Published Date: Jan 23, 2015
SDPI stands 19th in South Asia in global TTs ranking
Think Tanks (TTs) play a prime role for the promotion of socio-economic development in a country besides serving as a platform for various stakeholders, guarding the larger interest of public on specific issues, and producing knowledge for decision-makers.
This was said by former ambassador and Chair, Board of Governors, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Shafqat Kakakhel, while speaking at a Roundtable Consultative Meeting here on Thursday. He said the upcoming SDGs had over 160 targets that needed to be addressed, but only the independent and credible TTs could present best policy options.
The roundtable was organised in conjunction with the launch of the “2014 Global Go-to Think Thank Index” released at the University of Pennsylvania under The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) on Thursday. SDPI is the part of the global launch along with over 60 think tanks, inter-governmental organisations and media outlets in over 55 cities around the world. The roundtable was attended by various academicians from public and private universities, development practitioners and heads of corporate sector organisations and others.
Shakeel Ramay of SDPI shared the ranking criteria and methodology adopted to collate the ranking. He also elaborated the categories of ranking on the basis of indicators including research areas, policy influence, strategic engagement, and the quality of output.
Dr Abid Suleri, Executive Director SDPI, said that globally 6,681 TTs globally were ranked. “Among South Asian TTs 192 were from India and 19 from Pakistan. Only two TTs made it to the top 20, ie Pakistan Institute of International Affairs stood 16th while SDPI stood 19th. On the criteria of trans-disciplinary, SDPI was the only TT from Pakistan that was nominated and stood 38th.” He further said that SDPI was ranked 55th Think Tank to be watched in future for policy reviews and other issues. In terms of quality of publication and its policy influence, among South Asian countries, he added, only SDPI’s study titled “Food Security in Pakistan: Policy Options” authored by Shakeel Ramay was ranked and stood 30th globally.
The participants of the launch and roundtable while congratulating SDPI for making it to the elite list of TTs globally said there was a strong correlation between TTs emerged as a result of military and Industrial complex. Dr Aliya H Khan, Dean of Social Sciences at QAU, said SDPI was one of those institutes that created link between universities and the TTs. Moreover, it is the only TT among the 19 sampled from Pakistan, which contributes to developing the skills of young researchers. This was the role that even universities in Pakistan were unable to realise, she said and emphasised the need for improving the linkages between TTs and universities for the larger interest of policy making and advice. She suggested that parliament research service should be launched.
Marvi Sirmed of UNDP said parliamentarians lack writing skills therefore, legal legislative drafting quality was very poor. On the other hand, she said students of political science had the little knowledge about the parliamentary history. A collaboration between parliamentarians and academic institutes could better evolve a mechanism in policy research, she said, adding “we need a dedicated human research service like PIPS and SDPI may fill this gap.” Those who participated in the discussion included Romina Khurshid Alam MNA, Professor Dr Asad Zaman, VC PIDE, Dr Iftikhar N Hassan, Professor, Z A Qureshi, Semi-Kemal, Azhar Saleem, Rehman Bodhla, Engr Mansoor Malik, Arif Rehman, Anila Kausar, Mome Saleem, Muhammad Suleman and Dr Abdul Saboor.-PR
Source : http://www.brecorder.com/business-a-economy/189/1144685/