IDS ranked best international development policy think tank

Published on 28 January 2021

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has been ranked as best international development policy think tank in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

This is the second consecutive year that IDS has topped the ranking, putting us above Brookings Institution and the German Development Institute, in an index that includes more than 128 think tanks.

The Report is published by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania who conduct research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. The Report is the largest, most comprehensive database of think tanks, comprising over 6500 institutions from all regions of the world. This year’s Report involved nearly 4,000 policymakers, journalists, academics and funders in the nominations process.

Melissa Leach, Director of IDS, said:

“We are delighted to be ranked as the world’s top international development policy think tank. The ranking reflects our continuing commitment to build and mobilise research and evidence with partners in government, civil society and development agencies – across country borders, disciplines and sectors – to transform approaches to progressive social, political and economic change. It is also testimony to the fantastic efforts of our staff and partners this year to rise to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the interconnected crises it has provoked.”

IDS was also ranked third in the Report’s category of university-affiliated think tanks, a reflection of our important and long-standing partnership with the University of Sussex with whom we are ranked first in the world for development studies in the latest QS World University Rankings.

The Report is launched as part of the annual Why Think Tanks Matter Forum today in which think tanks from around the world convene to explore how best to support communities and policymakers to advance their understanding of the drivers and possible solutions to the unprecedented environmental, social, political, economic and technological disruptions of our era. IDS has been chosen to present one of the case studies in the session on ‘Why Think Tanks Matter in Times of Crisis: 20 Policies from 20 Think Tanks’, where Melissa Leach will be discussing how the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform has brought key social science insights to the Covid-19 response. Join the discussion at #ThinkTanksMatterForum2021


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