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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

BRIDGING THE GAPS OF DEMOCRACY THROUGH CIVIL SOCIETIES

The fundamental responsibility of civil society is to make boundaries and control the power of the state, because democracy is based on a well-functioning state.

The main functions of civil society are, firstly, to observe the workings of state officials such as how they use their supremacy; raise public concerns without resorting to violence and access information directly related to freedom of information laws, and rules and regulation about corruption.

Secondly, for reconstructing good governance, civil society is required to make a code of conduct that strives to reduce corruption and create a sense of responsibility among public officials. Without such a code, it is not possible to implement, for example, anti-corruption laws.

Thirdly, civil society must play its part in terms of its political contributions to society. This can be achieved by NGOs educating people about their rights and duties, and encouraging independent citizens to take part in election campaigns and votes.

Moreover, NGOs can develop society’s skills to enable them to resolve community issues, as well as help develop values of democratic life such as tolerance, restraint, cooperation, and respect for conflicting points of view. These values are possible only through practice.

Following such long periods of dictatorship, comprehensive modification is required to educate the youth about the principles of democracy and past crimes. Civil society works as a constructive partner because it is an arena for the expression of various benefits which fulfill the needs and concerns of its associates including women, students, farmers, environmentalists, trade unionists, lawyers, doctors etc.

NGOs can present their views to the parliament by contacting individual members. Civil society can build up democracy by providing new forms of awareness and unity that incisively scrutinize old concepts of ethnicity, linguistics, religion, and other identity ties.

Democracy can be stable on the basis of this awareness and as a result civil life becomes comfortable, diverse, and more tolerant. NGOs can also provide a platform for future political leaders to be recruited and trained, and play a significant role in mediating and serving to resolve clashes.

In other countries, NGOs have developed formal and informal training programmes to mitigate political and tribal conflicts.

Lastly, civil society is independent of the state and must be responsible, receptive, comprehensive, effective and legitimate at all levels with the respect and support of its citizens.

Civil society can act as force for mediating state-society dynamics. This commitment is influenced by the growth of communicational technologies that result in useful information transfers, movement of capital and human resources between organisations, and defensive boundaries.

Along with it Civil Society organisations lack clear and enforceable rules and extremely dependent on international donors whose priorities can overlook the requirements of anticipated beneficiaries. They require a set of practices and institutional frameworks to perform duties that each and every one can help with and tie in government to participate.

This article was originally published at: The Express Tribune

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.