January 2012 University of Pennsylvania presented the 5th edition of the annual report of the world major think tanks. Global Go To Think Tank Rankings was launched in 2006 in response to the endless requests the University of Pennsylvania received from journalists, donors, scholars, and government officials to provide a list of the leading think tanks globally and in particular countries or regions of the world. In its initial conception, the project sought to identify some of the leading think tanks globally in an effort to respond to these inquiries in a systematic fashion. Since 2006, the process has been refined and streamlined, and the number and scope of the institutions and individuals involved in it has grown steadily. Nowadays it seems to be one of the recognized rating.
The Rankings’ primary objective is to recognize some of the world’s leading public policy think tanks and highlight the notable contributions these institutions are making to governments and civil societies worldwide. Over just six years, the “Think Tank Index” has become the authoritative source for the top public policy institutions in the world. This Report is comprised of the results of 2011’s Rankings and a summary of the major trends and issues with respect to think tanks worldwide, as they have been identified through the annual survey of think tanks and the Program’s interviews with the staff of think tanks and civil society organizations in every region of the world.
Ranking criteria appear below:
1) Direct relationship between organization’s efforts in a particular area to a positive change in societal values such as significant changes in quality of life within respective country (amounts of goods and services available to citizens, state of physical and mental health, quality of environment, quality of political rights, access to institutions);
2) Publication of the organization’s work by peer reviewed journals, books and other authoritative publications; Academic reputation (formal accreditation, citation of think tank, publications by scholars in major academic books, journals, conferences and in other professional publications); Overall output of organization (policy proposals, publications, interviews, conferences, staff nominated to official posts);
3) Level of organization’s financial resources (endowment, membership fees, annual donations, government and private contracts, earned income);
4) Ability of the organization to meet the demands of those that fund it or to meet the goals of its respective grant-making institution;
5) Number of recommendations to policymakers, staff serving advisory roles to policymakers, awards given to scholars; Experts outlined the list of indicators to access the Think Tank.
6) Resource indicators: Ability to recruit and retain leading scholars and analysts; the level, quality, and stability of financial support; proximity and access to decision-makers and other policy elites; a staff with the ability to conduct rigorous research and produce timely and incisive analysis; institutional currency; quality and reliability of networks; and key contacts in the policy academic communities, and the media
7) Utilization indicators: Reputation as a “go-to” organization by media and policy elites in the country; quantity and quality of media appearances and citations, web hits, testimony before legislative and executive bodies; briefings, official appointments, consultation by officials or departments/agencies; books sold; reports distributed; references made to research and analysis in scholarly and popular publications and attendees at conferences and seminars organized
8) Output indicators: Number and quality of: policy proposals and ideas generated; publications produced (books, journal articles, policy briefs, etc.); news interviews conducted; briefings, conferences, and seminars organized; and staff who are nominated to advisory and government posts
9) Impact indicators: Recommendations considered or adopted by policymakers and civil society organizations; issue network centrality; advisory role to political parties, candidates, transition teams; awards granted; publication in or citation of publications in academic journals, public testimony and the media that influences the policy debate and decision-making; listserv and web site dominance; and success in challenging the conventional wisdom and standard operating procedures of bureaucrats and elected officials in the country
According to Top Thirty Think Tanks in Central and Eastern Europe chart Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University) was ranked on the 4th position, above other Russian Think Tanks Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO, RAS) (5th), Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), New Economic School (9th), Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO, RAS) (25th), Independent Institute for Social Policy (30). The only Russian institution that was ahead of MGIMO-University - Carnegie Moscow Center (1st). In comparison with the last year results MGIMO moved 4 positions up from the 8th place.
MGIMO University was also ranked in other charts, such as:
Think Tanks with the Greatest Impact on Public Policy (Global) Chart (27th out of 50)
Best University Affiliated Think Tanks (Global) (18th out of 30)
The Head of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (University of Pennsylvania, USA) is James G. McGann Assistant Director of the International Relations Program at the University of Pennsylvania and President of McGann Associates, a program and management consulting firm specializing in the challenges facing think tanks, policymakers, international organizations and philanthropic institutions.
Dr. McGann has served as a consultant and advisor to the World Bank, United Nations, United States Agency for International Development, Soros, Hewlett and Gates Foundations and foreign governments on the role of nongovernmental, public policy and public engagement organizations in civil society. He has served as the Senior Vice-President for the Executive Council on Foreign Diplomats, the public policy program officer for The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Assistant Director of the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University, and a Senior Advisor to the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs and the Society for International Development.