Asset 1

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.

Resilient Development Programme.

Pakistan Community Resilience Research Network

Partner: Creative Learning 

Duration: July 2019-June 2021

Locale: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces of Pakistan

Status: Ongoing


The concept of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) alongside peace, development and resilience has emerged as part of a modern approach to counter extremism and terrorism. Through CVE, we can cope with the threats to peace and security paving the way for a prosperous and resilient society.

One of the measures for countering violent extremism is holding dialogue in the form of both theory and practice followed by research.  Pakistan Community Resilience Research Network, a repository of knowledge and understanding on issues related to CVE in the Pakistani society, has initiated this dialogue which would fulfil the objectives of promoting the CVE concept through its high-quality research. However, the state needs to create forums for inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, which may bring governmental and non-governmental actors together to work on CVE strategies.


The programme aims to strengthen research activities and build sustainable networks of researchers and thought leaders focused on building community resilience to Violent Extremism (VE) in Pakistan. 

The project will establish a nationwide on- and off-line network of Pakistani researchers based in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces who seek to advance knowledge on how to build community resilience to counter violent extremism.

Project activities:

The programme will carry out the following activities through which researchers will be 


  • Given access to a dedicated web based and app-based research portal to discuss topics of common interest, and attend online courses on CVE topics and CVE research methodologies;
  • Provided with in-class opportunities to learn about more about CVE and CVE research methodologies. 
  • offered access to national and international experts who act as mentors and peer reviewers and support them to advance in their research, produce high quality papers and submit these papers to accredited domestic and international journals;
  • Awarded research and travel grants of up to PKR 950,000 separately;


Under the programme activities, a 7-day exchange programme to the United States will also be organized. A number of public conferences will be held during which researchers can be able to showcase their work. A collection of research papers will be produced. 

Project Structure



The Network’s Project Advisory Board (PAB) oversees the strategic direction and implementation of all project activities. PAB members include two Honorary PAB members and SDPI and Creative Learning (CL) teams. 

The Network’s Senior Research Council (SRC) develops, guides and coordinates the project activities in each local chapter (Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore). It comprises as many as 09 leading experts in the field of social science (three for each chapter), who are selected by the PAB. Reporting to the PAB, SRC members 1) ensure the strategic development of their chapter’s membership and grant activities; 2) advise on the design of network activities in their chapter and coordinate the activities of their chapters with the other chapters; 3) act as academic supervisors, peer-reviewers and mentors for the members of their chapter; and 4) ensure that research produced by their chapter members will be published in academic journals or other publications in Pakistan or abroad.  

The Network’s Local Chapter Members are eligible researchers who participate in the project activities.  Researchers will be recruited via a public call for applications. From the pool of applicants, SRC and PAB members will jointly select a total of 45-60 participants (15-20 for each chapter). 

To become a part of our local chapter, please login and submit your online applications:

Project Team: 

Dr Shafqat Munir Ahmed 

Mr. Saleem Khilji 

Mr. Muhammad Awais Umar 

For questions, please contact 


Prepare a Functional Urban Portal through Developing Scenario Planning based Participatory Urban Growth Management Plans using ICT

Partner: OXFAM GB, CityPuls

Locale: Muzaffargarh and Dadu

Time Frame: February 2016 – September 2016

Project Team: Shafqat Munir, Sadaf Liaqat, and Sharif Hussain
SDPI has entered into an agreement with Oxfam GB and City Pulse to execute the project “Prepare a Functional Urban Portal through Developing Scenario Planning based Participatory Urban Growth Management Plans using ICT”.
The project aims at developing urban growth management plans for f Muzaffargarh and Dadu using scenario planning based participatory approach and disseminating the plan documents through an urban portal. It is important to mention that the term ‘urban growth management plan’ is being used in its generalized meaning to cover the diversity of existing urban planning frameworks in the Punjab and Sindh. More specifically, it can be said that for Muzaffargarh(Punjab), urban growth management plan will equate peri-urban structure plan of the city developed under Punjab Land-use Rules 2009 while in case of Dadu-Sindh, urban growth management plan will be a structure plan prepared under Sindh Local Government Act 2013 and Guidelines for Master Plan Preparation 2012.
Stakeholders’ workshops for establishing vision of growth for the city in the light of applicable government policies;

Preparation of detailed digital base map of the city at a scale suitable for urban management functions;

ICT based baseline studies to understand the prevailing conditions and trends, including land use survey, housing survey, socio-economic survey, transportation survey, industry and commerce survey, public buildings survey, etc.;

Situational analysis based on baseline studies and secondary information;

Development of future growth scenarios of the city;

Stakeholder workshop on future growth options; Finalizing contents of urban development plan and implementation methodology;
Submission of urban growth management plans to the government department concerned
Making development plan accessible to general public through ICT

Capacity building of government staff and awareness raising of general public about the implementation of plan.



At the end of first month of the project, an inception report has been prepared and submitted to Oxfam. The inception report provides preliminary review of relevant documents, reconnaissance survey of the project area, initial meetings with the client and TMA staff. Moreover, it also presents minute methodological details, project execution approach and updated work plan based on ground reality checks. Currently, in Muzaffarabad and Dadu, field-work is in progress.

Corporate Social Responsibility for winning hearts and minds

Donors/Partners: DAI
Locale: Islamabad and Lahore?
Duration of Project: 8 months (August, 2017-February, 2018)

Objective 1 (Output): To conduct sensitization sessions for CSR staff of businesses on their role on CVE
Objective2 (Outcome): To increase corporate engagement on CVE
Objective 3 (Impact): To increase knowledge on how targeted beneficiaries can adopt practices that reduce their financial support to VE groups

Program/Project Brief:
SDPI will conduct research into the state of CSR in Pakistan and find out the understanding and commitment of CSR for CVE by the private sector. Based on this succinct report, SDPI will intensify engagement with wider stakeholder and organize orientation sessions with top corporate leaders on role of CSR in countering extremism in Lahore and Islamabad. This will help to penetrate into corporations and identify interlocutions within corporate sector for smooth implementation of activities. Based on these deliberations, SDPI will further engage CSR Managers and organize 2-day orientation and planning session of CSR practitioners from corporations who will then work as CVE ambassadors in their
respective constituencies. It is anticipated that all these efforts will lead to financial commitments by 5 corporations. SDPI will stringently monitor the Social Actions being pursued by the 5 companies. Activity will be concluded an experience sharing workshop to share insights into peace-building efforts, lessons learnt and future course of action.

Work/activities accomplished
  • Research Report titled; Connecting the Dots: Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • 28 Lobby meeting with private sector organizations
  • Conduction of orientation meeting with corporate leaders in Islamabad
  • Drafting of Training Manual for training
  • Conduction of two days training workshop in Islamabad for Corporate CSR practitioners and managers?

Team Members: Shafqat Munir, Sadaf Liaquat, Alina Rana
Status: Close.

Business for Peace

Partner: DAI, Pakistan
Duration: 02 October 2019 – 18 May 2020
Team Members: Dr. Shafqat Munir, Muhammad Awais Umar
Violent Extremism (VE), in its various manifestations, undermines diversity and tolerance by using ethnic or religious grounds. The VE infused intolerance creates fear of being harmed by any violent group or individual. Both people and businesses have the risk of being hit by any sort of violence instigated by any ethnic or religious entity. Acts of violent extremism leading to terrorism cost heavily on people and businesses across the world. In Pakistan, generally corporate sector is not binding by law to contribute to community development.
The usage of CSR funds by corporate sector in Pakistan is quite similar to practice of the development sector and funds are utilized primarily on the physical development of the social sector in the attached communities. In Pakistan, CSR is in its development phase and the utilization of this fund is not structured. The unregulated charitable contributions from industries and business communities may go to the banned outfits, which on the other end could be utilized to community resilience programme to counter conflicts and extremism. The role of business community needs to be rectified to limit the chance of any financial support going to the banned outfits by orienting industrialists and their management staff on their role and responsibilities.
Multan is an agriculture hub in Southern Punjab wherein a number of agriculture corporates are functioning. Their businesses range from production of fertilizers, agriculture implements and seed processing to growing various food and nonfood crops, raring cattle and other agriculture related businesses. Building upon the already existing relationship between the Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture (MMNSUA) and the agriculture industry in Multan, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) will orient the leadership and management of these agriculture corporates about their role towards institutionalizing their donations to the University for the activities promoting peace and tolerance among communities.
Key interventions:
  • Holding of sensitization sessions and training for management and staff of the selected agriculture companies in Multan on their role in connection with CVE
  • Collection of funding from the selected agriculture companies to support two student societies around activities on tolerance and peace building at MNSUAM campus
  • Engagement of student societies/clubs on CVE initiatives at target university campuses
All these activities will ultimately help enhance tolerance within and across communities
Status: Ongoing

Feasibility Study for R4 Rural Resilience Initiative in Pakistan: Situation Analysis of Risk Management Practices

Program/Project Brief:
This feasibility study, in order to guide WFP’s R4 programme, aims to provide the situation analysis of current practices of farmers for risk management. Also, the analysis extends to farmers’ perceptions regarding available strategies of risk management. The inquest also involves identifying the barriers to risk management. Broadly, the analysis guides WFP’s interventions for improving resilience of rural farming households through using Social Safety Nets in Punjab, Pakistan.
Donors/Partners:  World Food Programme
  • Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan
  • Peshawar IDI Urban
  • Sindh Karachi IDI &KI & FGD Urban
Duration of Project:  4 Months

Climate change has had significantly increased the production and ecological risks in agriculture globally as well as in Pakistan. Environmental risks are increasing due to rising mean temperature and changing vector ecologies. Higher probabilities of production and ecological risks have also contributed to higher market risks. Returns from agriculture have become nearly cyclical. And due to particular nature of agriculture

  • Mapping the major types of risks facing the farmers with particular focus on environmental risks.
  • Assessing the perceived impact of environmental risk (climate change) on major crop production and its corresponding impact on smallholders’ livelihoods.
  • Documenting farmers’ perceptions of risk transfer instruments and their preferred risk management strategies/instruments.
  • Assessing the barriers facing farmers in crop insurance.
  • Assessing the role of extension services, agricultural infrastructure including R&D in mitigating the environmental risk.
  • Reviewing the best international practices of risk management in agriculture for comparing with R4 initiative and contextualizing it to Pakistan.
  • Reviewing the role of social protection systems of Punjab in rural agriculture sector and identifying the opportunities for developing linkages with social safety nets.
  • Providing technical guidance and recommendations to WFP on most feasible entry points for integrated risk management.
Work/activities accomplished:
  1. Qualitative analysis (FGDs, KIIs, IDIs from Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan)
  2. Quantitative analysis (House hold survey from Muzaffargarh)
  3. Data Analysis
  4. Report Writing
Team Members: 
Dr. Sajid Amin Javed, Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Irfan Ahmad Chatha and Syed Mohsin Ali