LONDON — Think tanks are a key part of the policymaking apparatus of the UK, influencing government decisions by connecting academics and specialists with those in power.
But not all of them are forthcoming about who’s bankrolling them.
A group called Who Funds You? has rated think tanks based on how much information they provide on where they get their money, assigning an A, B, or C rating to those who publish details of their annual income and a lower rating for those who don’t.
To get an A-rating, think tanks must name all their funders who gave more than £5,000, and list the exact amount. B and C are handed out for giving at least half the names but with less detail, while the worst performers give no information at all.
“At their best, think tanks and public policy campaigns make a valuable contribution to political life, generating new ideas and producing important research,” the group said. “At their worst, they can provide a neutral front while actually working on behalf of vested interests.”
The best performers tend to have the best reputations for independent research, such as the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
And here’s how they stack up: