Governance and Policy Think Tank: Bridging Research and Policy in Iran

Governance and Policy Think Tank (GPTT) was established in 2015 as a university-affiliated think tank at Sharif University of Technology. What differentiates GPTT from most other university-affiliated think tanks is its practical and evidence-based approach to socio-political and economic issues leading to research-informed policy solutions.

GPTT’s mission is to enhance and improve the governance structure and policymaking processes inside Iran as necessary components for the holistic, sustainable, and long-run development of the country. As though, GPTT has been directly involved in policymaking circles of different institutions inside Iranian governance structure addressing various social, cultural, economic, political, and even energy and environmental issues. Restructuring regulatory framework in the media and the charity sectors, participation in drafting Iran’s new Banking Act, contributing to the final draft of Value Added Tax legislation, involvement in the reform plans of the pension funds, and preparing a rescue plan in the event of a banking crisis in Iran are a few of the main projects that GPTT is currently involved in.

Given its rich interdisciplinary and internationally oriented body of experts, GPTT has managed to emerge, in its short lifetime, as an interface between academic research centers and policy circles inside Iran. It has also played an important role in coordinating efforts between policymaking institutions inside Iran and various international organizations such as the World Bank and the IMF on policy issues pertaining Iran. Furthermore, GPTT has acquired memberships of or has signed MoUs with a number of international academic and policy institutions such as Cathechism Communications (London), International Public Policy Association-IPPA, Istanbul Network, and Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs-IDEAS (Kuala Lumpur) and is planning to grow more active in its international affairs and publication efforts.

Housed in Sharif University’s Research Institute of Science, Technology & Industry Policy-RISTIP, GPTT has a unique opportunity to benefit from the credibility and immense human and physical resources available to one of Iran’s top universities. Furthermore, GPTT benefits from the skills and experiences of a set of experts who hold top academic and industry qualifications from inside and outside of Iran. Most GPTT experts have backgrounds in engineering and physical sciences while also hold PhD degrees in social sciences and public policy enabling them to actively participate in and contribute to a wide range of policy debates in the country.