Practical Guidance for Think Tank Directors, Managers and Donors

The Industry Guide – About the Book

Today, there are more than 6,800 think tanks globally across 120 countries, predominantly concentrated in the Americas, U.K., Asia and Africa. Since the 1960s, explosive growth in the field has brought about a proliferation of research and policy formulation institutions. But now, growing institutional challenges are threatening their viability. Strong internal governance is therefore critical to achieving the ultimate goal of driving policy development while ensuring think tanks across Western, developing and transitioning countries maintain equal influence within today’s global dialogue. As donors are becoming increasingly aware of the nuances of a think tank’s practices, organizations must reassess how best to strengthen their management and maximize resources to remain a leading authority among a competitive arena.

Informed by in-field research across developing and transitioning countries, Raymond Struyk’s “Improving Think Tank Management: Practical Guidance for Think Tanks, Research Advocacy Organizations and Their Funders” provides a comprehensive, solutions-based guide to improving operations. Struyk’s third installment in his series on management practices arms think tanks with the knowledge to face the current evolving landscape while maintaining their place as a respected policy-influencer.

Order the book

IMPROVING THINK TANK MANAGEMENT is available for order. Please follow the link below to order your copy today. The e-book will be available for purchase shortly.


Select annexes from the book are available for download. All annexes are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

  • Annex 1-1 (Example of a local program for management improvement: The think tank capacity building program in Baku)
  • Annex 1-2 (Additional information on survey data employed)

Staffing and Human Resources (2-5)

Policies, Procedures, and Forms – Examples and Templates

  • Annex 2-1 (Documents for annual staff appraisal)
  • Annex 2-2 (Salary Administration Policy)
  • Annex 2-3 (Job position descriptions and promotion criteria for research staff)
  • Annex 2-4 (Job position descriptions for communications staff)
  • Annex 2-5 (Performance standards for administrative positions)
  • Annex 3-1 (Establishing a position)

Cases from real think tanks

  • Annex 4-1 (Sharing of information gained at skills acquisition workshops)
  • Annex 5-1 (Position description for team leaders)

Core Operations (6-8)

Policies, Procedures, and Forms – Examples and Templates

  • Annex 6-1 (Reviewers’ check list for assessing analytic reports)
  • Annex 6-2 (Communications guidelines)
  • Annex 6-3 (Example of a research and publications policy statement that includes quality control provisions)
  • Annex 7-1 (Example of a think tank’s board bylaws)
  • Annex 8-1 (White book – table of contents)

Additional information and guidelines

  • Annex 7-2 (More information on recruiting new board members)

Agenda Setting (9-10)

Cases from real think tanks

  • Annex 9-1 (Seven innovations undertaken by Eastern European and Russian Think Tanks)

Additional information and guidelines

  • Annex 10-1 (Tasks involved in government outsourcing for policy research)
  • Annex 10-2 (Being competitive in pursuing government support)

Financial and Performance Accountability (11-12)

Additional information and guidelines

  • Annex 11-1 (Additional information on indirect rates)

Policies, Procedures, and Forms – Examples and Templates

  • Annex 11-2 (Model cost policy statement)
  • Annex 12-1 (Example tables for performance reports to management)
  • Annex 12-2 (Policy community survey)

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