A few weeks ago I was sitting with a friend, who said he was wondering about ways of cutting down the long waiting lists for organ transplants. This issue was of personal interest. His niece had been in and out of hospital for more than a year, often in a perilous condition. The friend mentioned that in the United States alone, 120,000 people are on the wait list to receive a donor organ, a kidney, heart or lung. More than 100 people will die each week while on the wait list.
We discussed the different policy options. More compelling advertising? Having a default opt-in version for organ donation? Or more incentives? The friend mentioned that Iran apparently had managed to cut wait lists to zero. All of this made me curious. I wanted to find out what the policy research said.
I sat down on my computer and did a general Google search. Although the results were interesting (and in some cases moving), few had to do with policy. I decided to look up individual think tanks. Since I have followed policy research, I had a reasonable idea on where to look. I started with Brookings, then went to RAND. Some results. I guessed that the American Enterprise Institute and Cato probably would make the case for more incentives. The search took quite a few minutes, and a number of open tabs. I was wondering whether other think tanks had worked on this issue, but it seemed too much of a task to look through the other 10+ institutions that might be working on this issue.
I thought: how neat would it be to be able to search all of these institutions in a single window? All the leading research institutions in the field combined, viewable at a glance? Policy at your fingertips. At its best, this could make it easier for people to find good solutions.
So this is the reason why we set up Find Policy. The image below shows the results from a search with our Policy engine.