17 policy institutes supported by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) are ranked among the Top 50 think tanks in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Ranking by the University of Pennsylvania. The top 50 were ranked out of a total of 554 Think Tanks in the Sub-Saharan African Region and 34% of them are ACBF-supported policy institutes.
Since inception, ACBF has subscribed to the conviction that policy analysis and research are central to economic management. ACBF has, since 1992, supported the creation or the enhancement of numerous policy units and think tanks which conduct research to inform the policy making process at country and sub-regional levels. ACBF-supported think tanks are also fully engaged in:
- Enhancing governmental and non-state actors' capacity to engage in research and policy analysis
- Enhancing the capacity of government officers to formulate and absorb policy advice as well as to implement policy decisions in support of the development process.
Success for ACBF supported policy units and thinks tanks has been observed at three levels:
- Bringing discipline in economic policy management, resulting in limited policy reversal on the continent
- Equipping governments with the relevant skills for effective economic policy analysis and management by training middle management officials in the public sector
- Enhancing policy planning and monitoring while evaluating development frameworks such as PRSPs and the MDGs.
As part of the implementation of ACBF's Third Strategic Medium Term Plan (SMTP III), ACBF-supported think tanks are more and more involved in sector policy analysis, especially in support of the improvement in agricultural productivity, private sector development and employment creation, especially for the youth.
A total of 6,603 think tanks from 182 countries were ranked by 1950 experts and peer institutions from different genres that included scholars, journalists, public and private donors, former and current directors of think tank programs. The objective of the rankings is to help develop the profile and performance of think tanks while emphasizing the important work they do for governments and civil societies around the world.