The Leveraging Indices for Free Enterprise Policy Reform, or “LIFE,” project was designed to promote policy reforms that demonstrably move the needle on economic policy, measured by marginal change in a specific prominent ranking or index. Such indices include the Doing Business Index by the World Bank Group, the Economic Freedom Index by the Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, and the Economic Freedom of the World Report by the Fraser Institute.
The program provided grants to Atlas Network partners to conduct research, advocacy campaigns, and media campaigns to affect change. The grant awarded $100,000 to each selected organization, divided over the course of three years, and was generously sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. In the inaugural iteration of the project, 16 think tanks were selected for participation. Lessons learned from three of the participating organizations have been detailed in three Atlas Network case studies.
As Contribuyentes por Respeto (CpR) strategized how to craft their LIFE project, it cross-referenced current government initiatives, Peru’s areas of weakness in global indices, their own scholarly aptitudes, and hot topics in society. What emerged as the nexus of these areas was one element: infrastructure. Specifically, it launched an “Infraestructura para Todos” (“Infrastructure for All”) campaign, under which it decided to pursue policy changes in telecommunications and water management, along with several smaller areas, to produce marked improvement in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.
Focusing specifically on telecommunications and water management, CpR has proven to be an effective taxpayer advocate. Regarding telecommunications, the central government has become supportive of CpR’s policy recommendations, resulting in the Ministry of Telecommunications traveling with CpR to advance their policy education around the country. So far, they have visited nearly 30 percent of the country’s regions. It also gained partnerships with civil advocacy organizations, multiplying their impact. Their boots-on-the-ground campaign to advocate for expanding the cellular network, paired with their in-depth analysis of bureaucratic barriers in the industry, has contributed to Peru’s improvement in the number of mobile phone subscribers. Peru improved by over 35 spots from 97th in 2014-15 to 69th 2017-18 in mobile telephone subscriptions, as measured by the Global Competitiveness Report. In the same timespan, Peru’s ranking in quality of electricity supply increased from 71st to 62nd.
Want to take a deep dive into the case studies of the Worldwide Freedom Movement?
Atlas Network believes that some of the best lessons for achieving impact are taught by sharing success stories of similar organizations. Over the next several years, we will be producing a series of Case Studies, based on exceptional think tanks within the Atlas Network. The case study above features the work of Contribuyentes por Respeto. This and subsequent case studies in the series will provide insight, context, and advice on running effective think tanks. If you would like more in-depth analysis, guidance, and discussion, be sure to participate in Atlas Network Leadership Academy's Think Tank Impact online course. This course, run quarterly throughout the year, will allow you to learn, share, and address your organization's challenges along with others from the worldwide freedom movement.