UNU-WIDER Ranked 6th in International Development by Global Think Tank Report

For the third year in a row the United Nations University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) is ranked in the top 10 of international development think tanks according to the 2012 Global Go-To Think Tanks Report, formally released on 24 January 2013. This year UNU-WIDER maintains 6th place in the highly competitive category of ‘international development think tanks’.

The Global Go-To Think Tank Report is compiled annually by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the International Relations Program, University of Pennsylvania. The new report, which marks the sixth edition, comprises the results of the 2012 rankings, and a summary of major trends and issues with respect to think tanks worldwide. This year’s report, posted at, focuses on the rise of think tanks in G20 and emerging economies.

The Global Go-To Think Tank Index is the result of an international survey of over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists, who helped rank more than 6,500 think tanks using a set of 18 criteria developed by the TTCSP. The purpose of the rankings is to help improve the profile and performance of think tanks, while highlighting the important work they do for governments and civil societies around the world.

“I congratulate UNU-WIDER and Director Tarp on the institute’s 6th place ranking in the International Development Think Tanks category for 2012”, said UNU Rector Prof. Dr. Konrad Osterwalder. “This ranking — based on the evaluation of scholars, think tank directors, journalists, policymakers and donors worldwide — is not just a reflection of UNU-WIDER’s work in 2012, but a tribute to many years of diligent and dedicated effort by UNU-WIDER researchers and staff.”

Rector Osterwalder attributed UNU-WIDER’s consistent top-ten ranking over the past three years (7th in 2010, 6th in 2011 and 2012) to “the quality and quantity of UNU-WIDER’s research and policy analysis on pressing global issues, including how to achieve equitable, sustainable growth and improve the living conditions of the world’s poorest people.”

Professor Finn Tarp, Director of UNU-WIDER, emphasizes that ”we would like to thank everyone who participates in our extensive global research network, particularly those from the developing world. We remain committed to undertaking the best research possible that serves the needs of policy makers in the developing world, together with their partners in the international development community.”

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Chair of the Board of UNU-WIDER also welcomes the news and congratulates UNU-WIDER on what he calls a solid achievement. He adds: “The Board of UNU-WIDER remains very impressed with the quality of work coming out of the institution. With this excellent network of researchers, UNU-WIDER will continue to be a shining example of good research for global development for many years to come”.

UNU-WIDER’s remit is development economics, multidisciplinary research, and policy analysis on development issues, as well as the building of analytical capacities of developing country researchers. The research activities, coordinated from Helsinki, Finland, are undertaken through collaboration with institutions and individuals from both the South and the North to achieve a truly global perspective on development.

The current UNU-WIDER work programme focuses on three main pillars: Finance, Food and Climate Change, with strong foundational research on poverty and inequality. Special attention is given to analysing the impact of development assistance through the ReCom – Research and Communications on Foreign Aid programme. It has five themes: Growth and Employment, Governance and Fragility, Social Sectors, Gender Equality as well as Environment and Climate Change. UNU-WIDER also researches other major issues of vital importance to the development community, including inclusive growth, industrial and enterprise development, food price policy, poverty and land inequality, the new policy model in Latin America, and development under climate change.

UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges the financial contributions to its research programme from the governments of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Global Think Tank Index 2012 UNU-WIDER press release.pdf

Global Think Tank Index 2012 UNU-WIDER lehdistotiedote.pdf

Global Think Tank Index 2012 UNU-WIDER pressmeddelande.pdf

Global Think Tank Index 2012 UNU-WIDER pressemeddelelse.pdf