Short course: Strategic governance and management for think tanks
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Short course: Strategic governance and management for think tanks

The subject of think tank governance and management rarely gets the attention that the fields of research and communications receive. However, poor governance arrangements and limited management capacity are most likely to explain any shortfalls in research quality and communication impact. Executive director transitions can put the survival of the think tank at risk if the governance is not strong enough. And even well-designed fundraising campaigns can fail to deliver their objectives if an organisation’s management is unable to cope with the sudden increase in funds and responsibilities.

This short course is composed of two modules that discuss the governance and management of think tanks and policy research organisations. This topic encompasses many aspects: governing bodies, boards, senior management and line management, fundraising and the allocation of funds, communications, human resources, finance experts, and more.

This course focuses on two crucial elements: boards and the management of research teams. In the first module, the trainer discusses three main types of boards and the roles they play within organisations. In the second module, the trainer focuses on research team structures and line-management within research teams and projects.

This short course is aimed at budding and new think tank leaders and anyone interested in finding out how these organisations function.

If you are a young think tanker interested in the inner working of your organisations, the course will give you the tools you need to understand what goes on at board meetings or senior management meetings. It will give you an appreciation for management skills.

Young managers (researchers and communicators) interested in enhancing their own performance would benefit from strengthening their grip on the organisation’s governance and management.


To learn and reflect about different aspects of think tank governance and management by exploring questions such as: What is the best governance and management structure for a think tank? How does this affect a think tank’s work and how can it drive high-quality research and policy influence?


This is a past course, but the resources and webinars can be accessed. To do so please register your information in this link (and subscribe to the OTT newsletter), after registration you will receive the password to access the course. Thank you!

November 1, 2017 - November 8, 2017


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