Following Southern Voice’s successful 3rd Research Conference, the 59 network members came together for a joint call for action on the role of Global South think tanks in the post-COVID world. 


Southern Voice members propose that think tanks,  

  1. Mobilize a broad and social dialogue based on scientific research and communication. Many of the current development challenges are intricate, and technocratic solutions are not enough. Open deliberation of the opportunities and trade-offs of reform is essential, and think tanks can facilitate these.   
  2. Increase accountability of Global South local and national governments for sound development policies and of the responsibility of Global North countries on their contributions to global public goods. 
  3. Enable alliances between institutions, sharing information and deepening the analysis of structural problems in the Global South. While collective action is essential, think tanks can support by defining the mechanisms and norms that drive successful partnerships.
  4. Reinforcing think tanks’ independence and non-partisan perspectives to offer technical assistance to governments. The pandemic has shown that think tanks can put their strengths at the services of the public sector to bolster the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of public policies. 
  5. Produce data-driven and inclusive outputs much faster than currently obtainable. The ultimate goal is to turn knowledge into practical actions that benefit society as a whole. 

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the significance of multilateral institutions, strong public governance and collaboration. It is paramount to take advantage of the crisis to counter the problems it has revealed. Think Tanks play a pivotal role in this.

In the words of H.E. Jigme Thinley, former Prime Minister of Bhutan and member of the Club de Madrid, during the high-level opening plenary: 

Global South countries need to be able to not only sit at the global development debate table but set its agenda. I have no doubt that Southern Voice will play a very significant part in meeting the knowledge deficiency and gaining support in international fora.

Read also the recommendations to governments and multilateral organisations by the conference panellists.

Click here to access the news article on the Southern Voice website.