The Middle East Research Institute (MERI) has once again been named the top think tank in Iraq and has gone up 12 places from last year to 46th in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) Region, a significant achievement considering that it is only in its third year of operation. The rankings are according to the 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index report issued by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute.
The Lauder Institute maintains the largest and most comprehensive database of think tanks, policymakers, and policy-oriented civil society groups; and ranks organisations annually both globally and regionally. This year marks the tenth year of the Institute’s continued efforts to acknowledge the important contributions and emerging global trends of think tanks worldwide.
As part of this process, 6,846 think tanks and over 4,750 journalists, policymakers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists were surveyed last year (2016) to both nominate and rank public policy research centres of distinction for 2015. The Index ranking was decided by expert panels that were comprised of hundreds of members from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines.
Some of the ranking criteria included: the quality and commitment of the think tank’s staff; the quality, number and reach of its publications; the academic performance and reputation of the organisation and the impact of publications on policymakers.
As part of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, MERI also took part in this year’s Global Go To Think Tank Index Launch on 26th January. This year’s event saw hundreds of think tanks and policy-oriented organisations across the world host events. MERI brought together a number of Iraqi-based think tank scholars, as well as high ranking members of the Iraqi Security Forces to discuss ‘The Mosul Operation: Progress and Prospects’.
More details of MERI’s participation in the Index Launch can be found here.