NEW DELHI, India – The Think Tank Initiative today announced a Call for Expressions of Interest in South Asia. Funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Initiative will provide multi-year core funding, training, and technical support to successful think tanks.

Eligible think tanks in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka can now apply for this support by completing an Expression of Interest. A parallel call for proposals has also been launched in Latin America.

“Investing in local research is critical to building solid policy frameworks in South Asia,” said Stephen McGurk, Director of IDRC’s Regional Office for South Asia and China. “Providing long-term, predictable support to the region’s think tanks will enable them to establish their own research priorities and create strong, sustainable, research programs.”

The Think Tank Initiative supports independent policy think tanks in developing countries, enabling them to provide sound research that both informs and influences national-level social and economic policy, mainly in the areas of growth, equity, and poverty reduction. It is anticipated that this investment will lead to improved policies and, ultimately, more equitable and prosperous societies. IDRC recently conducted a series of roundtables with the heads of South Asian policy research organizations. These roundtables confirmed that strengthening the influence of good policy research requires a long term perspective, for which institutional support is essential.

The three donors have committed a total of US$90 million to the Think Tank Initiative, and recently awarded US$30 million in grants to 24 successful think tanks in East and West Africa. This Initiative is envisioned as a long-term investment over at least 10 years.

For more information about the Think Tank Initiative and for details on how to apply, please visit


Notes to Editors

About IDRC
Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the world’s leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For nearly 40 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

About the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy, and population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Learn more at

For further information, please contact:

Samar Verma
Senior Program Officer
Think Tank Initiative – South Asia
Regional Office for South Asia & China
International Development Research Centre
208 Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110 003
Tel: (91+11) 2461 9411 extn 7401

Prabha Sethuraman
Regional Communications Officer
Regional Office for South Asia and China
International Development Research Centre
208 Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110 003
Tel: (91+11) 2461 9411 extn 7412