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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.

Renewable / Alternative Energy.

Network for Clean Energy Transition-Research and Advocacy

Partner/Donor: European Climate Foundation

Duration: Jul 2020 to Jun 2021

Team Members: Dr. Hina Aslam and Ahad Nazir,


SDPI has started this project with the help of European Climate Fund. The project aims to develop an inclusive evidence based framework to guide the future energy policy. SDPI will be inclusive towards all the stakeholders and encourage collaborations between communities from all ends of the social spectrum to inspire a continuously improving series of efforts for sustainable use of energy and conservation. We anticipate formulating a China-Pakistan network for renewable energy to advocate the need towards transition to clean energy pathways and meeting the climate goals. This forum will include both Chinese and Pakistani stakeholders and key representatives from public and private sector, research/academia, NGOs, CSOs and multilateral institutes. To provide update knowledge and research based analysis to the government it will be ensure that the research outputs of the project are regularly updated.


The objectives of the projects are:

  • To study the risk due to investment in coal towards the green and clean energy transformation in Pakistan.
  • To conduct evidence-based advocacy on clean and green energy investment impacting both Pakistani and Chinese stakeholders


This project hopes to achieve following outcomes:

  • Successful seeping in of the message through stakeholder consultations by engaging Pakistani decision makers from the energy sector as well as Chinese leadership and investors in order to have fruitful discussions and policy dialogues on the risks of coal investments and shift to renewable energy technologies.
  • Strengthened legislation and policy support for national (Pakistan) risk management by comprehensively considering various aspects of risks of coal investments in Pakistan and coming up with optimal strategies as well as focusing on investments for sustainability and decarbonisation of the energy sector.

Status: On going

Bioenergy and Sustainability in South Asia

Duration: April 2013 – December 2013

Locale: South Asia region


The study examines and evaluates bio-energy potential for South Asia in terms of production capacity amid its huge demand and need for food crops with profound consequences of shifting trends from food to cash crops for the purpose of renewable energy.

South Asia is an agri-enriched region in global parlance where sustenance and livelihoods mainly depend on agriculture sector. People have been toiled for many years in making their country prosperous in terms of agriculture, which is predominant sector of regions’ economies. The region is not only facing the challenge of food insecurity but also growing energy demand for which it depends heavily on imports.

Recent alternate energy trends have been predicting extensive significance of promoting bio-energy in South Asia. Undoubtedly, Sustainable renewable energy is one of the practical and viable solutions in order to meet energy demands of South Asian region. In view of different energy scenarios, the study has been designed to provide rationale for alternate solution with long-term sustainability vision.


  • Darft paper on the basis of data collected through primary and secondary source
  • Dissemination of policy recommendations


Alternative Resources of Energy in Pakistan

Partner: Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS)

Year:  2010

Team Members: Shakeel Ahmed

The Sustainable Development Institute (SDPI) was assisted by the Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), to research and report on alternative and renewable sources of energy for Pakistan. Solar energy has the potential for meeting the energy needs in some of the more remote areas of Pakistan. Wind and geothermal sources have also been identified as potential realistic sources of energy. Pakistan is geographically located in one of the highest solar isolation areas in the world; it is also located on a geology associated with geothermal activity. Wind has the potential to play an important part of the energy supply mix, with wind corridors having been identified for wind farm development. The Government of Pakistan through the Meteorological Department has quantified the wind energy generation potential for Pakistan.

Pakistan has been experiencing an acute shortage of energy right across all sectors in particular, industry and through energy disruption to domestic users. These shortages have highlighted the need for reliable, cost realistic and effective sources of energy and an improvement in the distribution of energy to facilitate development of the country. Pakistan currently relies disproportionately on thermal power generation from local gas fields and expensive imported oil to fuel both government and privately owned and rented power plants. The poor communities of Pakistan rely on wood and dried dung to heat their homes and in food preparation. The effects of a lack of clean energy on the poor community were part of the study with particular emphasis on household air quality and how it affects women and children.

The research conducted a general review of the renewable forms of energy available to Pakistan including, hydro, wind, biomass and biogas energy from wastes, solar and geothermal technologies. Hydro-power both as macro and micro projects are well established in Pakistan and are recognised as low cost reliable and renewable sources of power in Pakistan and have the potential to fill the energy deficit.

There was a consultation process with stakeholders from across the wide spectrum of users, environmental groups, developers, civil society and the Government being approached for their opinions and ideas for the development of these resources. Pakistan has the potential to be energy self sufficient if it has the will to do so. Rationalisation of and implementation of the proposed institutional arrangements have facilitated Pakistan’s ability to make use of various international funding opportunities to develop its renewable sources for a low carbon future through, for example CDM mitigation and adaptation funding from the international community.


Evidence-based policies for the sustainable use of energy resources in the Asia and the Pacific

Partner Organizations:
Following Institutions remained part of the project;
  1. Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms
  2. Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB)
  3. Planning and Development Department, Ministry of Punjab
  4. Planning and Development Department, Ministry of Sindh
  5. Planning and Development Department, Ministry of Baluchistan
  6. Planning and Development Department, Ministry of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
  7. Planning and Development Department, Ministry of Gilgit/Baltistan
  8. Planning and Development Department, Ministry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  9. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Energy Center
  10. Ministry of Energy
  11. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics
  12. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Center
  13. University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila
  14. Ministry of Climate Change
Time Frame: October 2018 – June 2019
Project Team:
  1. Dr. Vaqar Ahmed (Team Lead)
  2. Syed Ali Wasif Naqvi (Project Coordinator/Research Associate)
  3. Ms. Mahnoor Arshad (Project Assistant)
Objectives of the project:
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) partnered with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) joined hands to support ESCAP’s Energy Division (ED) in the implementation of the development account project on “Evidence-based policies for the sustainable use of energy resources in the Asia and the Pacific” with the implementation in Pakistan. ESCAP also took Ministry of Planning, development and Reforms of Pakistan which was the designated counterpart in the country.
SPDI acted as the local partner institution for implementation of the project agreed jointly with international consultants from China. The international consultant had visiting fellow status at SDPI.
In Pakistan, the ESCAP’s project focused on capacity building of policy makers in energy modelling techniques. That fully addressed the need to integrate more quantifiable evidence in the country’s energy sector outlook, policy and planning through sharing of best practices, international experience and lessons learned. For this to happen, involvement from both Federal and Provincial entities was important to take forward a holistic and inclusive approach.
The project undertook a short initial assessment of the general outlook of achieving the National Determined Contributions (NDC) commitments and the energy sector’s contribution. This initial assessment combined with an assessment of the current capacities in modelling and developing scenarios formed starting point of the project. Avenues were identified for the required capacity development activities. Participants were trained and based on their skills, development refined and further developed the initial report on the scenarios to achieve Pakistan’s NDC commitments. It was therefore, an interlinked sequence – one session of training followed by a joint revision and refinement of the outlook paper. A final output report that explores the potential of the energy sector and potentially its sub-sectors such as solar, wind, biomass, small hydropower and efficiency in achieving NDC commitments. Final paper is now expected to highlight policy recommendations for the energy to achieve Pakistan’s NDC commitments and will be presented in a symposium very soon.

Shale Gas Viability and Prospects for Pakistan

Partner: PEC

Team Members: Engineer Arshad H. Abasi, Fareeha mehmood, Maha Kamal

Duration: April 2013 to September 2013


In the backdrop of severe energy needs these days in the country the study provides a technically feasible solution to overcome the endemic crisis. A complete roadmap to develop unconventional oil & gas strategy has been suggested in the study based on desk review of official documents (ENERCON and PEC) and experts’ interviews. The report thus prepared also illustrates technically recoverable unconventional reserves of oil & gas, and analyses their characteristics such as Total Organic Carbon (TOC), thermal maturity, geological age, and reservoir thickness extent. The findings of the report were shared at a seminar.


  • To identify the potential of shale gas in Pakistan.
  • To proposal a doable solution to the prevalent energy crisis.


  • Pakistan stands second in Asia having the highest recoverable reserves of shale gas.
  • Shale gas of Pakistan has high TOC value and is thermally mature.
  • Shale gas exploitation can effectively relieve the current power shortage and its deployment will considerably help overcome the overall energy crisis.