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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.

On The Basis of Guestimates
By: Waqar Gillani

In the absence of a fresh census all policy making is done on the basis of the 1998 census or other surveys. 

Believe it or not but Pakistan’s financial policies and development planning is made on the basis of 18 years old census figures. Experts say there is no substitute for making policies and planning for development except holding a census regularly.

Government officials say that the policymaking is done by seeking help from other surveys, like Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, etc. Generally, officials say the policies are made on the basis of estimated figures keeping in view the findings of 1998 population census.

According to the findings of 1998 census, Pakistan’s population was 132.35 million. There was over 57 per cent increase in population from 1981-1998. Out of that, 55.62 per cent population was only in the Punjab, while Balochistan had only 4.96 per cent of population.

“Also, it is sad that rather than strengthening our institutions and making them independent we have started depending on the armed forces as a substitute for every major thing like holding elections and census, etc.”

The government data of different departments and surveys can be faulty and based on doubtful sample surveys which cannot be a substitute of census survey findings.

“We make policies on the basis of “guestimates” rather than going for sincere efforts to conduct census survey on a regular basis. Our national data contains mistakes and many figures differ from one another,” says Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director Sustainable Development and Policy Institute (SDPI).

Citing an example, he says that “Household Integrated Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2010-11 computed poverty in Pakistan to be 35 per cent based on the estimate that its population was 130 million. The same year, the Economic Survey of Pakistan cited Pakistan’s population as 177 million.”

He believes National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) or Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) are faulty data and by taking this data for surveys and policies we would be excluding a large number of people who are without CNIC or those who are above the poverty line. “Without having fresh census findings we cannot know what our people need — a Metro bus, an orange train or clean drinking water,” he says. 


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