On 23rd of June 2020, Renata Skardziute-Kereselidze, GIP deputy director, took part in the opening event of the On Think Tanks (OTT) annual conference. The opening, Funding for think tanks: lessons from initiatives to support think tanks and implications for the future, kicked off the three-day conference, and was open to the public to participate online.
Apart from Renata Skardziute-Kereselidze, the panel speakers included:
- Goran Buldioski (Open Society Foundations)
- Julie LaFrance (former member of the Think Tank Initiative team)
- Michael Schwarz (Stiftung Mercator)
- Henry Alt-Haaker (Robert Bosch Foundation)
Moderator: Enrique Mendizabal (On Think Tanks).
The event focused on the lessons learned from funding think tanks, aiming to strengthen their capacity and impact, as well as when coping with crisis situations. The panelists emphasized the need to expand the basis of their grantees, giving new generation of organizations a chance to compete; the importance of close dialogue between the donors and think tanks, both when setting the programs and during implementation process; and readiness of the donor community to support their grantees not only financially, but also by building their capacity and expanding networks. While funding for think tanks might shrink in the wake of Covid-19, innovative solutions, thorough research-based ideas, building networks for collaboration, and already established links with funding organizations can help mitigate the blow for many research organizations.
The panel discussion focused on the following questions:
- What have we learned from supporting think tanks over the long-term?
- What funding policies, approaches and mechanisms have been more effective to develop think tanks’ competencies or their influence on policy processes in the long term?
- What does the current COVID-19 context mean for funding for think tanks?
- How can funders better support think tanks in the future – with an eye to guaranteeing their resilience?
Due to pandemic restrictions, the OTT conference was organized online, as a series of events.
For detailed information about the conference please visit the link – https://onthinktanks.org/events/ott-conference-2020-the-2nd-online-event/