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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.

Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE)

Partner: IDRC & UK Department for International Development, CCCS, IED, LSE & SDPI

Locale: Semi-arid lands in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Senegal, Kenya, Burkina Faso

Time Frame: February 2014 – November 2018

Project Team: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Kashif Majeed Salik, Dr Fahad Saeed, Dr Imran Saqib Khalid, Dr Babar Shahbaz, Samavia Batool, Ayesha Qaisrani, Muhammad Awais Umer, Ahmed Khaver & Ghamze Ali Siyal

For more information :Samavia Batool, Communications Officer, PRISE.


Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) is a multi-country research project that generates new knowledge about how economic development in semi-arid regions can be made more equitable and resilient to climate change. This project aims to support the emergence of equitable, climate resilient economic development in semi-arid lands through research excellence and sustained engagement with business leaders, local and national government decision-makers, civil society, and regional economic communities. The research is organized around three research projects:

1. Migration futures in Asia and Africa: climate change and climate resilient economic development.

2. Climate change impact, adaptation, opportunities for businesses and sectors (focus on cotton supply chain)

3. Water governance in semi-arid lands: political and economic insights for the management of variability and extremes in a changing climate.


Major objectives guiding the PRISE project include:

1. Developing an evidence base on the impact of climate change on key factors conditioning the economic growth of semi-arid lands, and conversely how these factors condition vulnerability to climate change.

2. Developing an evidence base on the risks posed to economic growth in semi-arid lands by extreme climate events, particularly droughts and floods.

3. Identifying investment, policy and planning measures for inclusive climate resilient development and growth in semi-arid lands, and:

4. Leveraging existing initiatives and networks in a stakeholder engagement process that co-creates knowledge, builds credibility with research users, and promotes the uptake of results.

Selected project findings: 

Project 1: Migration futures in Asia and Africa: climate change and climate-resilient economic development

Study area: D.G. Khan, Faisalabad and Mardan

We found that rural to urban migration plays a positive role in enhancing the resilience of rural households through flow of remittances, information and knowledge and livelihood diversification. However, at the intra-household level, the enhancement in resilience may not be equally shared among all members. Left-behind women may not experience transformational change in their agency through male out-migration as they are often burdened with additional responsibilities and may not enjoy freedom in decision-making as other male relatives may assume the role of household head. Nevertheless, on the whole, the migrant household demonstrates better indicators for adaptive, anticipatory and absorptive capacities.

Using the IPCC-Livelihood Vulnerability Index approach, we calculated the differential vulnerability scores for the three study areas (D.G. Khan, Faisalabad and Mardan) and identified key factors that contribute to higher vulnerability. An important finding is that (a lack of) adaptive capacity plays quite an important role in shaping households’ livelihood vulnerability on any given degree of exposure and sensitivity.

Project 2: Harnessing opportunities for climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands: adaptation options in key sectors

Study area: D.G. Khan and Faisalabad

This project follows an innovative three-step methodology which is a systematic and interdisciplinary approach to study climate risks facing value chain analysis and helps in the identification of pathways for promoting adaptation at all levels of the value chain. Research under this project aims to identify climate risks facing cotton value chain actors in Pakistan, based on various climate indicators (like temperature, rainfall, climate extremes etc.). This research is an interesting mix of socio-economic analysis and climate modelling. Future projections for cotton yields were done using five different global climate models (GCMs) and crop yield impacts simulated by a global gridded crop model called EPIC. The projections project a sharp decline in cotton yield in Pakistan by the end of this century. The cotton yield is projected to decline by at least 60.0% by 2096

A resilience index for cotton farmers was developed for the first time, which compares the vulnerabilities of landowners (small, medium and large) and landless farmers between two study sites i.e. Faisalabad and Dera Ghazi Khan (districts of Punjab province). In terms of vulnerability, we find that at the cotton production stage, vulnerability to climate change decreases with increasing size of landholding. Another major finding of the paper, common among other project 3 partners, is that wealth is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for adaptation decision at the household level. In other words, not all who possess wealth take adaptation decisions.

Project 3: Water governance in semi-arid lands: political and economic insights for the management of variability and extremes in a changing climate

Study area: Jhang

Project 7 looks at the political economy of water governance in the country particularly in terms of managing flood risks. In this context the research aims to address three important areas:

1) What role do political-economy considerations play in determining water governance responses to flood risks (in Jhang and DG Khan)?

2) To what extent do equity and justice concerns inform disaster risk management/ policymaking (in Jhang and DG Khan)??

3) To what extent do insights from past floods inform policy and planning for climate resilient economy?

The research aims to assess the political economy of institutions involved in flood management in Pakistan. The institutional vulnerabilities, gaps, policies and past practices have been critically assessed. We find that in case of both standing crops and small businesses in semi-arid lands the economy is severely hit by floods. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in semi-arid lands with small businesses playing a supporting role. The economic growth of semi-arid lands is jeopardized in face of floods. Whereas changing climate will bring in frequent and intense floods which pose a risk for the economic future of semi-arid lands in Pakistan.

Recommendations from the research outputs identify crop insurance as a must. Investment from farmers which results in their crop insurance in case of disasters is essential to cover their loss and input costs. The need for early warning systems and radars for timely and accurate analysis of impending floods are vital for climate resilient development. Furthermore, land use plans and floods plains management is necessary. Further measures such as reducing unplanned development and upgrading of existing barrages and embankments must be ensured.  This aspect relates to PRISE Objective 3, in terms of identifying policy and planning measures for climate resilient development.

Project status: 

Project was closed in December 2018 and the team has produced a number of policy relevant outputs from promoting climate resilient economic development in semi-arid regions of Pakistan.