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R4D Kicks-Off New Think Tank Policy Engagement and Communications Program Focused In Six Anglophone African Countries

29 July, 2013

Photo Caption: African think tanks convened in Accra, Ghana for the kick-off inception of the Think Tank Policy Engagement and Communications Program.

Accra, Ghana - Think tanks in the developing world produce critical research used to effect change in their societies, strengthen public policy debates and promote more objective, evidence-based decision-making. However their research can fail to have an impact if they do not communicate their findings in ways that are accessible, understandable and suitable for the policy and civil society actors that engage them.

To further support think tanks in heightening their policy voice and impact, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) have launched the Think Tank Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) Program. The program’s aim is simple - to strengthen TTI-funded think tank PEC strategies and skills by helping these institutions to:

  • Understand policy processes in specific contextsto become more knowledgeable and integrated into the policymaking process and apparatus.
  • Engage in knowledge brokering to ensure their work is both credible and useful to the intended audiences and to help build coalitions and relationships with key networks.
  • Contribute to the public debate to improve how they connect with and influence policy actors.
  • Synthesize and package knowledge and evidence to translate their research into relevant and digestible content for varying audiences and media outlets.

R4D will coordinate and lead the PEC Program in Anglophone Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana) in collaboration with R4D Senior Fellow Raymond Struyk, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe-based firm CommsConsult, and consultant David Olson. The teams’ role is to provide the think tanks (listed below) with customized support through ongoing peer learning, training and mentorship opportunities. The institutions will assess their needs and develop a work plan with mentors who have been chosen based on complimentary levels of experience and knowledge. The think tanks will also exchange ideas, practices and experiences with their peers to further adjust and improve their PEC strategies against their specific contexts.

R4D is proud to be working with prominent think tanks, of which some are the first public policy institutes established in their countries and others who have been ranked highly by esteemed global institutions and rankings. These institutions, categorized by country, include:

Ghana

Ethiopia

Nigeria

Kenya

Uganda

Tanzania

For more information about the PEC Program, see the attached one-pager.

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