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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.

Urban Displacement and Vulnerability in Peshawar (Pakistan)

Partner: ODI

Duration: 2012 to May 2013

Locale: Peshawar

Team Member: Ashley Jackson


The population of Peshawar has roughly doubled since 1998 to about 3.3m people, and it has become one of the largest recipient cities for refugees and IDPs in South Asia. It is also one of the poorest cities; an estimated 29% of KP’s population lives in poverty. The government agencies charged with urban development have unclear mandates, inadequate resources and limited capacity to effectively manage Peshawar’s ongoing expansion. As the city has sprawled out beyond its originally intended limits, the state has not extended basic services and infrastructure accordingly. The study on Urban displacement examines the challenges of displacement in the context of rapid urbanization.


  • To improve the understanding of the drivers and consequences of displacement and the impact of displaced populations in Peshawar.
  • To analyze legal and policy frameworks for displaced populations, both refugees and IDPs, with regard to human rights, land and property, housing, protection and urban development.
  • To understand the protection threats faced by displaced populations, as how they seek to cope with them and how they compare with the threats faced by the resident urban poor
  • To identify how the aid community can better engage with and meet the needs of displaced people in Peshawar, and the implications for humanitarian and development policy and programming


  • Primary data collection
  • Publication of a report on Urban Displacement and Vulnerability
  • Research based policy intervention


  • Many of the poor residents, whether displaced or not, face serious problems like sustainable livelihoods, access to basic services such as adequate shelter and sanitation, and physical security. The study finds that those living outside formal camps were often as poor as those residing in camps. Many IDPs choose to live outside the camps for cultural reasons (such as lack of privacy, especially for female family members), or because they are no longer allowed to reside there or receive other official assistance once their areas of origin are ‘de-notified’ or declared secure by the government.
  • The most serious challenges for the displaced are often related to their legal status and documentation. The lack of legal protection for refugees and IDPs makes them extremely vulnerable to threats and extortion. Decisions and policies for displaced populations are highly politicized and unpredictable, adding even greater uncertainty to the already precarious plight of the displaced in Pakistan.
  • Despite opportunities to start new livelihoods or expand existing ones, there are unique challenges in doing so for displaced populations. Both Afghans and IDPs reported that they find it difficult to access the initial capital needed. All the respondents reported to have faced problems in obtaining loans from banks and frequently borrowed from Pakistani or Afghan friends and relatives.


  • Urgent support is needed to extend basic services and infrastructure to off-camp locations.
  • An overall plan and vision for the urban development of Peshawar is required to manage growth and to deliver this plan, partnership with the private sector should be explored.
  • The government should revise its registration guidelines and IDPs should be given logistical support throughout the registration process.
  • Donors must devote more resources to assist displaced populations in KP,  FATA, and IDPs.
  • After the introduction of new local government laws, donors should take the opportunity to engage with and support the provincial administration in addressing problems of urban governance, planning and displacement.
  • More focus should be given to long-term livelihood support, and skill development programmes in Peshawar. This could include skills and vocational training based on market research as well as a diversification of livelihood support to displaced populations and long-term residents.
  • Particular attention should be paid to livelihood support for displaced women in Peshawar.

External Publication: