By Kunle Adebajo
Rising five places, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD West Africa) is now ranked the 11th best think tank (public policy research organisation) in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region of 46 countries.
This is according to the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report released by the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday.
The report is compiled yearly by the Think Tanks and Civil Society Program (TTCSP) under the university’s Lauder Institute, which has the world’s largest database of over 11,000 think tanks.
The ranking is based on nominations from thousands of journalists, policymakers, and donors.
“Given the rigour and scope of the nomination and selection processes, the rankings produced thus far have been described as the insider’s guide to the global marketplace of ideas,” the TTCSP said.
In the 2020 report, 92 research organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa were ranked. Seven were from Nigeria, including the Africa Heritage Institution (20), Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (24), Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (28), Centre for Population and Environmental Development (31), Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (40), Development Research and Projects Centre (52), and Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (56).
The previous year, the CDD was similarly ranked best in Nigeria and was 16th best among 94 organisations in the sub-region.
The organisation was established in 1997 as an independent, not-for-profit, research, training, and advocacy group.
“The Centre was established to mobilise global opinion and resources for democratic development and provide an independent space to reflect critically on the challenges posed to the democratisation and development processes in West Africa, and also to provide alternatives and best practices to the sustenance of democracy and development in the region,” it states on its website.
“CDD envisions a West Africa that is democratically governed, economically integrated – promoting human security and people-centred development. The mission of the centre is to be the prime catalyst and facilitator for strategic analysis and capacity building for sustainable democracy and development in the West African sub-region.”
Through its programmes, the organisation improves democratic governance, facilitates legal reforms, and promotes electoral credibility as well as peace and human security.