All the winners from our biggest and broadest annual contest yetby Prospect Team / August 15, 2018 / Leave a comment
The global landscape is riven by fracturing alliances and waning friendships. The post-war international architecture is under threat, and the spirit of multilateralism is in decline. We have the White House picking trade wars with a rising, insular China, as an enfeebled EU looks on. Brexit is a particularly poignant example of the old order unravelling.
In such mercurial, and sometimes frightening times, fraught international relations can soon descend from the high politics of diplomacy, which a few think tanks specialise in, to the day-to-day grind and graft of domestic public policy, which occupies the great bulk of them. From the geopolitical drama of Brexit one day, to worrying about new technologies that might speed up customs checks on dairy products at the Irish border, the next.
All of this ensures that think tanks everywhere have much work to do. And this year, for the first time, in appraising their work, Prospect took entries from right around the world. This made for the largest ever awards ceremony, with the results adjudicated by a stellar panel of judges including diplomats, journalists and scholars. In recognition of what the best think tanks do for the public realm, we’ve also introduced new tie-break criteria—so that, in the case of two tanks being closely matched on points, a strong record on transparency in funding or in training the next generation of researchers can be taken into account.
Prospect’s awards have long covered Europe and America, but this year, for the first time, we have taken entries and honoured institutions from across the whole planet. In the Economic Category, the UN University World Institute for Development Economics was commended for its work on often strikingly successful Asian industrial strategies. Libertad y Progreso from Argentina was the runner-up, for its “clear and accessible work” on the folly of protectionism. But the winner this year was the African Center for Economic Transformation, for its exceptional work on knitting agricultural and industrial strategy together.
In Social Policy, the Carnegie Middle East Center was hailed for data and recommendations based on the experiences of Syrian refugees. Observer Research Foundation, from India, did “excellent” work on healthcare, housing, food and water provision, and emerged as runner-up. But the…