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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.

Governance.


Saving Lives and Livelihoods by supporting Food Security, Small and Medium Enterprises and Universal Social Protection Mechanisms to coup with COVID 19 Impacts in Pakistan

Project Partner/Donor: IDRC

Project Duration: 36 Months

Team members: Thematic Team Leads 1. Dr Abid Suleri Team Food Security. 2. Dr Vaqar Ahmed Team Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and 3. Dr Sajid Amin Team Social Protection

Project Introduction: This project has a multi-sectoral thematic focus and looks to support the Government of Pakistan, in the wake of COVID-19, in maintaining essential economic activity, and protecting workers and smaller producers. Key elements of this project include documenting evidence on COVID-19’s impact, evidence-based input informing response strategies during relief and recovery phases, and strengthening local research with the focus on food security, small to medium enterprises (SMEs), and social protection systems.

Project Objectives:
Short and Medium Term: 
– Exploratory Research for evidence of impact
– Preliminary assessment of data/evidence
– Evidence generation for setting up a food security dashboard
– Mapping and assessment of govt. response to COVID 19
– Meta analysis of existing literature to gauge global best practices for respective sectors
Long Term:
– Gearing towards evidence-based recovery  strategies
– Consolidation of lessons learned from previous phases
– Multipronged advocacy and outreach strategy
Cross-cutting Objectives:
– Media engagement for research findings dissemination
– Creation and strengthening of existing platforms for dialogue between public and private stakeholders

Project Outcomes:
– To propose policies for ensuring food security and economic recovery, which are inclusive in job creation and aligned with SDGs’ priority agenda of federal and provincial governments.
– To produce consolidated research on effectiveness of government stimulus plans in the above-mentioned areas.
– Through advocacy, sensitize policymakers on the issues of policy concerns and setting priorities for investment in the upcoming and the following annual budgets.

Drug and Human Trafficking

Year: 2011

Introduction:
Pakistan occupies an important geostrategic location in the transit and trade of illegal goods. The country shares a 2,450 km border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opiates. UNODC reports that nearly 40% of the heroin from Afghanistan is trafficked through Pakistan.  This easy availability of opiates (as well as synthetic drugs) has resulted in a growing population of drug users that pose an additional burden on the already overwhelmed public health system. Organized crime in Pakistan exists in various forms, orchestrated by complex informal networks of supplier rings, wholesalers, financiers, protectors and patrons, resulting in an extensive illegal network. Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, on the border with Afghanistan, are particularly vulnerable. Law enforcement agencies struggle to counter these networks, particularly at the borders, at a serious cost to governance, development and security – not only in Pakistan but around the world.

The primary aim of this study is to analyze the implications of the 18th Amendment on federal and provincial functions related to the rule of law and drug-related health in Pakistan. For the purpose of this study the 18th Amendment is examined in three tiers (using a governance perspective): legislative changes and legal implications; institutional changes and administrative implications; and fiscal changes, and financial implications. The purpose is to inform and position development assistance in the new framework. It finds that while the provinces now have enhanced capacity to plan and target development programs, a major issue remains to be that of a lack of political will.

Pakistan’s 18th Amendment: impact on drug and human trafficking and criminal justice

Pakistan occupies an important geostrategic location in the transit and trade of illegal goods. The country shares a 2,450 km border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opiates. UNODC reports that nearly 40% of the heroin from Afghanistan is trafficked through Pakistan.  This easy availability of opiates (as well as synthetic drugs) has resulted in a growing population of drug users that pose an additional burden on the already overwhelmed public health system. Organized crime in Pakistan exists in various forms, orchestrated by complex informal networks of supplier rings, wholesalers, financiers, protectors and patrons, resulting in an extensive illegal network. Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, on the border with Afghanistan, are particularly vulnerable. Law enforcement agencies struggle to counter these networks, particularly at the borders, at a serious cost to governance, development and security – not only in Pakistan but around the world.

The primary aim of this study is to analyze the implications of the 18th Amendment on federal and provincial functions related to the rule of law and drug-related health in Pakistan. For the purpose of this study the 18th Amendment is examined in three tiers (using a governance perspective): legislative changes and legal implications; institutional changes and administrative implications; and fiscal changes, and financial implications. The purpose is to inform and position development assistance in the new framework. It finds that while the provinces now have enhanced capacity to plan and target development programs, a major issue remains to be that of a lack of political will. Contact person: erum@sdpi.org

Environmental Analysis of Brick Production Units in Pakistan

(January, 2009)

Also funded by SKAT, the overall objectives of the research were to provide an environmental assessment of kiln workers. This study aimed at undertaking the assessment of emissions from Bull Trench Kilns (BTKs) in relation to Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards, tabulation of emissions from various types of kilns to draw down a regional comparison, to evaluate the effects of kiln emissions on urban health and tabulate the mitigation measures adopted by the concerned agencies.

Promoting Debate on Inclusive Economic Reforms

Background

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has carried out in-depth dialogue between policy makers, economic experts, and public implementing agencies on key economic reform issues.

The dialogue series was supported by structured feedback from citizen and business communities to provide a clear perspective on the level of receptiveness and support to broad reforms in tax and energy sectors. These activities will form the baseline for Economic Growth Unit’s programme on energy and tax reforms.

The evidence-based research and dialogue during policy symposia had also brought out specific knowledge products that will act as a baseline for measuring impact of current and future policies in tax and energy sector.

Programme Objectives

  • Generate focused policy discussion around key economic reforms to prepare political parties and civil society for difficult structural reforms that will require public support
  • Support policy dialogue on energy and tax with structured feedback from common citizens and business community in order to channel wider public views into the policy reform process.

National Consultation on Budget 2015-16

  • Towards a Fair & Just Fiscal Policy in Pakistan

National Consultation on Budget 2014-15

  • Budget 2014-15 Economic Context + Policy Response (By: Sakib Sheran)
  • Public Debt Management (By: Ali Salman)

Programme Update

  • Comparison of Federal & Provincial Education Budgets 2014-15 & 2015-16
  • SDPI Pre-Budget Proposals 2015-16
  • Punjab Growth Strategy – Comments by SDPI
  • Rationale for Tax Reforms in Pakistan
  • Academic Outreach and Engagement
  • Summary of findings on Pre-budget Survey on Economic Reforms (Urdu version)
  • Summary of findings on Pre-budget Survey on Economic Reforms
  • Energy and Taxation Reforms – Household Analysis from Pakistan
  • Energy and Taxation Reforms – Firm Level Analysis from Pakistan
  • Policy Symposium on Taxation & Energy Reforms
  • Draft Study: Reforming Tax System in Pakistan
  • Pakistan : Energy Sector Appraisal
  • Tax Reforms in Pakistan
  • How to solve Pakistans power crisis

For details contact Dr Vaqar Ahmed (vaqar@sdpi.org)

Corporate Social Responsibility: Studying the sugar production process in Pakistan

Partner: Prakruthi (India)

Duration: Jan 2010 to Jul 2012

Background:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) generally falls within one of four categories: environmental, social, economic and corporate governance. CSR standards, codes and practices may be individual company quality requirements, driven by consumer expectations, shareholder reputational concerns, importer codes and standards, codes developed by NGOs and/or driven by ethical principles. CSR standards and codes may also be included as part of government investment and competitiveness incentive policies and programmes.

Since the subject is fresh and the research arena remains untouched the SDPI team in the first stage produced a stocktaking of the state of CSR in Pakistan Corporate Conscience. The purpose of the study was to contextualize CSR in Pakistan. It was found that the approach to CSR, however, is still relatively primitive, with a fogged distinction between philanthropy and CSR. Value chain analysis was applied to the diary product industry to give a deeper understanding of the issues encouraging or barricading CSR practices in Pakistan.

Following the same patterns an illustrative example of sugar production was taken for this CSR study.

Introduction:   

The research aims to understand the existing dynamics of CSR in the sugar production sector of Pakistan. The study examines the sugar arena and attempts to verify the barriers to CSR implementation. The sugar sector plays a central role in Pakistan’s economy from contributing in the national treasury to providing earnings to meager farmers.

After individual scrutiny of key stakeholders in the sugar production cycle, the report presents all contradicting and supporting views narrowing down to understand the segments of the chain where the issues of corporate governance exist. The sector is analyzed on various levels like structural, environmental and developmental to establish that not only is the relationship between farmers and sugar millers’ fragile and hostile but there seems to be a large policy and governance gap in the area.

The report “Corporate Social Responsibility: Studying the sugar production process in Pakistan” was launched by SDPI on 3rd July 2012.

Moreover, under this programme, a network was born out of the need to improve the sustainability of value chains, especially in the South Asian Countries, South Asian Network on Sustainability and Responsibility (SANSAR). This network was formed in Dhaka where a common goal and agenda for CSR Networking was identified among the founding members. Founding members include: SDPI from Pakistan, Prakruthi from India, CSR Center from Bangladesh and the Center for Afghan Civil Society Support from Afghanistan. SANSAR was officially launched on 29th March, 2012 in Bangalore, India.

To become a member of SANSAR Pakistan please fill out the form. You may send in soft copies of the filled form at anam@sdpi.org or by post to: 38, Embassy Road, G-6/3 Islamabad

Political Barometer Phase I

Partner:Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) & Monthly Herald

Duration: June 2013 to December 2013

Locale:? Islamabad, Karachi Lahore, Peshawar & Quetta

Status: ?Closed

Team Member: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Shakeel Ahmed

Background:

The advent of political opinion surveys may well be an indicator of electoral democracy’s evolution and maturity in Pakistan. In the run up to general elections 2013 in Pakistan, an attempt was made in December 2012 to understand the factors, which affect the voting decision of people. Respondents were divided along the fault-line of religion, sect, ethnicity, ideology, party affiliation and geographical location across 54 districts. They were probed to assess their policy preferences on issues such as economic empowerment, religious freedom, access to information, health, education, drone attacks, trade with India, defense etc.

About 1100 respondents were interviewed in 54 districts of Pakistan.

Objectives:

  • To gauge perceptions on politics and opinion of people on socio-political issues
  • To predict the election outcomes
  • To study people’s voting behaviours

Findings:

  • Survey identified an alarming trend, which was related on the radicalization of society, as 53% respondents wanted the government to promote hijab, 30% considered honor killing acceptable and justified, 26% wanted to ban women working along men, and 19% wanted a ban on women contesting elections and taking part in sports.
  • Some 42% respondents believed that interprovincial relations in Pakistan were disharmonious and there was almost an equal demand for the creation of new provinces. From an ethnic perspective, 55% of Sindhis favored PPP, 34% of Pakhtuns favored PTI, and 43% of Punjab supported PML-N whereas 47% of Baloch favored BNP-Mengal.
  • Survey findings indicate that PTI derives support from all ages, dispelling the notion that the PTI’s vote bank is concentrated in youth. PML-N vote bank appeared to have remained stable while the PPP’s seemed to have declined significantly, whose voters appeared to have shifted towards PTI
  • Majority of the respondents were divided on major policy issues. In December 2012, at least 29% respondents expressed their intention to vote for Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), 24.7% pledged support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and 20.3% showed a preference for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
  • The findings were carried by Herald Magazine that brought a special issue on SDPI’s Survey findings in February 2013

SDPI Political Barometer: A Study of Socio-Political Preferences of People of Pakistan

  • Voter preferences: The political contest
  • Political Barometer: A measure of citizen perceptions on national issues
  • Citizen perspectives on Pakistan?s foreign relations?
  • Media influence on political preferences
  • Societal reflections on gender issues in Pakistan?
  • Societal reflections on inclusion of minorities
  • The importance of culture and voter preferences in the context of cultural arts
  • Governance in Pakistan: Gauging institutional control?
  • Civil military ties and balance of power
  • Domestic policy and internal conflicts?
  • Interprovincial relations, implications for Elections 2013
  • Societal perceptions on the state of corruption in Pakistan

Rewriting History: The History of Partition Revisited

Partner: Heinrich Boll Foundation

Duration: 2008-09

Background:

It is commonly believed that three histories exist in our part of the world. The one that is told and taught in Pakistan, the second that is told and taught in India and Bangladesh, and the third which is neither told and taught here, nor across border. In order to highlight the third type of history, the SDPI team started a research project, ‘Rewriting History Project’ that was funded by the Heinrich Boll Foundation, Pakistan.

Objective:

The project reflected the personal memories of a generation that witnessed the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and the 1971 liberation War of Bangladesh. The Project addressed questions surrounding the massacre and migration after Partition; the establishment, nature and stability of Bangladesh, especially in regards to political and external agents and communities who were uprooted both in 1947 and 1971, such as the Bihari community, and the role of minorities in saving lives and promoting interfaith harmony. The aims of the project were to record and develop a more comprehensive knowledge base regarding these questions and to gain first hand understanding of the situation through oral history and ethnography. In Pakistan the emphasis was on the Mohajir community in Sindh and Punjabi refugees in Punjab; in Bangladesh it was on refugees from both West Bengal and Bihar who migrated from India to East Bengal in 1947, and then from Bangladesh to Pakistan after 1971.

Output:

Literature review and extensive field work in Pakistan was conducted in the first phase. The second phase of the project, included wider fieldwork across Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and expanded publications, including a series of video documentaries. Two publications were produced, ‘Reconstructing History Memories, Migrants and Minorities’, including an introduction from renowned Pakistan specialist, Dr. Ian Talbot of the University of Southampton, and ‘The Land of Two Partitions and Beyond’, which consisted of three working papers. Three video documentaries were produced, ‘1947: Through the Sixth River’, ‘1971: Violence, Voices and Silence’ and ‘Religious Minorities: They are not “others” (1947-2008)’. The research was also disseminated in two panels at SDPI’s Sustainable Development Conference 2008.

Large Scale Land Acquisition in Pakistan

 Year: 2008-09

Objective:

In 2008 when Government of Pakistan launched a scheme for leasing out/sale of state owned land at a large scale to foreign investors. In order to understand the possible implications of this plan SDPI undertook a study on large scale land acquisition in Pakistan. The main purpose of this study is to analyze the existing laws and regulations on large scale land holdings and to create a Policy, Legal, and Institutional Assessment Framework (PLIAF) for Pakistan that outlines all existing procedures and details all relevant institutions that are a part of that.

Methodology:

Due to food security concerns, worldwide land grabbing is becoming a more frequent incidence. This study is the first of its kind in Pakistan. In the first phase of the study, a detailed draft Policy Legal Institutional Assessment Frame-work (PLIAF) was created based on readily available data from all Federal and Provincial government level sources in Pakistan. PLIAF for the first time detailed the process of land acquisition and its appropriation based on the laws of Pakistan in simple words rather than in legal terminology.

The second phase of the study detailed the instances of large-scale land grabs in Pakistan for various purposes. The commonality in all these cases that are part of this inventory is that all of them are land acquisitions either for purposes other than appropriated or acquisitions by foreign investors, as in the case of Abraaj Holdings that has bought 324,000 hectares. This study is a crucial document in the discussions on land grabs and foreign holdings in Pakistan.

Post 2015 Development Agenda- National Dialogue on Strengthening Capacities and Institutions

Team Members: Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Babar Jamal, Naveeda Nazir

At the United Nations Millennium Summit, in September 2000, Pakistan among the other world leaders adopted the Millennium Declaration, including a vision for development and the eradication of poverty, the Millennium Development Goals. The MDG Framework will be completing its tenure in December 2015.

Pakistan performance on MDGs remained less satisfactory as compared to other countries in the Region. According to the National MDG 2013, Pakistan is off-track on 24 targets out of the total 33 indicators. Pakistan has been facing multifaceted issues related to political stability, security and natural disaster that have adversely hampered the development efforts.

Besides the constraints arising from the country security situation, issues related to governance and weak institutions have played a major role in the non-achievement of MDGs. Investment in statistical machineries to collect and make available timely data on the status of MDGs should have been given priority. The unavailability of data has been a major constraint in measuring progress towards MDGs and making informed decisions.

For the new set of the development agenda to replace MDGs after 2015, the UN launched global consultative process on post 2015 development agenda which will replace the MDGs Framework. Pakistan was selected one of the 100 countries for the national consultations, starting in December 2012. Inputs and feedback was gathered including representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), farmers, laborers, employers and workers associations, religious, ethnic and sexual minorities, students, parliamentarians, academia, development partners including donors and national staff of UN agencies, disabled persons, government officials at the federal and provincial levels, media, private sector, internally displaced people, women organizations etc. The key area that come up as priority from Pakistan consultation included peace, Justice and human Security, Governance, Energy, environment and Disaster Mitigation, inclusive economic growth and social development and Gender Equality

The second round of Post 2015 consultations focuses on the ‘means of implementation’ (MoI) critical for the achievement of the post 2015 development agenda and takes into account:, ownership, participation, capacities, partnership , monitoring and accountability.  Pakistan has been allotted the theme of “strengthening capacities and building institutions” required for the implementation of the post 2015 development agenda. The Dialogue on capacities and institutions underpins the importance of national-level actors, signaling that a transformative agenda requires transformed institutions.

Six themes of MoI have been identified: 1) Localising the post-2015 development agenda; 2) Helping to strengthen capacities and institutions; 3) Participatory monitoring, existing and new forms of accountability; 4) Partnerships with civil society and other actors: 5) Partnerships with the private sector; 6) Culture and development. Pakistan is one the eight countries chosen to undertake the national dialogue on Helping to strengthen capacities and institutions.

UNDP in partnership with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), to conduct the consultative process composed of the following streams:
  • Desk review was conducted to do the important ground work to review and analyze the effectiveness of the present institutional structures and mechanisms, with a view to distill the lessons learned, and inform the implementation of the Post 2015 development agenda in Pakistan.
  • An online survey, targeting 1500 respondents, was conducted on the citizen’s feedback on public service delivery. The survey gave an opportunity to hear from the general public being the ultimate beneficiaries of the public services regarding their experience in dealing with and availing of services from the public sector institutions. The findings of this survey will inform interventions to strengthen capacities and build effective institutions for the provision of services for post 2015 development agenda.
  • To ensure inclusion, community based focus group discussion with women group, youth group and IDPs among the vulnerable groups. The focused group discussion to gather inputs for improving capacities and institutional effectiveness
  • A national consultation was held  to gather feedback from diverse stakeholders including  government representatives from national and sub-national level, experts, civil society members and policy makers on the issues hampering the ability of the national institutions in the public sector, identify priorities, gaps and recommendations for institutional and capacity development initiatives.
Following the key finding emerging from the national dialogue process:

Post 2015 development agenda will be different from the era when the MDGs were designed because of the context. SDGs are being formulated in an era when the world economy is recovering from the financial crises, there is less fiscal space from the donor available with a context of conflict and natural disasters. Need to realize and identify what capabilities are needed for data management as SDGs have more than 600 hundred indicators to monitor and report as compared to MDGs with only 48 indicators.

Strategic planning, monitoring and reporting are of extreme importance.  The MDGs in Pakistan didn’t get adequate attention in terms of converting the MDG Framework into concrete plans and strategies especially at the sub-national level. Planning should be done by establishing short and medium term goals rather than only having end-point targets. Government of Pakistan has launched the Vision 2025 as long-term development strategy aligning its seven pillars with the proposed sustainable goals. The plan build on development of human and social capital through education and skill enhancement added with indigenous sustainable growth, institutional reforms, energy, water, food security and nutrition.

New role of Planning Commission in post 18 Amendment scenario as an institution of federation. Representation of all provinces in the national level committee for smooth approval and execution of social sector development plans.

Localization of SDGs to local context is also one of the priority areas of the post 2015 discussions. In Pakistan, such localization efforts should go beyond the national level. In the post 18th Constitutional Amendment situation, localization has become the most critical element of an effective implementation mechanism for SDGs. In the current devolved governance structure, Pakistan would need to develop coordination mechanisms through which national and provincial plans and actions could be synthesized and experience and best practices shared.

An organized plan of action is need to undertake the governance/ civil service reforms starting from the smaller but important initiatives. The Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms, is committed to reforms for the good governance and will be holding Pakistan Governance Forum inviting experts from different areas to relook and reexamine the governance agenda to transforming institution into high performance institutions.

National capacities on data and statistics needs to be strengthened.  Survey tools and procedures to collect data on key variables should be aligned at federal, provincial and regional statistic departments.

Use of dashboard and KPIs for monitoring progress and results at national and sub-national level
Broad range of mechanisms is available to the citizens for social accountability in the country’s legal framework. There is a strong need to raise awareness among the citizens to exercise the right for creating demand for delivery of efficient public service as well as to hold the state  accountable.
Fiscal decentralizations/ financial allocations
Transfer of expertise and knowledge from the progressing countries on how to build better and effective institutions