Welcome to the School for Thinktankers! In this section you will find all the necessary information and documents to help you understand how the school will be run and start prepare for it.

Programme and overview

Please download and read this document which details the structure, form of delivery of the course and the programme that it will follow.

Starting January 25 the programme will be delivered Monday to Saturday for two weeks (except Sunday Jan 31st)  from 12:00 GMT to 15:00 GMT


We will be using Slack for day to day communications. All participants and trainers are part of the slack channel, as well as past participants of the school for thinktankers, so please take advantage of the platform and use it to connect with your new network. In it  you can ask questions about the contents of the course, engage in discussions, answer questions etc, make suggestions, or simply share your views and opinions.

Please make sure to visit it regularly, you can also download the app to your phones or computer. For more guidance on using Slack please click here.


We have prepared a background document and videos to give you an overview of the key issues in each topic.

The background notes cover each of the modules of the school: defining think tanks and evidence-informed policy; governance and management; policy-relevant research; monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL); communications; and fundraising and financial management. These notes do not follow a textbook approach. Rather, they aim to provide an overview of the key issues in each topic by offering essential definitions and highlighting fundamental questions.

Videos are available only in some of the modules, and you will find the access to them in each module.

About yourself

We have set aside two live sessions for participants to get to know each other and the work each does. As you can see in the  participants’ section, all have remarkably interesting profiles, coming from all over the world and focusing on different issues. To be able to get to know each other better please prepare a short 1-2 minute presentation about yourselves and your current work (like an elevator pitch) and a longer 5 minute presentation (could be spoken or using any other format) for those sessions.

Study group tasks

As an additional activity, and to support both learning and engagement, we have developed tasks to be undertaken as a group activity. Participants should choose the task they are interested in completing (please fill out this form to do so, deadline 21 January). We will then group participants based on the chosen tasks and time zones and let each of you know how you´ve been grouped.

The tasks are voluntary but are an interesting part of the school which will let you explore an issue in more depth and engage with peers at a deeper level, therefore we encourage all participants to complete them.

To complete the tasks participants should use school materials, explore each other´s organisations, ask trainers or their peers, and/or identify best practice from other thinktanks (you can use the Open Think Tank Directory to identify organisations).

Daily recap

Each day will start with a summary (recap) of the day before by one of the participants. The summary should be short and highlight the presentations, discussion, or anything interesting from the sessions or discussions. If you want to sign-up to do a recap, please complete this form.

Learning journal

The learning journal is a personal tool to help you plan and reflect on your learning experience, and we encourage you to complete it on your own.

Summary of School for Thinkankers 2021

This document summarises all the sessions and resources/links shared during each session.

It will be a helpful resource to keep as you think of the issues discussed during the School.


If you would like to find out more about the OTT School's learning opportunities, please email us: school@onthinktanks.org