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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
Partner: The National Centre for Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South & Zurich University, Switzerland.
Year: 2008-09
Team Members: Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Dr. Babur Shahbaz


The programme revolves around rural poverty and inequality which persist across South Asia and beyond, despite the effects of “the market” and myriad development efforts by state departments, donors, and parts of civil society. Several studies by NCCR North-South researchers have confirmed this. At the same time, various heterogeneous “non-state actors and social movements” have arisen that challenge and even resist state-run – mostly “neo-liberal” – development agendas in the region (e.g. peasant and farmers movements; workers movements; caste or religion-based movements; etc.). These actors and movements claim to rightfully represent people’s desire to improve their lives, and adopt approaches ranging from non-violent protest to militancy.


The research explores answer to the following question “Do non-state actors and social movements have the answers to rural poverty and inequality?” The study further investigates the contrast between the stated visions and the on ground practices of non-state actors and social movements with regard to the prevailing acute poverty and inequality in the rural context.


The study primarily uses qualitative tools for interviews. Following are some of the common reasons that were highlighted by the respondents for the emergence of social movements.

  • Inefficiency of the state in providing basic services and human rights
  • Protection of religious and ethnic culture in the region
  • Bringing change in the marketing mechanism/ policy of agriculture produce
  • Gender discrimination
  • Unequal and unjustified distribution/allocation of resources within the province

The organizations/groups or social movements working in the study area can be broadly categorized into the following typology viz. rural development/human rights, cultural identity and religious identity. An inventory of local organizations and movements was prepared and in-depth interviews were conducted from the staff and stakeholders of the selected organizations.