Think Tank Fund of Open Society Institute Budapest Foundation, (OSI) aims at supporting and strengthening independent policy research centers that provide political, economic and social recommendations for effective functioning of the government and have substantial impact on improving openness and development of the society.
The goal of the Organizational Development Grant received by IDFI is to assist overall development of IDFI as a think tank in three specific areas: quality of research products, communications and advocacy, and internal development and governance.
The main activities of IDFI include five directions: watchdog activities, advocacy, think tank activities, awareness raising and transparent archives. IDFI prioritizes its think tank activities, which is closely combined with providing the government with recommendations. It should be mentioned that a number of recommendations and critique from IDFI had positive impact, especially in terms of increasing openness and accountability of public institutions.
Over the years since its foundation, IDFI has gradually developed into a credible organization combining watchdog activities with in-depth research, and further advocacy in the field of open government in Georgia. Despite considerable success, however, IDFI is like many other CSOs as the vast majority of received funding is aimed at specific analytical output, leaving scarcely any resources for institutional development.
A grant from Think Tank Fund is crucial for further organizational and financial sustainability, which has become even more evident with the growing impact of IDFI. As there is no clear division of responsibilities, the Institute needs support to reorganize its internal structure, one of the goals of which will be to delegate part of responsibilities.
In terms of quality of research, IDFI needs long-term thematic priorities for research products, standardization of various research outputs it produces, improvement of internal quality control mechanism, and establishment of external one. Besides, the limited resources hindered IDFI from comprehensive editing of its products. Development and applying of various research methods is another challenge for think tank direction of IDFI.
Furthermore, IDFI needs more resources and knowledge for better communicating its findings with various target groups, such as more comprehensive communication strategy, assistance from web-developer and designer etc.
In order to plan the activities for organizational development, IDFI team went on a retreat on January 8-9, 2016. The members of IDFI discussed new charter of the organization, as well as various obligations taken under the abovementioned grant, the action plan and activities to be implemented. Specific changes in organizational structure were planned. IDFI also planned to create a Supervisory Board for fast and correct development of the organization.
During two days the representatives of IDFI discussed on best ways to develop think tank direction in the organization, and made both short-term and long-term plans. During the next two years Think Tank Fund will provide IDFI with sufficient resources in order to successfully implement the plan of organizational development.
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