Published Date: Jan 31, 2020
SDPI ranked 1st in Pakistan, 52nd best independent think tank in world
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) ranked 1st in Pakistan, 15th among South East Asia and the Pacific and 52nd best independent think tanks in the world, according to the 14th edition of University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) report released across the world.
The 2019 GGTTI report indexes the over 8500 think tanks (TT) registered with GGTTI from across the globe, selected through a rigorous criterion. Owing to multidisciplinary research and advocacy, the SDPI ranked over all in 14 categories among top global think tanks.
SDPI has been placed at 101st top think tank worldwide (Non-US), 141st top domestic policy think tanks, 84th for the best social media use, 78th among top food security think tanks, and 51st think tank to watch.
From Pakistan, there were 25 think tanks participated in the ranking, where SDPI retained at the top among Pakistani think tanks this year as well.
The report said that though think tanks numbers are growing, but there remained some critical challenges and opportunities that think tank community confront globally.
The challenges mainly include hostile regulatory environment, resource constraints, growing competition, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and adaptation to technological advancement for conducting and dissemination of research.
To effectively respond to these challenges, think tanks need to focus on developing national, regional, and global partnerships while using AI and data analytics to deliver their products and services to an ever-expanding audience of citizens, policy makers, and businesses around the world, the report concluded.
Launching the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index report, the Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that despite all constraints faced by global civil society and think tanks, SDPI has not only retained its ranking but also improved in 7 categories in the index as compared to the last year.
He said that SDPI, with 2 points improvement, emerged as the 42nd among best quality assurance and integrity policies and procedures and 99th among top social policy think tanks, whereas, with 1-point improvement, SDPI ranked 64th best advocacy campaign, 66th top environment policy, and 77th best external relations & public engagement think tanks.
While highlighting the significance of use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in research, Dr Abid said that those think tanks and research organisations who failed to use AI and data analytics and conducting and dissemination of their research will eventually lag behind and irrelevant in the growing competition.
He said Pakistan needs more think tanks to flourish and nurture, as think tanks played the role of diagnostic centre to evaluate public polices and provide independent advice.
Out of 25 policy research think tanks (TTs), SDPI has been ranked the best in the country. Other Pakistani think tanks who got ranked in various categories and in the regional ranking index include: Pakistan Institute for International Affairs, SPDC, IPS, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Centre for Research on Economic and social transformation, CPS, Jinah Institute, Lead Pakistan, Applied Economic Research Centre, Area Study Centre for Far East and Southeast, Alternate Solutions Institute, Pakistan Council on Foreign Affairs (CFR), Pakistan Development Review of PIDE and Policy Research Institute of Market Economy.
The Brookings Institution, USA, is ranked as think tank of the year and Centre of Excellence for 2016-2018, whereas Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States) ranked top 2019 think tank.
Joint Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, while commenting on sustainability model of think tank in Pakistan said that those organisations who fund research, such as Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Science Foundation etc., should include research think tanks as eligible organisation to apply for research grants.
This will help counter the challenge of found constraints of research think tanks. Also, Think Tanks need to explore other windows of funding in private sector, he added.