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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.

Social Protection in Pakistan

Partner: UNDP-Pakistan

Duration: January 2013 to March 2013

Locale: Nowshera, Buner, and Lower Dir in KP and Chaghi, Loralai, and Pishin in Balochistan

Team Member: Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Fayyaz Yaseen, Haider Abbas

The study aims to map out social protection programmes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan. It also carried out an analysis of these programmes, and evaluated them on a set of pre-determined criteria.

Under its Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme, the UNDP-Pakistan, in collaboration with the government of Pakistan and donor community, has been engaged in promoting regional stability. It also compensates for social, economic and environmental damages to Pakistani community by over seven million Afghan refugees who are still living in the country. A study was designed at SDPI to examine the extent to which such programmes are contributing towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


  • Primary data collection
  • Drafting of report and policy briefs
  • Research dissemination and advocacy events in provincial capitals of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


  • Working opportunities for the IDPs, Afghan refugees and calamity-hit communities are scarce. Cultural hindrances restrict women from contributing to their household income while men are saddled with the responsibility to fulfil the needs of a 12-15 member family on average
  • Owing to lack of essential skills and capital for business, the menfolk are usually on the look for daily-wage work
  • Social protection programmes are mainly confined to the government employees
  • Except Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), most of the social assistance programmes are highly inefficient, not well-targeted, but politicized.
  •  Financial and in-kind support extended through these programmes is usually insufficient and unsustainable.
  •  Though these programmes contribute towards the attainment of MDGs, at present they are delivering well below their perceived effectiveness.
  • There is hardly any social assistance and social protection programme that has been extended to RAHA project districts.


  • Political interference should be controlled to ensure transparency of the social protection  mechanism.
  • Through digitalization of the social insurance programmes, record of all entitled beneficiaries and that of their dependents should be maintained so that unnecessary delays could be avoided in the process of ‘establishing the eligibility’.
  • The social insurance programmes should have a clearly articulated poverty reduction objective and the payments made under the respective programmes to the employees should be inflation sensitive.
  • There is a need to streamline all the existing social assistance programmes running alongside BISP to develop synergies among them for a more effective impact.
  • With its extensive data gathered for the PMT scores, the BISP could share information with other programmes for more efficient service delivery.
  • There should be a periodical assessment of effectiveness of monthly cash transfer under the programme – a cash transfer of Rs 1000 per month per household may have been enough in 2008, but will it suffice in years to come? This needs to be assessed periodically.
  • The monthly cash transfer programme under BISP needs to formally incorporate a mechanism for households to come out of poverty.
  • The BISP is being positioned as the main safety net programme, with others to be built around it. This offers a window of opportunity through which other programmes such as Zakat can be reformed to have a stronger gender focus as well as better targeting and delivery mechanisms.
  • A number of gender issues have not been considered under the BISP todate – for a programme that is intended to benefit women primarily, the BISP is remarkable in its lack of consultative decision making with women participants, NGOs working on women issues, gender activists etc.

Focal Person: Dr Vaqar Ahmed