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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.

Role of information technology and social media in deadly COVID-19 crisis

Almost two hundred countries are under siege by nature and in most of the Countries, governments implemented complete lockdown or curfew to stop the further transfer of deadly corona virus which started from China and took over all developed, developing and under developed countries. Rich, poor, healthy, regular patients, physically strong or even weak persons are under attack and virus is targeting everybody without any discrimination.

According to updated statistics almost one million people are affected either with mild or serious health threats by Corona virus and numbers are rapidly increasing. People all over the world are either in self or forced isolation or being quarantined. Middle and lower working labor force from mechanical, technical and civil sectors is badly affected and facing financial crisis which are increasing day by day.

However, back-office and desk job working class is trying their level best to provide their services and complete assignments and projects online to meet their targets and deadlines. Professionals from sales, marketing, research, teaching and many more sectors are using modern tools of technology and different social media applications to run their routine work from their homes. The role and cooperation from top management of these sectors is also very effective and supportive during working from home situation.

Although there are some public and private sectors where physical appearance in offices is necessary. But for back office work, during disasters and communicable or viral diseases, with the use of modern technology, homes are best places to work and complete back office assignments and deadlines.In current pandemic crisis, modern tools and equipment of science and technology are available so majority of working class is contributing with their efforts to run the system with zeal and zest.

According to aninternational data provider for technology and telecommunications, in 2019, Pakistan was at the top 18th position in worldwide ranking in terms of smart phone whereas China is at number one position with the number of 851.15 million smart phone users.

According to latest data from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), there are almost 165 million cellular subscribers in Pakistan including 76 Million 3G and 4G subscribers and 3 Million basic telephony subscribers. Total 78 Million broadband subscribers are using internet facilities and numbers areincreasing in Pakistan.

With these internet and smart phone facilities and high number of smart phone users, there is a lot of potential in Pakistan to use modern online meeting and work from home facilities. We have online meeting, webinar and video conference call software and tools which can be used on computers and at smart phones as well. Lot of mobile applications are also available to run all these soft-wares easily on smart phones.

Use of social media can also be very helpful in current lock-down situation. Modern social media tools can also be positively utilized for work from home. As per the PTA statistics, the details of social media users are also very interesting as there are almost 36 Million Facebook users with 79% male & 21% female users. 6.3 Million Instagram users with the ratio of 67% male and 33% female. 5.10 million LinkedIn users 83% male and 17% female users and 1.26 Million WhatsApp users including 82% male and 18% female. Snapchat has also 2.15 Million users 56% Male 42% Female.

All these above-mentioned social media tools can also be utilized for marketing, sales, meeting, live streaming and meetings. Usually people use these social media tools negatively. Government should ensure that users do not use social media to create any panic or any propaganda.

According to updated statistics almost one million people are affected either with mild or serious health threats by Corona virus and numbers are rapidly increasing

Keeping social distancing in mind, safe and secure online working environment is very important in current health emergency and crisis. With the development of information technology, world has turned into a global village. So, it does not matter either user is working from office or working from home. Internet technology and tools are almost same. The difference is only cyber and data security. As in office, we have professionals who manage to secure all data and confidential information with the use of modern data security tools. While working from home, remote IT support is available but, it is little bit difficult to maintain same standards of data management and cyber security.

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in its Annual Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) titled, Sustainable Development in a Digital Society, organized a panel on Cyber Security and Cyber Crime in a Digital Society. The session was participated by junior and senior specialists, consultants and professionals in the field of information technology. Policy makers, regulators, mobile service providers and the military representatives also attended the session. The participants critically analyzed the global and Pakistan’s current cyber security scenario and made some important policy recommendations which were later forwarded to relevant public and department and to policy makers.

With the consideration of these recommendations, the use of information technology and social media can become more safe and secure and can prevent cyber-crimes.

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.