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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 Accountability.


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.

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

Social Assessment of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF-III)

Partner: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF)

Year: 2012

Locale: Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar, Ghizer, DI Khan, Swat, Bahawalpur, D.G Khan, Layyah, Sanghar and Tharparkar

Introduction:   

As one of the largest sources of pro-poor spending in the country, the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is claimed to be the lead agency for initiatives related to poverty reduction in Pakistan. It embodies the spirit of public-private partnership to address the multi-dimensional issues of poverty with a view to achieving social and economic change. PPAF has progressively organized its endeavors to develop a multi-sectoral poverty alleviation strategy by integrating its operations through structural alignment of its development functions. Among other things one of the most critical steps is to develop PPAF’s own result framework and adopting an outcome-based approach. This strategic visioning is predicated by a strong feeling to move from output-based development to impact oriented approach and hence it becomes more relevant today than ever to conduct a thorough social assessment study.

A third party Social Assessment study was designed by PPAF, under the scope of World Bank supported projects in Pakistan. For this purpose, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has been outsourced by PPAF to furnish Social Assessment report in 10 randomly selected districts across Pakistan. This social assessment will inform the project design on strategies for social and economic empowerment of the rural poor. The key purpose of the social assessment is to analyze social issues, institutional viability of grass root organizations to undertake socially responsible development in line with PPAF core values of inclusion, accountability, good governance, transparency and environmental conscientization.

The assessment study would also allow for information disclosure, stakeholder consultation and to address the conformity with PPAF standard social safety measures vis-à-vis voluntary/involuntary resettlement, up-rootedness of indigenous people and social conflict that a PPAF funded intervention may ensue.

The Social Assessment Study will be conducted in 10 selected districts against PPAF criteria include Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar, Ghizer, DI Khan, Swat, Bahawalpur, D.G Khan, Layyah, Sanghar and Tharparkar. The interventions i.e. CPI, WEU, Education, health and Micro-credit will be assessed against predefined criteria and indictors.

Objectives:

The overarching aim of the social assessment study is to analyze social issues, and institutional viability of grass root organizations to undertake socially responsible development in line with PPAF core values of inclusion, accountability, good governance, transparency and environmental conscientization.

The social structure and institutional dynamics will objectively be assessed during the course of this study. The overall objective of the social assessment is to incorporate the human and social dimensions more fully in the design of PPAF interventions. To this end, the assessment will identify key social and institutional issues and stakeholder groups.

South Asian Network on Sustainability and Responsibility (SANSAR)

PartnerPrakruthi (India)CSR Centre (Bangladesh), Afghan Civil Society Support (CACSS)

Year: 2012

Introduction:   

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an emerging concept in Pakistan. More companies are developing their CSR policies as well as investing in increasing percentages of gross sales for community services and sustainable development.

Under this programme, a network was born out of the need to improve the sustainability of value chains, especially in the South Asian countries.

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 (CACSS) from Afghanistan.

SANSAR, officially launched on 29th March, 2012 in Bangalore, India, is an initiative in the right place at the right time. In 2012, Pakistan has drafted its own national CSR voluntary guidelines on the economic, social and environmental responsibilities of business. SANSAR is ideally placed to demonstrate the link between CSR, sustainability and poverty alleviation, and partner with businesses to initiate change in the region to bring about inclusive solutions. Its vision is:  “A world in which Sustainable & Responsible Business is the norm, the network’s mission hence is to promote the understanding and practice of Economic, Social and Environmental Responsibilities of Business.”

The main objective of it is ‘raising awareness for CSR interventions and activities addressing social and environmental issues’, and the core strategies through which it will achieve objectives are identified as:

  • Policy Outreach
  • Media Action
  • Research Update/Actions
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Lobby Stakeholders
  • Direct action
  • Capacity Building
  • Research
  • Networking

Best practices and strategies have to be shared to inspire the stakeholders to commit themselves to work on practical solutions on the producers’ side as well as the consumers’ side of the value chain.

National chapters of SANSAR are now being set up in all founding countries. Membership to SANSAR National chapters will be through different categories. The main members will be CSOs, Academia and Foundation of Corporates who actively work with links in commodity or industry value chains.

SANSAR-Pakistan:

SDPI, a founder member of SANSAR, has recently launched the Pakistan chapter of SANSAR. SANSAR-Pakistan was launched recently in Islamabad with the objective to strengthen the network and raise awareness on the subject. In this regard, SDPI conducted a series of talk-shows, which were aired through SDTV and are available online. Currently, 63 applications for membership have been received, out of which 43 organizations/institutions/bodies have been awarded membership.

Objective:

  • To contextualize CSR in Pakistan by encouraging corporate sector to act responsibly

Activities:

  • After having conducted research on CSR, SDPI initiated advocacy campaigns
  • Talk Shows on CSR through SDTV
  • A countrywide campaign to raise awareness

Recommendations:

  • CSR should be included in syllabi of business schools.
  • Regulations should be framed to strengthen more business-friendly approach through tax deduction and awards.
  • Nationwide awareness campaigns should be launched to bring businesses on board and instigate a consumer driven demand for CSR compliant products.
  • There should be SAARC branding of CSR compliant products. This will encourage trade of CSR compliant products.

To become a member of SANSAR Pakistan please fill out the form. You may send in soft copies of the filled form at main@sdpi.org or by post to: Taimur Chambers Plot # 10-D (WEST),Fazal-ul-Haq Rd, Islamabad

Corporate Conscience: CSR in Pakistan A study

Partner: Prakruthi (India)

Duration: Jan 2010 to Jul 2012

Team Member:  Afshan Ahmad

Introduction:   

CSR is an emerging concept in Pakistan. The potential for CSR in a developing country automatically calls for a greater role of large businesses in addressing the issues faced by the societies they operate in. The trend for CSR related activities is increasing, both in terms of more companies developing CSR policies and investing in increasing percentages of gross sales to community service and sustainable development.

The purpose of the study is to contextualize Corporate Social Responsibility in Pakistan. The report “Corporate Conscience: CSR in Pakistan – A study” 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.

New study by SDPI: CSR in Pakistan

Estimating Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) of Stipend Program for the Secondary School Girls of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Partner: UNDP

Duration: January 2012 to December 2012

Locale: Districts of KP

Introduction:

A stipend programme for secondary school girls in seven districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was framed during 2006-07. The programme, which aims to increase secondary school enrolments of females was a part of the Mid Term Development Framework to help reduce the gender imbalances so that the development process could work on a more equitable basis. For the year 2007-08, the province had 57% literacy rate for males and 20% for females. The fundamental reason for this low female literacy rate is poverty as the girls have to work with their parents to earn the basic necessities of life. The stipend programme intends to provide opportunity to the girls from poor families to get education.

Objectives:

  • To review the outputs and outcomes associated with the subject programme and suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of the programme
  • To review the overall performance of the programme in terms of its progress towards the targeted objectives and outcome indicators
  • To identify prospective change(s) required in the programme design and compensatory schemes to enhance the progress and meet the targets/expected outcomes within the programme timeframe.
  • To evaluate the transmission channels and its capacity to reach the poor; its impact on different groups of population and the analysis  of groups to benefit the most from them.
  • To analyze the educational as well as non-educational factors adding to or detracting from the intended impact of the programme
  • To evaluate the role played by the programme in reducing the gender gap in educational indicators.
  • To assess the monitoring & evaluation system associated with the programme and the risk factors, including the role of Parent Teacher Councils
  • To review the process of stipend distribution
  • To identify the actions needed for the better implementation of recommendations taking into account the socioeconomic and institutional factors

Activities:

  • Primary data collection
  • Publication of a  report on PSIA programme
  • Disseminate findings of the study

Findings:

The results of the present study show that 81% of females are indulged in household chores whereas 10% spends time in non-farm activities to support their families. The information from FGDs reveals that in several families, secondary schoolgirls work in informal labour markets to support their families. This is a key reason for high dropout rate particularly in the poorest regions. The poorest segment wants their children to visit their schools regularly, but financial restraints curtail them. The poorest living in conflict-hit areas received least transfer payments. Moreover, the amount of stipend was not assessed or revised on scientific basis.

Recommendations:

  • A committee, comprising representatives from relevant government departments and civil society representatives, should be formed to investigate reasons behind such lapses. The issues put forwarded by this committee should then be carefully addressed.
  • A public awareness campaign should be launched in hard areas to inform the neediest households about such transfer programmes, as officials cited the lack of financial resources as a key reason not to pursue an awareness campaign.

International publication:  An analysis of the social impact of the stipend program for secondary school girls of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa