The Belarus Research Council (BRC) announces the results of the second Belarus Think Tank Rating. The Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC) received first place. The Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) and the Nashe Mnenie expert community were ranked second and third, respectively.
The 2016 BRC Think Tank Rating measured 14 Belarusian think tanks on the basis of institutional capacity, information outreach and analytical and research activities. BEROC received the highest ranking because of its extensive research program.
The ratings were started by Pact to encourage Belarusian think tanks to improve the quality of their work and to increase public awareness of the research sector. The results were presented Oct. 6 at the seventh BRC Coordination meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania.
For the first time, the Belarus Think Tank Rating is accompanied by a survey of Belarusian media professionals to assess their attitudes toward think tanks and individual experts. According to the results, journalists placed the most trust in the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) and its senior analyst Dzianis Melyantsou.
Belarusian journalists also considered the Kastryčnicky Ekanamičny Forum (October Economic Forum, or KEF) the most important event of the year organized by a think tank. The forum is held annually by IPM Research Center in association with BEROC and CASE Belarus.
The Belarus Think Tank Rating is based on international criteria of similar studies, namely the University of Pennsylvania's Global Go To Think Tank Index and the Center for Global Development's Index of Public Profile. In 2014, Pact conducted a pilot study of Belarusian think tanks to adapt foreign experience and make methodologies more inclusive and fair.
The first Belarus Think Tank Rating was conducted in 2015. The top three rankings were awarded to the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS), IPM Research Center, and the Nashe Mnenie expert community.
Similar to the last year, the rating was based on think tanks’ performance in three categories: institutional capacity (staffing, organizational management, partnerships and stakeholder management); information outreach (media relations, social network use, citation index and organization of off-line events); and analytical and research activities.
This year, 33 organizations working in the field of research and analytics were invited to participate and 14 submitted the required data. Independent experts processed and verified the data.
The Belarus Research Council is a loose network of Belarusian polling agencies, think tanks and donors supporting social science research in Belarus. Pact started BRC in early 2012 to increase the use of evidence-based research in civil society work. BRC seeks to coordinate with relevant stakeholders, provides learning and professional opportunities for Belarusian researchers, maintains a database of research on Belarus, conducts the Think Tank Rating and organizes public policy debates entitled, What Do Belarusians Think.