A THOUGHT ON THINK TANKS
There was a time when all the resources were concentrated in the monarchy or whatever was the form of government. The oldest of our business companies wouldn’t be more than a couple of centuries old. Recent times have shown the expertise moving out of the government & most of the activities being handled by private companies. The consultants & advisors moving in henceforth, theoretically, had their tasks neatly cut out for them. The latest to hit the center stage are the Think Tanks; in vogue in the developed world for a long time.
Think tank is not a legal terminology for this genre; legally these are policy institutes or research institutes, generally performing research & advocacy functions. In general, they are non-profit in nature. Countries like America & Canada, where it finds its genesis, give them tax exempt status as well. Other think tanks are funded by the government, advocacy groups and businesses.
Lots of think tanks work on parallel issues handled by the government, with no worthwhile connect with the policy makers. It ends up in make believe documentation. Advocacy , then is the only role left, with no clear matrix, structure or an objective method of measuring the impact. Presumably, its simultaneous, written vocal cords into operation. Undeniably, climate change has seen some pathbreaking advocacy. It’s directly proportional to the quality of research & consistency.
In the last count, there are 6800 think tanks across the globe; a big enough figure to make an impact on the global thought process. With government, private businesses & defence strategists & practitioners, holding fort of their areas, what is so fascinating the Think Tanks have to offer. The academic & research filler has to be taken care by such institutions on an agreed upon plan. An integrated professional & academic / research ecosystem in the governmental framework and with its fullest support, can do wonders. A stable policy and advocacy world order has to emerge.
MULTIDIMENSIONAL OBJECTIVITY IS THE KEY TO THINK TANK’s UTILITY.