Partner/Donor: British Council, Pakistan.
Duration: Sep 2018 till March 2020
Team Members: Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Ahad Nazir, 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 social and creative enterprises (SCEs)
- Propose legislations on policy reforms for development of SCEs in Pakistan
- Propose inclusion of SCEs development in national and sub-national plans and strategies
- Ensure support for SCEs in development budgets of national and sub-national governments
- Capacity building of representatives from parliament, civil service and regulatory bodies on SCEs
- Supporting the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Planning Commission; and supporting similar efforts at the Planning & Development Departments of provinces.
These objectives would be met through a concerted effort focusing on updating of literature, deep dive survey-based research in the tax and regulatory regime faced by SCEs, in-depth interviews with relevant policy makers, public-private dialogues, and awareness campaign for all stakeholders to understand each other’s perspectives.
We are envisioning the following potential outcomes of the policy component:
- Create awareness in both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders regarding policy environment which could encourage social and creative enterprises
- Updated literature on policy component of SCE, 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 SCEs 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 SCEs and sustaining such a dialogue with in private sector associations and think tanks
- Improved participation of SCEs in public sector’s economic opportunities (including public procurement).