Presentation of the Policy Paper “How legal think tanks provide or fail to provide, knowledge to governments in Central and Eastern Europe”

How to build up the capacity and increase the impact of think tanks on state policies? This and other important issues were discussed by Ukrainian experts during the presentation of the research of the Centre of policy and legal reform in Kyiv on 28 September.

Tetyana Blyzniuk, the project coordinator of the Centre of policy and legal reform (CPLR), presented the main conclusions and recommendations of the research, which was prepared in the framework of the project «Legal think tanks and government – capacity building». It was found out that relations between think tanks and governments in countries of Central and Eastern Europe are significantly different. Sometimes governments are not interested in using the potential of the think tanks. At the same time, think tanks, in addition to the analytical activity, are engaged in advocacy and combine their work with activism (including political).

Blyzniuk: «Cooperation with the government may include not only research, preparation and dissemination of reports, but also participation in councils, seminars, and advisory groups».

CPLR expert Maxym Sereda familiarized the audience with the research methodology and the spheres in which countries were analyzed (legislative process, judicial system, human rights, equality, non-discrimination, etc.).

Sereda: «The document has been compiled from country reports prepared by national experts on the basis of interview analysis, questionnaires, and discussions».

Olena Prystayko, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels, presented the research «How to initiate and develop relationships with partners, donors and stakeholders, and improve cooperation between Ukrainian and EU think tanks». According to her, the impact of the Ukrainian think tanks on state policies is increasing since the Euromaidan. However, this is not always visible to stakeholders. In this context, the evaluation of the impact on state policies is an important but difficult task, which also requires a lot of resources.

Prystayko: «Ukrainian think tanks need to develop a system of impact evaluation. Its main criteria should be scientific integrity, publicity and reputation».

Ihor Koliushko, Head of the Board of the Centre of policy and legal reform, emphasized the problem related to the legal status of Ukrainian think tanks. They can be registered as NGOs, charitable foundations, institutions, etc. Due to the specifics of each of these forms, there might be misunderstandings with foreign donors or even society.

Koliushko: “There is no perfect form of the legal status for the think tank”.

The project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund.