DIE again ranked third best development policy think tank worldwide

Press release of 29 January 2021


Bonn, 29 January 2021. The Bonn-based German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) has been ranked third among the world's most renowned development policy research institutes in the Top International Development Think Tanks category of the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report for the second time in a row. In addition, DIE is recognised for one of the best works on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual ranking compares research institutions and think tanks differentiated by regions, topics as well as by special achievements. The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the University of Pennsylvania published the index on 28 January 2021.

In the category Top International Development Think Tanks, a thematic core area of DIE, only the US-based Brookings Institution and the UK-based Institute of Development Studies (IDS) are ahead of DIE (out of a total of 128 institutions listed). In addition, DIE is listed in the supplementary category 2020 Best Policy and Institutional Response to Covid-19, in which no rankings were made by number.

"The very good ranking of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) for 2020 reflects that in the current global crisis, DIE contributes greatly and on a global scale to overcoming the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in various world regions through its research, policy advice and training," said Professor Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Director of DIE, on the occasion of the publication of the ranking.

Numerous international partners of DIE were also selected for the category Top International Development Think Tanks: DIE cooperates with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) as well as 30 other leading think tanks from Africa and the G20 countries within the T20 Africa Standing Group network; the Brazilian Fundacao Getúlio Vargas and the CSIS Indonesia - Centre for Strategic and International Studies are partners in the Managing Global Governance (MGG) programme, as are SAIIA and the South African Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD). DIE also cooperates with a number of partners in an EU Horizon project on sustainable development and digitalisation.

"Together with our partners from research and practice, we are working to promote sustainable development and socio-economic crisis management through empirically-based insights, recommendations for action as well as dialogue and training. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners for their constructive and trustful cooperation across continental and disciplinary boundaries," Anna-Katharina Hornidge continued. 

"As an institute based in the UN city of Bonn, I am also pleased about the strong positioning of member organisations of the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research in this index. Our regional hub of think tanks with the University of Excellence Bonn is shaped, among other things, through the close cooperation with the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and BICC - Bonn International Center for Conversion, which are also recognised in the report," said Anna-Katharina Hornidge, who also holds a professorship for Global Sustainable Development at the University of Bonn.  

In other central categories of the Global Go To Think Tank Index, DIE was able to move up a few ranks compared to the previous year. In particular, in the category Top Think Tanks in Western Europe, DIE improved by seven places compared to the 2019 ranking, reaching 13th place among the 141 listed. In the Top Think Tanks Worldwide (Non-US) category, DIE improved four places this year, reaching 22nd place (out of 150 named institutions). In the Top Think Tanks Worldwide (US and Non-US) category, DIE maintained its 42nd place among a total of 174 US and non-US think tanks assessed.

In evaluation categories that highlight special achievements of the institutions, DIE also managed to achieve good to very good positions, as it did in previous years. DIE's transdisciplinary work in the areas of research, policy advice and training was acknowledged with 50th place (out of 73 institutions listed) in the category Best Transdisciplinary Research Think Tanks. Both in the evaluation of its social media work and in the category Think Tanks with the Best External Relations / Public Engagement Programme, DIE was able to improve its ranking by one place each, achieving 52nd place (out of 63) and 26th place (out of 76). With regard to the quality assurances of the institutions, DIE also achieved a top ranking in the category Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedures with 27th place (out of 75 institutions listed).

You can access the report (as of 28 January 2021) here: https://repository.upenn.edu/think_tanks/

The Global Go To Think Tank Index Report is produced annually by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania. It examines the role that policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. This year, a total of 1,796 people from politics, journalism, academia, governments and public and private funders participated in the assessment.

About the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE):

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is one of the leading Think Tanks for development policy world-wide. It is based in the UN City of Bonn. DIE builds bridges between theory and practice and works within international research networks. The key to DIE’s success is its institutional independence, which is guaranteed by the Institute’s founding statute. Since its founding in 1964, DIE’s work is based on the interplay between Research, Policy Advice and Training. DIE is building bridges between theory and practice. These three areas complement each other and are the factors responsible for the Institute’s distinctive profile.


Every Monday, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) comments the latest news and trends of development policy in The Current Column.


The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is headed by Director Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge. DIE is member of the Johannes-Rau-Forschungsgemeinschaft.