Evaluation of Arab and International Studies and Research Centers 2016-2017
In light of the extremely complex and concurrent 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 these various
challenges. Increased attention is therefore being placed on the role of strategic studies centers in supporting the decision-making process,
devising strategies, proposing policies, and gauging public opinion. To this end, the ECSSR has committed itself to issuing an annual evaluation
of research centers based on objective and comprehensive criteria.
While a number of criteria are used to evaluate strategic studies centers and think tanks, such evaluations are often seen as having deficiencies in
terms of accuracy and impartiality. Indeed, the role of research centers is generally considered insubstantial and incompatible with contemporary
world developments for a number of reasons, including the following:
• The absence of adequate evaluation of the relationship between research centers and the main consumers of their output, namely policy
makers, academic institutions, and community service organizations.
• The absence of any overarching criteria to assess the multiplicity of topics covered by research centers and their various activities conducted
within local, regional, and international frameworks.
• The 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.
• The absence of criteria to assess the extent to which institutions benefit from globalization— particularly through cooperation agreements with
local, regional, and international research centers as well as the use of external researchers and specialists to complement the permanent
local staff of the institutions.
Recognizing the importance of having an impartial, transparent, and accurate system to rank the most important Arab and international studies
and research centers, the ECSSR devised the following set of comprehensive evaluation criteria.