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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.

Contested Rural Development – ‘New Perspectives on Non-state Actors and Movements’ and the Politics of Livelihood-Centered Policies

Partners: NCCR North-South, Switzerland; Zurich University, Switzerland; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan)

Duration: 2011 to 2013

Locale: Abbottabad and Mansehra

Team Member: Dr Babur Shahbaz


The study focuses on rural development programmes and strategies being launched by public or private agencies. The main focus of these programmes is to improve the living standard of rural masses thereby reducing social exclusion through sustained growth in the rural economy. The study was conducted in Abbottabad and Mansehra of KP which are rich in natural resources but it is least developed. The poverty situation in the region particularly in the mountainous region is relatively serious. Like other provinces, state departments as well as many non-governmental organizations and culturally-rooted social groups (including religious groups) are working to improve the livelihoods of rural vulnerable communities of the region. They claim that they are in a better position to cater to the needs of people and deliver welfare services to the marginalized and vulnerable communities of the province.


  • To identify and analyse the visions and practices of culturally-rooted social movements towards rural development in the Northwest Pakistan.
  • To critically analyse the philosophical foundations (believes, claims, visions, actions) and actual practices regarding rural development of culturally-rooted organizations (including religious) which claim to be deeply rooted in the rural society of KP.
  • To examine, compare and contrast the working strategies of these organizations with those of the state-led- rural development departments.
  • To find out the implications of rural development endeavors of both systems on agricultural research, extension and education triangle in general and farmers livelihoods in particular.


  • Primary data collection
  • Preparation of draft report/Ph D. and M.Phil thesis.
  • Presentation of research work at local, national and international level.
  • A joint book publication with research partners.


  • Initial results reveal that locally-rooted non state institutions / social organizations, which relate to rural development, are the key players in addressing the issues of poverty and inequality. These organizations can be broadly classified into three categories. Both rural and urban areas are the operational areas of majority of these organizations and mostly these organizations rely on volunteers. In most of the cases at district and provincial level, these organizations have linkages and networking with the organizations working on different issues e.g. poverty, inequality, child rights, women rights, rights of forest users and owners, rights of growers, landless labourers etc. These linkages and interactions are also helpful in raising voice of community on the platform of a social movement leading to rural development practices. The culturally-rooted organizations should be streamlined in the rural development process.

For More Information, Contact the Following Person:

Dr. Babar Shahbaz