Global Think Tank Initiative Policy Engagement and Communications Program

Think tanks in developing countries aim to produce quality, evidence-based research to address the policy challenges faced by the countries or regions within which they operate. The potential for think tanks to inform policy and contribute to development debates depends on their ability to engage in the policy process. It also depends on their ability to package and disseminate research outputs to a variety of audiences, including policymakers and legislators, civil servants, civil society organizations, the media, and the public.

Think Tank Initiative's (TTI) funded institutions use a variety of approaches to engage in the policy process. They have a wide range of experience and strategies for communicating research findings to stakeholders, and they are committed to improving their policy engagement and communications capacity.

This project responds to the needs of TTI-funded institutions by launching the Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) program. A one-year mentorship model that allows for highly engaged support and continual learning, the program will enable TTI grantees to customize their own capacity development with the support and ongoing input of a mentor. Mentoring will be flexible to respond to the particular needs of each funded institution. Specifically, the program will provide support in the following areas:
- understanding policy processes in specific contexts;
- engaging in knowledge brokering;
- contributing to public debate; and,
- synthesizing and packaging knowledge and evidence.

The PEC program will also emphasize peer learning between TTI-funded institutions with common synergies. This model aims to encourage a learning-by-doing approach where think tanks enhance policy engagement and communications by sharing best practices with peers, adjusting, and innovating to suit the specific context. Although the program strives for a balance between individualized institutional and group-focused support, the appropriate support ratio will be based on the needs and interests of TTI-funded think tanks in each region.

It is expected that all participating think tanks will make progress toward achieving their institutional goals and implementing their work plans established at the beginning of the program. Ultimately, PEC should help think tanks become stronger institutions.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, May 31, 2013

End Date

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


14 months

IDRC Officer

Lafrance, Julie

Total funding

CA$ 2,861,790


South Asia, North of Sahara, South of Sahara, North and Central America, South America, Central Asia, Far East Asia


Think Tank Initiative