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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.

Business Recorder

Published Date: Dec 3, 2013

A listening government

Late last week, reforms advocacy was seen at full display in a policy
symposium organised by the Islamabad-based think tank Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI), focussing on taxation and energy
reforms.

About a week earlier, another think tank Policy Research
Institute of Market Economy (PRIME) had organised a conference on free
market and good government that discussed Pakistan’s economic
credibility on the basis of institutional deficits underpinned by legal
system and property rights.

Conferences and symposiums like these, whether held by think
tanks, business chambers or advocacy groups are not new to this country.
The question is how effective are they in terms of the formulation of
public policy and bringing reforms.

Reforms need pressure from the civil society, and this is
exactly what such gatherings create. And to give credit to the
government it does listen to the civil society as well. The catch,
however, is that a majority of these civil society-government
interactions are too broad—and, if and when the ball does get rolling in
the policy sphere, the details, the fine nuances are ignored leading to
policy hiccups. Often the government also doesn’t listen to what the
business community has to say.

Take for instance, the Pak-Afghan bilateral and transit trade
dynamics. It’s been more than two years since the historical transit
trade agreement was signed between the two countries, but stakeholders
from the transit business community complain of long pending hurdles
that have been diverting the business of Afghan transit trade to Iran.
“The government just doesn’t listen to our issues that we face
operationally on a day-to-day basis,” one stakeholder told BR Research.

Or take, for instance, the case of Pak-China FTA: "Despite
apparent tariff concessions by China, Pakistan appears to have failed to
maximize the benefit from this FTA”, notes the recently released
“Preliminary study on Pakistan and China trade partnership post FTA,” by
Pakistan Business Council (PBC), the country’s leading business
advocacy forum. Amongst other things, the PBC attributes this failure to
the fact that Pakistani businesses by and large were not part of the
FTA negotiation process and “the negotiators were unable to benefit from
the on ground experience of Pakistani businesses".

Yet while the government’s policymakers can be blamed for not
paying attention to the ground realities highlighted by business
chambers and advocacy groups; the latter ought to share at least some of
the blames. A look at business chambers in Pakistan shows that their
research capacities are almost non-existent, sans a few exceptions.
Those who do conduct research or hire a consultant for any study are
often guilty of producing too broad and generic reports, which really
isn’t actionable intelligence.

If business chambers, advocacy groups, and other civil society
members want the government to listen to them and resolve the
nitty-gritty issues on the ground, then they ought to come with
something that’s really worth listening.