Think Tank Initiative
The Think Tank Initiative (TTI) is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of independent policy research institutions in the developing world. Launched in 2008 and managed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), TTI is a partnership between five donors.

Think Tank Initiative logoTTI currently provides 43 think tanks in 20 countries with core, non-earmarked funding. This support, which comprises up to 30 percent of their operating budgets, allows the institutions to attract, retain and build local talent, develop an independent research program, and invest in public outreach to ensure that research results inform and influence national and regional policy debates.

TTI seeks to nurture the long-term sustainability of the think tanks it funds. As such, core funding is combined with dedicated capacity development support by program officers and external experts in three broad areas: research methods and skills, policy engagement and communication, and general organizational effectiveness. TTI also supports peer-to-peer review, learning and exchange.

Visit the TTI website to learn more about the program, view our results, and read our blog.

TTI is set to wrap up in 2019.

Explore research projects that we support.


  • Flaubert Mbiekop

    Going the extra mile with African research in social sciences

    Quick fixes and flashy solutions in international development seem to be the order of the day. It is satisfying, and often useful, to count the number of women, men, and youths who sign up for training, receive a vaccine, or plant a new type of...

    Flaubert Mbiekop
  • Achieving the health related SDGs — why we need major shifts in thinking

    Real momentum is building around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as national governments integrate the 2030 Agenda with their own policy processes. Recognition of the multi-sectoral nature of the SDGs is encouraging different...

    Peter Taylor
  • Canada can learn from Uganda’s gender budgeting experience

    I recently attended an event on gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) in Kampala, Uganda, and was struck by the country’s progress using this practice. As Canada works to improve the integration of gender considerations into our budgeting, there’s a...

    Shannon Sutton


Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The UK Department for International Development
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation