As the official think tank engagement group of the Group of 20 (G20), Think20 (T20) plays a crucial role in helping G20 countries and partners advance economic resilience and sustainable development by providing research-based policy recommendations to address shifting global challenges. The new ADBI Press book A World in Crisis, a World in Progress: Growing Better Together details T20’s development over the last decade and the policy implications of think tanks’ rising influence in Asia.
The book’s case studies and expert insights describe how think tanks in the region and globally have guided responses to COVID-19’s health, socioeconomic, and institutional impacts. It also stresses the importance of inclusive research that considers broad social and geographic experiences, reflecting T20’s commitment to embracing diverse policy perspectives and collaboration with Think7 (T7), the Group of 7’s (G7) emerging official think tank engagement group.
Enhancing transparency and the quality of policy recommendations
Moving forward, T20 and partners face several challenges that need to be addressed to enhance their collective policy effectiveness and reach. One of the challenges is enhancing the quality of policy recommendations and increasing transparency. To achieve this, T20 must maintain high standards of integrity and scrutinize the validity of information used to formulate policy recommendations. It must also prioritize rigorous evaluation procedures to ensure that its recommendations are evidence-based and of the highest quality.
Another challenge is increasing communication and openness with the public. This includes increasing transparency in financial and political activities to build trust with the public. By improving communication and transparency, T20 can increase its legitimacy and credibility as a platform for policy development and implementation.
To address these challenges, T20 can benefit from increased participation from a variety of sources, including universities, governments, think tanks, and individual practitioners. This can help to broaden the scope of the platform, promote innovative thinking, and proactively meet the needs of its participants. Further, increasing participation can lead to more diverse and inclusive policy recommendations that better reflect the needs and interests of a wider range of stakeholders.
Advancing policy discourse and inclusivity
To further promote impactful discourse and recommendations, T20 must prioritize creating policy recommendations and publications that provide original and substantive insights. This can be accomplished by actively engaging with think tanks, research institutions, and the wider academic community. T20 collaboration with think tanks under the T7 process is one such example.
T20 provides a platform for developing and less developed nations to contribute their perspectives and expertise to global policy discussions and the development of policy recommendations. It also advocates for the needs and interests of these nations to ensure they are not left behind in the development and implementation of global policies, which is T20-T7 partnership is helping to build upon to address shared challenges.
Prioritizing continuity and flexibility
T20 must recognize the need to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining a strong commitment to quality and transparency. This requires a long-term perspective that acknowledges the importance of sustained efforts to address global challenges. It should also prioritize institutional memory and learning to ensure that it builds on past successes and learns from past failures.
At the same time, T20 must also allow for flexibility to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities. This requires a willingness to experiment with new approaches and ideas, as well as a willingness to pivot when necessary. It needs to be agile and responsive to changing circumstances while also maintaining a commitment to its core values and principles. By adopting such approaches, the role of T20 and partners in shaping policy debates and promoting sustainable development can become even more impactful in the future.
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