The just released 2016 Global Go-To Think Tanks Index published by the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania gives CODESRIA some reason for celebration on this eve of its 44th anniversary. It ranks the Council as the best think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is an improvement on recent years when CODESRIA has generally been ranked 3rd or 4th. The 2016 report also ranked the Council as the 125th best think tank worldwide. The report, which evaluates close to 7000 think tanks worldwide, also rates CODESRIA highly in many other categories. The Council’s work on international development and social policy are acknowledged with rankings as the 18th and 72nd best think tank in these fields worldwide respectively. Our commitment to transdisciplinary research is also acknowledged in our ranking as the 26th best think tank worldwide in that category.
The wisdom in CODESRIA’s insistence on support for basic research in the social sciences and humanities as an effective way of contributing to public policy is positively endorsed by its ranking as the 35th best think tank worldwide for influence on public policy. It is also ranked as having had the 48th best advocacy campaign worldwide.
CODESRIA looks at the report as a reinforcement of the Council’s decision to undertake a wide-ranging process of self-reform that was set in motion in 2014. In the area of communication, it hopes to improve on its ranking as the 40th best think tank worldwide in the use of the Internet. It also hopes to improve its use of print and social media for which it was not even mentioned in the rankings. Also, it hopes to improve its reflections on and contributions to knowledge in the critical areas of health, the environment and science and technology. CODESRIA’s new 5-year program cycle represents an opportunity to leverage the Council’s strengths to cement its position as the leading social science research organization in Africa and as a leading contributor to the broad visions for national, continental and global transformations that are captured in the many documents circulating today.
On behalf of the Executive Committee and the staff of CODESRIA, and on my own behalf, I would like to thank all those who have been supporting CODESRIA, and thank the authorities of the country that host the CODESRIA’ secretariat, Senegal, for their confidence and support. I would also like to urge the African social science research community to continue to redouble our efforts to move African research forward and advance the production of knowledge on our continent. .
Dr. Ebrima Sall