AREU celebrates another year of notable rankings in the 2018 edition of the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index

AREU celebrates another year of notable rankings in the 2018 edition of the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index

We are happy to share with you that AREU has maintained its position as the top think-tank in Afghanistan and 5th place in a list of 65 think-tanks in Central Asia in 2018. In a separate category for Best Independent Think Tanks Globally, AREU ranked 26th place out of 145 independent think-tanks globally which includes prominent institutions such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, International Crisis Group, and Transparency International, amongst others. AREU was 55th position out of 110 think tanks worldwide under a new category for Top Social Policy Think Tanks. These rankings underscore the quality, reach and impact of AREU’s research and demonstrate the significant contribution we have made in informing and influencing a range of actors.

The team at AREU are delighted with these results and would like to thank everyone that believes in our work and has and is supporting us. These rankings come on the back of another achievement in 2018 when the U.K.’s Prospect magazine awarded AREU as the Best International Social Think Tank.

The rankings emanate from an annual study conducted by the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. The Lauder Institute’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) published its 12th edition of the 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) report in January 2019. TTCSP carries out a systematic ranking process each year, based on precise criteria with the support of a panel of 1,796 peer institutions and experts, representing print and electronic media, academia, public and private donor institutions, and governments worldwide.

Dr Orzala Nemat, AREU Director, said “the recognition given to AREU is a testament to the quality of our researchers who produce high-quality work” and added that “our responsibility as a research organization is also to counter disinformation campaigns with evidence supported by the right tools to ensure that the evidence is delivered effectively and to the right audience.”

In January 2019, AREU joined the Lauder Institute’ initiative to engage members of the think tank community in a conversation about Why Facts and Think Tanks matter Around the World and in Afghanistan. More than 250 think tanks around the world convened similar discussions globally. Engaging in this topic is pivotal to counter the proliferation of misinformation, subversive disinformation campaigns, and nationalistic fervour that is creating false binaries to the detriment of evidence-based research, analysis, and policymaking.

AREU was honored to have a range of organizations contribute to the event. Organisations that contributed to the discussion included: United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Country Director Shah Mahmoud Miakhel, Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) Chairman Hekmat Karzai, Organisation for Policy Research and Development Studies (DROPS) Director Mariam Safi and Deputy Director Bismellah Alizada, Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) representative Ejaz Malikzada, Peace Training & Research Organization (PTRO) Managing Director Mirwais Wardak, and Afghan Analysts Network (AAN) researcher Ehsan Qanne. We look forward to re-engaging these organizations and the broader think tank community in Afghanistan as these interactions gain traction.

Three central points emerged from our discussions. First, to establish and formalize a platform to share evidence-based research and analysis outside of the think tank community. Second, to promote Afghan-led research and analysis and ensuring that Afghan voices are heard worldwide. Third, bridging the gap between research and policy using a variety of methods including via collaboration and collectively linking up with policymakers, delivering research findings in a tailored fashion to suit the audience, and facilitating an ongoing dialogue to disseminate research findings constructively. The participants agreed with the notion that think tanks can make a significant impact by challenging false or misleading narratives and are well equipped to provide a rich evidence base and analytical clarity.

The event generated significant interest among the participants, and there was broad agreement that the think tank community should work together to bridge the gap between policy and analysis. As a next step, AREU and the think tank community will work together to realize this objective by engaging researchers, practitioners and other interested parties.

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