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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.

Pakistan Observer Islamabad

Published Date: Jul 16, 2013

Understanding the Dynamics of Access to Public Services

Access to services in Pakistan is undermined by a weak bureaucratic
structure which is tarnished by political clientage, resource
constraints and lack of accountability mechanisms.

This was the
crux of a special lecture on “Understanding the Dynamics of Access to
Public Services: The Framework for Voice, Exit and Accountability”
organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Fayyaz Yasin of SDPI moderated the proceedings.

The lecture was an attempt to understand the dynamics of ‘Access to
Services ‘in public sector departments in Pakistan while keeping in view
the framework of Voice, Exit and Accountability. It was explained that ‘Voice’ is a mechanism through which disgruntled citizens register their
complaints and the ‘exit’ is a situation where in absence of services
from state, citizens ‘exit’ and acquire it from other sources.

In his lecture, Dr Shehryar Toru, Research Fellow and Governance
Specialist at SDPI discussed various dimension of ‘access to public
service’ and maintained that people resort to ‘voice’ to show their resentment on non-provision of services from
state. “In absence of any response, citizens also chose to ‘exit’ from
an existing service and acquire services such as education and health from elsewhere, if they have disposable income. But the
poor’s are major loser who have to continuously look for state services
as they have no other choice,” he added.

He explained that
advanced societies have well-functioning bureaucratic systems where
welfare services are provided on the basis of equity by the state
through open, fair and competent administration. He said that access to
services becomes problematic in Pakistan where apart from disposal
income, factors such as influence, status and entitlements also play an
important part.

He was of the view that people, particularly the
poor, disadvantaged and ordinary citizens, experience access problems
in getting desired goods and services because of bureaucratic
procedures, various forms of corruption, in-effective accountability,
and un-equal distribution of resources.

He lamented that state
institutions in Pakistan are highly politicised where behaviour of
officials is driven by political clout and connection with politicians
as a result they are not answerable to people, but to the politicians
and influential. “This clientelistic accountability system diffuses
formal accountability and impartiality and weakens state structures for
service delivery, he added. He was of the view that question of
accountability, therefore depends upon the active involvement of
citizens not only in development planning but raising their voices for
effective delivery of services from state.

Chairing the proceedings, Naseer Memon, Chief Executive, Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) said that human development was never a priority agenda in a ‘security state’ paradigm of Pakistan. “Ordinary citizen expects from democracy to provide justice and
effective service delivery and if the system can’t deliver these two
basic requirements beside other, all theories and fancy debates about
democracy become irrelevant for ordinary people,” he added.

argued in favour of devolving state machinery and stated that without
devolving the level of services, it is not possible for state to
deliver, no matter how efficient bureaucratic services are in the
country. Talking about provision of services from actors other than
state, he maintained that although markets are not perfect anywhere but
in developed societies, state through regulatory role, ensure that
markets must deliver, behave and remain answerable to citizens.

Naseer Memon lamented the process of public sector development planning
in Pakistan which has deeply been undermined by patronage politics and
system of clientage. He said that “The state has surrendered to
influential elites where only getting a simple water connection now
depends upon behest of some ‘wadera’, and if one don’t have connections,
all access lines for services are cut off for the ordinary persons,” he
added. He also lamented that minister or his cronies decide development
plans solely for political mileage and without any research, data or

He urged civil society to continue the raising the
issues through ‘voice’ and urged state to respond to publics adding
that, “if peoples’ voices are not heard, they may resort to violence which would further add into the chaos prevalent in the society.”