SAIIA Ranked Top Think Tank in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image: Flickr, Steve Cadman
Image: Flickr, Steve Cadman

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has been ranked the best think tank for 2009 in southern and sub-Saharan Africa in the annual international survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.

The survey identified some 503 think tanks in the sub-Saharan region. The 2009 “Global Go-To Think Tank” survey ranks top think tanks in the United States and across the world. It is the first comprehensive global ranking of think tanks and results are based on an extensive worldwide survey of over a thousand scholars and experts.

This year, 392 organisations across the globe were assessed from a pool of over 6000 possible candidates. Some 1200 international expert peer panelists comprising leading scholars, former think tank executives, public and private donors, journalists and policymakers participated in the final selection process.

The selection criteria included organisations’ ability to meet the goals of their respective funders, the relationship between organisations’ efforts in a particular area and the positive change in that area, organisations’ ability to bridge the gap between policymakers and grassroots realities, as well as the number of recommendations adopted by policymakers.

Fred Phaswana, National Chairman of SAIIA, welcomed the accolade especially as 2009 had been the 75th Anniversary of the Institute.  He believed that this international peer recognition of SAIIA was based on its quality research output and high public profile, and he congratulated the staff and research associates of SAIIA.