Sri Lanka’s Top Three Think Tanks


Saman Kelegam,  Executive Director, IPSSaman Kelegam, Executive Director, IPSMallika Joseph, Executive Director, RCSSMallika Joseph, Executive Director, RCSSSri Lanka’s top three think tanks are the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), and the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) in that order says the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, USA. The three think tanks are named in the 2012 GLOBAL GO TO THINK TANKS REPORT AND POLICY ADVICE Report that was released last week in Washington, D.C.

The authors of the report had invited over 6,600 think tanks from 182 countries to participate in the evaluation process that had been done by a group of experts drawn from all parts of the world. Fourteen think tanks located in Sri Lanka had been evaluated under the project.

Brookings Institution in USA is named as the number one think tank in the world. Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) has been the named as the best in Asia. The highest ranked South Asian think tank is Centre for Civil Society (CCS), New Delhi, India at number 51.  Excluding Indian think tanks the only other South Asian think tank that secures a place in the global top one hundred is Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) at number 98.


Among the top forty think tanks in Asia excluding those in India, China, Japan and South Korea, Lowy Institute in Australia is named number one followed by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. Sri Lanka’s IPS is at number 24, RCSS (28) and CEPA (37). All three are located in Colombo.

RCSS, established in 1993, is a non-government and non-profit South Asian regional think tank.

IPS, established in 1990, claims that notwithstanding government funding, presence of officials on the governing board, and having to function under key ministries, it has  “considerable autonomy” in its operations and research. IPS mainly focuses on Sri Lanka’s economic issues and related fields.

CEPA, established in 2001, is a private non-profit research institute that focuses on poverty issues.







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