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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.

Slow to learn
By: Editorial

If Pakistan were to be assessed by an educational psychologist he or
she may conclude that as a nation it was a slow learner. ‘Slow learner’
describes students that have the ability to learn, but do so at a rate
and depth that is below the average of their peers of the same age. They
need more time, frequent repetition and more resources from their
teachers to be successful. Their reasoning skills are delayed making new
concepts difficult to grasp, and they may have an impairment of
perceptions of self worth, as well as presenting behaviours that are
‘acting out’ and a form of denial. There is also a tendency to repeat
the same mistakes, and the floods of 2014 and the collective response to
them at the federal and provincial level conforms broadly to the slow
learner model outlined above.

Over the last five years Pakistan has suffered a succession of
weather events which in and of themselves were not necessarily
‘extreme’, but which for a complex nexus of reasons had extreme
consequences. All are associated with an annual event — the monsoon —
and all involved large bodies of water moving down the Indus River
system in both India and Pakistan. All have produced catastrophic floods
whose effects are now cumulative, with ample empirical evidence that
communities are taking longer to recover each time they are inundated,
poverty indicators rise as does food insecurity, and homes destroyed are
not replaced on a ‘build back better’ basis where they are replaced at
all. The cycle of flooding is not going to abate and is going to
continue year-on-year, and in all likelihood worsen as the effects of
global warming begin to massively affect the countries of the

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), based in
Islamabad, has recently looked in detail at events that occurred in the
floods of 2010. Officials both federal and provincial opined that ‘poor
planning’ lay behind much of the dysfunctionality and bad
decision-making which magnified rather than mitigated the effects of the
flood. There was insufficient temporary shelter with families waiting
days under open skies before getting any relief. When the IDPs
eventually returned to their homes or what was left of them and
approached local NGOs and government departments, they found there was
minimal coordination between the public and private sectors with the
consequence that many fell through the gaps in service provision.
Humanitarian services in some places were ‘influenced’ by major
landowners, causing some NGOs to decide to withdraw. Disaster management
committees that had Plan A and a backup Plan B, found themselves
undercut when ‘higher authorities’ imposed Plan C — for which they were

Despite the floods Pakistan is rapidly becoming a water-poor nation,
and responses to both flooding and water management generally tend to be
reactionary and tokenistic, driven by short-term political expediency
rather than the joined-up thinking so desperately needed. The dams that
should have been built were not; the ones that were built are poorly
maintained. The challenges presented by climate change are
cross-generational and transcend cycles of electoral governance.
Slow-learning Pakistan is going to be repeatedly struck by disasters
that are essentially the same every time, only varying in magnitude.

Earthquakes are unpredictable, the monsoon and its effects entirely
predictable and with considerable accuracy, and the response to them can
and should be better than it is. Services such as Rescue 1122 which is
now well established in Punjab need to be rolled out and appropriately
equipped and trained nationally. The National Disaster Management Agency
(NDMA) in response to the 2010 floods issued in 2013 a National
Disaster Risk Reduction Policy that details how to respond to future
extreme events by reducing the risks associated with them, and is an
excellent building block in what needs to be a much larger planning and
implementation process. Slow learners do — eventually — learn, but it
can be a painful process for all concerned.

Source :

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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.