Evaluation of Arab and International Strategic Studies Centers 2013-2014
In view of the extremely complex and overlapping domestic and international challenges, risks and threats facing the world today, as
well as the variety of means with which to confront them, most countries depend on science and academia to provide solutions to the
various challenges they face. Increased attention is therefore placed on the role played by strategic studies centers in supporting the
decision-making process, devising strategies, proposing policies and informing public opinion.
Consequently, the ECSSR has committed itself to issuing an annual evaluation of research centers based on objective and
comprehensive criteria, with its debut report being launched last year. This year’s evaluation coincides with the celebrations of the
20th anniversary of the establishment of the ECSSR.
A number of criteria are employed to evaluate strategic studies centers and think-tanks, but such evaluations are often seen as lacking
in terms of accuracy and impartiality. Indeed, the role of strategic research institutions is generally considered weak and incompatible
with contemporary world developments owing to:
• Absence of adequate evaluation of the relationship between research institutions and the three main consumers of their output,
namely: policy-makers, academic institutions and community service organizations.
• Absence of any overarching criteria to assess the multiplicity of topics covered by research institutions, or their various activities
conducted within local, regional and international frameworks.
• Lack of criteria pertaining to the capacity to convey ideas to, engage with, and influence the public through social media and other
contemporary means of communication.
• Absence of criteria to assess the extent to which institutions capitalize on the benefits of globalization, including through cooperation
agreements with local, regional and international research institutions, and the use of eternal researchers and specialists to
compliment the permanent staff of the institution.
In view of the importance of devising an impartial, transparent and accurate rating system to rank the most important Arab and
international think tanks, a set of comprehensive evaluation criteria has been devised.