global Go-to Think-Tank Index, PIIA is the top-ranked think tank in Pakistan. The index included 211 South Asian think tanks. Moreover, only two Pakistani institutions – PIIA and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) – were mentioned in the top 20 of the Southeast Asia and the Pacific list. The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the University of Pennsylvania has developed the index to identify “centers of excellence in all the major areas of public policy research and in every region of the world.”
The index, which is essentially a suite of league tables, delivered today included 6681 think tanks from all over the world. Moreover, 192 think tanks from India and 19 from Pakistan played a part in the composition of the index. However, among these 211 only two Pakistani think tanks had the distinction of being included in the top 20 and as mentioned above, PIIA – which owes all its success to its Chairman, Dr Masuma Hasan – was ranked sixteenth while SDPI was ranked nineteenth which means that they were effectively the first and second ranked think tanks in our country.
Dr Masuma Hasan has welcomed the honour of the PIIA’s inclusion in the distinguished list of places of excellence indexed by the University of Pennsylvania’s TTCSP and, like the rest of us, she is grateful for this accolade being bestowed upon PIIA: see coverage of the development in the Express Tribune and further coverage in the Business Recorder.
Notably, the authors of the index summarize the activities of the TTCSP in the following terms:
The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. Often referred to as the “think tanks’ think tank,” TTCSP examines the evolving role and character of public policy research organizations. Over the last 25 years, the TTCSP has developed and led a series of global initiatives that have helped bridge the gap between knowledge and policy in critical policy areas such as international peace and security, globalization and governance, international economics, environmental issues, information and society, poverty alleviation, and healthcare and global health. These international collaborative efforts are designed to establish regional and international networks of policy institutes and communities that improve policy making while strengthening democratic institutions and civil societies around the world.
The TTCSP works with leading scholars and practitioners from think tanks and universities in a variety of collaborative efforts and programs, and produces the annual Global Go To Think Tank Index that ranks the world’s leading think tanks in a variety of categories. This is achieved with the help of a panel of over 1,900 peer institutions and experts from the print and electronic media, academia, public and private donor institutions, and governments around the world. We have strong relationships with leading think tanks around the world, and our annual Think Tank Index is used by academics, journalists, donors and the public to locate and connect with the leading centers of public policy research around the world. Our goal is to increase the profile and performance of think tanks and raise the public awareness of the important role think tanks play in governments and civil societies around the globe.
Since its inception in 1989, the TTCSP has focused on collecting data and conducting research on think tank trends and the role think tanks play as civil society actors in the policymaking process. In 2007, the TTCSP developed and launched the global index of think tanks, which is designed to identify and recognize centers of excellence in all the major areas of public policy research and in every region of the world. To date TTCSP has provided technical assistance and capacity building programs in 81 countries. We are now working to create regional and global networks of think tanks in an effort to facilitate collaboration and the production of a modest yet achievable set of global public goods. Our goal is to create lasting institutional and state-level partnerships by engaging and mobilizing think tanks that have demonstrated their ability to produce high quality policy research and shape popular and elite opinion and actions for public good.
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