TTCSP Global and Regional Think Tank Summit Reports

Document Type



Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


Latin America


October 18-20, 2017

Date of this Version



All requests, questions, and comments should be directed to:

James G. McGann, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer, International Studies Director Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program The Lauder Institute University of Pennsylvania Telephone: (215) 746-2928 Email:

2017 Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the University of Pennsylvania, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.


The 5th Latin American Think Tank Summit took place in the Dominican Republic at a time of regional change and uncertainty of a political, social and economic nature. Numerous crises of corruption, violence and organized crime will hinder public policy development in the region, and high levels of poverty and inequality will endanger economic growth. Upcoming presidential elections in key countries will determine the direction of political leadership in the following years. Scarce resources will make it difficult to achieve all of the sustainable development goals and to keep up with developing countries in Asia.

Some of these challenges will be hard on the region, but they present an unprecedented opportunity for think tanks in Latin America to strengthen and grow if they utilize the wide array of resources available to them. Think tanks can take advantage of the T20 to gain recognition before the G20 in Argentina. They can also promote best practices to increase transparency to gain legitimacy amidst corruption concerns. Think tanks can make policy proposals during electoral transitions to gain a foothold in the formation of new governments. All of these things are possible if think tanks embrace the latest technological developments, cooperate with other organizations at the regional and global level, and improve their communication with policymakers and the wider public.

The Latin America Think Tank Summit sought to point out these challenges and opportunities, with the aim of identifying points of parity to facilitate regional cooperation in the future. By recognizing that there are ample commonalities in the needs of each Latin American country, think tanks can look to each other to overcome some of the region’s challenges together and prosper in spite of uncertainty.



Date Posted: 31 May 2018