The United Nations University (UNU), the international organization’s research and teaching network, has been ranked fifth among government-affiliated think tanks in a report launched at the world body’s headquarters in New York today.
The academic body, which includes 15 institutes and programmes in 13 countries worldwide, was also ranked sixth among international development think tanks in the report – the 2012 Global Go-To Think Tank Index – compiled annually at the University of Pennsylvania.
According to James G. McGann, the director of the project, the importance of the report “lies in its ability to highlight the important contributions that think tanks make to governments and civil societies around the world.”
The current report focuses on the rise of think tanks in G20 and BRIC countries. At the launch, Mr. McGann highlighted the role of think tanks in under-represented regions, such as the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
The report is compiled through a three-stage process of international peer and expert reviews by policymakers, journalists, government officials, donors, think tank executives and scholars from over 120 countries.
It identifies influential organizations from over 180 countries worldwide, and classifies them according to various criteria, including geographic location, affiliation, focus and longevity of operations. The Brookings Institution of Washington, D.C., in the United States, was named top overall think tank in the world.
Established by the General Assembly in 1973 and headquartered in Tokyo, the UNU has administrative and service units in Bonn, Kuala Lumpur, New York and Paris.