The CESD actively participated in the 3-day Think-Tank Initiative Exchange (TTIx) 2018 held at Bangkok, Thailand organized by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada and the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) with support from the Hewlett Foundation, UKAid, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NORAD.

The CESD Team led by its Executive Director, Dr. Zaw Oo, actively attended the different sessions over the 3 days and had the chance to network with several institutional representatives giving the CESD a chance to showcase some of its recent research work – including the recently launched reports as part of the IDRC-funded “Labour Market Reform” program.

Bangkok 2

Dr. Zaw Oo – CESD Executive Director


The TTIx 2018 marks the culmination of the decade long Thinktank Initiative Program from the IDRC that provided active support and established several platforms for fostering exchange of knowledge and resources among think-tank’s and other stakeholders across the world. As a recipient and active member of the Thinktank Initiative, the CESD aims to utilize the support across key pillars such as policy advocacy, research quality and organizational development.


The TTIx 2018 points out that evidence that weaves together different types of knowledge has most utility, but is rarely done well. There are currently limited incentives for think tanks to both generate and communicate knowledge and evidence with and for the people who are being studied, and not much actual experience of how to do this well. In this regard, it becomes crucial for organizations such as the CESD to network with thinktanks from across the region and the world to transfer ideas and perspectives and learn from the mistakes of others in order to leapfrog ahead.


The 3-day event witnessed the participation of over 90 stakeholders including representatives of think tanks, policymakers, donors and other research-to-policy actors. This Exchange helped the CESD to leverage the aspect of experiences and insights on the challenges of building and sustaining policy research organizations that are able to maximise the quality and effectiveness of their contributions to policy processes and to improve development outcomes in their countries and their regions.