Partner/Donor: British Council, Pakistan
Duration: Sep 2018 till March 2020
Team Members: Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Ahad Nazir, Asad Afridi, Dr. Muhammad Arif Saleem, Syed Murtaza Kazmi, Syed Mujeeb-ur-Rehman and Nadia Ahmad
Past research by British Council and SDPI on the policy landscape for social enterprises in Pakistan reveals a lack of understanding of perspectives from public and private sectors. The latter claims that the government at national and sub-national levels has little respect for the efforts and risks which entrepreneurs take; particularly in an environment where most lending institutions do not take a risk on social enterprises. On the other hand, actors in the public sector have a feeling that social entrepreneurs are no different from the mainstream business activity and see little value in for example designing a tax system which values social impact. There is thus a clear gap in perspectives which to some extent can only be bridged through appropriate policy engagement tools.
This gap found in previous research also gives us the ground to propose the following objectives for the policy component of DICE program:
- Revisit and re-alignment of the literature available on policy landscape faced by creative and social enterprises (CSEs)
- Propose legislations on policy reforms for development of CSEs in Pakistan
- Propose inclusion of CSEs development in national and sub-national plans and strategies
- Ensure support for CSEs in development budgets of national and sub-national governments
- Capacity building of representatives from parliament, civil service and regulatory bodies on CSEs
- Supporting the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Planning Commission; and supporting similar efforts at the Planning & Development Departments of provinces.
These objectives were met through a concerted effort focusing on updating of literature, deep dive survey-based research in the landscape, tax and regulatory regime faced by CSEs, in-depth interviews with relevant policy makers, public-private dialogues, and awareness campaign for all stakeholders to understand each other’s perspectives.
The knowledge products produced in the project based on nation-wide research and advocacy activities include:
- Issue Paper: Social Enterprise Development in Pakistan: Way Forward (https://sdpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Social-Enterprise-development-in-pakistan-way-forward.pdf)
- Social Enterprise Policy Toolkit: Pakistan https://sdpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Social-Enterprise-Policy-Toolkit.pdf)
- Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies: Creative and Social Enterprises in Pakistan. ( https://sdpi.org/publications/developing-inclusive-and-creative-economies-creative-and-social-enterprise-in-pakistan/)
The outcomes of the project are:
- Create awareness in both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders regarding policy environment which could encourage creative and social enterprises.
- Updated literature and evidence on policy component of CSE, which to a large extent has seen change due to changes to finance bill and other legislation.
- Legislation draft for presentation to parliament as a private member bill
- Capacity building of policy makers and creation of policy toolkit.
- Making development of CSEs a priority in the annual-, medium- and long-term strategies, plans and budgets of national and sub-national level governments.
- Strengthened public-private dialogue on CSEs and sustaining such a dialogue within the private sector associations and think tanks.
- Improved participation of CSEs in public sector’s economic opportunities (including public procurement).