“We are pleased to maintain our ‘highly transparent’ ranking in this year’s index,” says SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna. “We believe transparency is essential for building trust and credibility. We provide full disclosure of our funding and invite our partners and stakeholders to assess our objectivity and hold us accountable to our mission.”
5-stars is the maximum rating and reflects a ‘gold standard’ of ‘exemplary transparency’ in public disclosure of funding sources according to the index’s authors. To achieve this accolade think tanks must use their websites to publicly disclose all donors and the specific funding amounts.
“These highly transparent institutions set a positive example for the sector as a whole, both nationally and internationally,” said Dr Hans Gutbrod, the Executive Director of Transparify, in their 2016 press release.
SEI places great emphasis on transparency along with independence and scientific rigour. SEI receives funding from a wide variety of public and private sources. As part of SEI’s ongoing transparency and accessibilty efforts, our 2015 Annual Report now includes our financial report.
Transparify, based in Tbilisi, Georgia, says think tanks play an increasingly important role in public debates and the formulation of public policy worldwide. This can be positive and can inform politicians, media and the public in decision-making processes, although there are also concerns that policy advice delivered by think tanks can be driven by vested interests. Transparency, on the other hand, builds credibility and increases public confidence in the think tank community on the whole.