Think Tanks Rating

The idea to rate Belarusian think tanks was suggested at the BRC coordination meeting in May, 2013. The rating process was discussed as a measurement in order to improve the quality of think tanks in Belarus. Due to the concentrated donor efforts, the independent research sector has been enjoying an increased interest what led to a growing number of analytical projects and initiatives. However, in order to move from a community toward an industry it is vital to have a system that will give an impartial (neither donor nor local led) framework toward the evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness.  Such a step will bring other benefits to the sector: a) raising national and international  awareness of TTs and the results of their work, b) facilitating further collaboration and peer-review structures amongst the TTs, c) drawing attention to attract more investments, d) increasing TTs’ motivation for improvement by setting concrete performance indicators and organizing ratings on a regular basis.

As it was the first attempt to rate Belarusian analytical centers (the pilot version of the rating), organizers held a number of consultations with Belarusian and foreign experts in order to ensure the impartiality and professionalism of the work on the methodology, data processing and summarizing the results of the rating. Drafting the methodology was preceded by a thorough review of international experiences of rating TTs. Two of the most well-known rankings are Global Go To Think Tank Rating (GGTTTR), conducted by University of Pennsylvania on an annual basis, and the rating of American think tanks conducted by the Center for Global Development (CGD) last year as a challenge to “GGTTTR’s imperfect methodology”. Instead of a qualitative method (i.e. based on opinions of engaged experts in the form of a jury or an internet survey) a quantitative was chosen to ensure the maximum possible inclusiveness, measurability and objectivity.

In February 2014, 27 research centers and think tanks in Belarus were invited to participate in the BRC Think Tank Rating. They were asked to provide data on the indicators that were to form the rating formula. Finally, the indicators were collected from 18 participating institutions, the working group embarked on the tasks of data verification and elaboration of the final rating formula. The final results of the rating were presented during the BRC coordination meeting in February 2015.

Main BRC products and activities include:
-    BRC Coordination Meetings  
-    BRC Research Database
-    Learning opportunities
-    “What Do Belarusians Think?”
-    Belarus Info Letter "BELL"
-    Think Tanks Rating
-    BRC Support for Research Activities