Who we are

The initiative is composed by a small team but we will hopefully grow with new members, collaborators and associates.

Vanesa Weyrauch – Associate

Vanesa is the co-founder of Politics & Ideas and Associate researcher of the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) in Argentina. She has worked in the field of policy and research for the last 12 years, especially with Latin American think tanks and policymakers, through knowledge generation, capacity building and mentorship. She has created an online platform to offer courses on policy influence planning, research communication and monitoring and assessment of policy influence, training regional organizations as well as organizations form Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Within this platform she also led the creation of an online course to help policymakers become better agents of change to promote the use of evidence in policy in Africa and Latin America. She has co-led a national initiative in Argentina together with a governmental agency to promote better relationships and articulation between the State and civil society. She is also an expert in evaluation and has worked with international organizations like Save the Children, IDB, GDN, OSI/TTF, DFID TTI/IDRC and others. In recent years she has specialised in innovative methods to facilitate the learning and design of future scenarios, such as Theory U. In 2017 he created and led the program “Integral Leaders for Global Challenges”, which aimed to support each young participant in their development as a leader and the group as a collective to co-design new forms of leadership.


Leandro Echt – Associate

Political scientist with over 12 years of experience in the public policy field focused on supporting the use of evidence in decision making and facilitating multi-stakeholder processes, with an increasing focus on gender equity and diversity. He works with think tanks, international organisations, NGOs and government agencies, through capacity building, mentoring, research and consultancy projects including program evaluations and organisational assessments. He has worked in South America, Central America and the Caribbean, West Africa, Southern Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific, and South Asia. Besides being Associate of Politics & Ideas. He is Research Associate at On Think Tanks and chair of the International Support Group. He holds an MA in Public Policies and Development Management (Georgetown University and Universidad de San Martín), a Specialisation in Public Policy and Gender Justice (Latin American Council of Social Sciences), a Diploma on Evaluation of Public Policies (Universidad de San Martín), and a BA in Political Science (Universidad de Buenos Aires). I am Argentinean, currently based in Florida, United States.


Clara Richards – Associate

Clara has more than ten years of experience in international development with a focus on improving the link between research and policy in the NGO and public sectors. Besides contributing to Politics & ideas, she leads INASP’s work on evidence informed policy making. Her interests include understanding the factors that enable organisational change, introducing innovation in policy-making and supporting those who are interested in improving policy design and learning from the process. Clara has worked with public agencies, think tanks and networks in Latin America and Africa. She was also the Director of the DfID BCURE multi-country programme. Clara worked with the RAPID (Research and Policy in Development) team at ODI (Overseas Development Institute) coordinating the Evidence Based in Development Network (EBPDN) from 2011. Prior to this, she spent more than five years at CIPPEC, a think tank in Argentina, developing the policy influence capacities of Latin American think tanks and coordinating the Latin American chapter of EBDN. Clara has a BA in international relations and a MA in international studies.


Julia D’Agostino – Associate

Julia D’Agostino has more than fifteen years of experience in think tanks and the policy field. She has been working in the local and national level of government for the last six years. In all of her positions in the government she had the opportunity to develop the capacity of systematization of information for designing evidence based policy. Previously, she was the coordinator of the Influence, Monitoring and Evaluation Program at the Argentinean think tank Center for the Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC). During her career, she has worked for projects supported by DFID, IDRC, IADB, 3ie, Ford Foundation, Save the Children, INASP, GDN and other international organizations. She holds a Master in Organizational Studies and a Postgraduate in Non Profit Organizations from San Andres University.



P&I was initially supported through the GDNet 2010–2014 Research Communications from and for the Global South programme. It builds on over a decade of work and lessons learnt from the Global Development Network, including GDNet’s knowledge brokerage services and global networking experience and the partnership with CIPPEC on the Spaces for Engagement programme (2008-2013).

Its co-founders are Vanesa Weyrauch, current Associate, Sherine Ghoneim, Director of Communications at Economic Research Forum and Enrique Mendizabal, current director of On Think Tanks