Understanding Think Tank-University Relationships in Latin America

Although it represents 10% of the world's population, Latin America produces only 2.3% of global scientific knowledge. As producers of research in Latin America, universities and think tanks have a key role to play in making a greater contribution to development debates and global scientific knowledge.

The relationship between universities and think tanks has not been studied in the Latin American context. This project will examine the relationships between think tanks and universities in Latin America to generate a better understanding of the links between them, and to recommend ways to optimize how they interact, and/or to promote collaboration.

Specifically, it will aim to:
- contribute to shaping theoretical and conceptual frameworks that will guide future research on this issue;
- generate recommendations for support to think tanks in ways that foster mutually beneficial relationships and/or positive outcomes for both think tanks and universities; and,
- disseminate research results among local, regional, and global stakeholders with the aim of influencing policy and practice.

A consortium composed of the Fundación para el Avance de las Reformas y las Oportunidades (Grupo FARO), an Ecuadorian "think-and-do" tank, and the Centro de Políticas Comparadas de Educación (CPCE), a research centre of the Universidad Diego Portales in Chile will implement the study.

The consortium will use a multi-method research approach which views the "policy knowledge sector" as an ecosystem. The research team will apply qualitative and quantitative research methods. They will examine case studies for 10 countries in the region and conduct a regional study of collaboration between think tanks and universities. This is one of three studies on think tank-university relationships, with other studies taking place in South Asia and Africa.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, May 31, 2013

End Date

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


10 months

IDRC Officer

Taylor, Peter

Total funding

CA$ 265,100


North and Central America, South America, Chile


Think Tank Initiative

Project Leader

Orazio Bellettini Cedeno


Fundación para el Avance de las Reformas y las Oportunidades - Grupo FARO

Institution Country


Institution Website