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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.

The 2010 floods: did we learn?
By: Saad Shabbir

Agriculturalists of Pakistan were still recovering from the damages
of 2010 floods when the news of another disaster spread panic among the
people of Sindh. They had not yet forgotten the painful experiences and
huge losses incurred four years ago. Just a week ago, in a study by Sustainable Development Policy Institute, I got to hear some horrific tales from the people of Sukkur, Shikarpur, and Jacobabad who survived the 2010 floods.

Four years is not a long time for a developing country like Pakistan
to recover from natural disasters. The residents could recall their
homes flooded with waist to neck high water as if it had happened
yesterday. The flood this year is not too different from the floods of
2010 in the sense that it has come around the same time when the rice
crops were about to be harvested. One could almost confuse it with deja
vu except the fact that it actually did happen once before. The flood
had ruined the crops and the fields causing huge losses to the farmers
and workers putting them under huge debts. The respondents shared that
barely 20 per cent of the losses have been recovered up till now.

As the relief work is underway with full throttle and the risk averse
plans are being devised, it is important to look back and see how
things operated back then, and what we have learnt and adopted to make
better decisions now and in future. Among the three cities surveyed,
Jacobabad and Shikarpur were the most affected by floodwaters. These
cities were evacuated: some people took refuge in Sukkur, the city which
was the closest, others went to Quetta, Hyderabad, Karachi, and
different parts of Punjab. Just before the floods hit these areas, many
opportune transporters took more than one lakh rupees in terms of cash,
livestock, or gold from the local families to take them to a safe haven
in place of the regular fare of about 20,000 rupees only. Of course,
these were not the only opportunists. Once these families reached the
relief camps, they spent days under the sky before getting a temporary
shelter. Some of these families who did not have enough cash on their
hands to demand a better treatment were given the option to sacrifice
their women, whether for money or for sex.

A couple of months later when these poor souls returned to their
homes they were approached by local NGOs and government officials for
rehabilitation. Little did they know that these angels will only be able
to provide them with hope instead of necessary aid. The IDPs who
returned to their homes were issued ‘watan’ cards by the government, a
step that begs commendation. However, the ground realities were a bit
different. The beneficiaries received only one out of the three promised
instalments. Some lucky ones got the second one too. The NGOs managed
to provide basic food items, cutlery, and temporary shelter. In
Jacobabad, humanitarian services of some NGOs were influenced by the big
landlords, which eventually led NGOs quit or they were blacklisted.
There was minimal coordination between the private and government
institutions which resulted in complete negligence of relief in some
areas.

The officials believed that poor planning was the main issue behind
the massive destruction caused by the 2010 floods. Even though the
residents were informed about the floods, they did not take the message
too seriously until the water was waist high in their homes. A local
official in command said that they were taken off guard when the
disaster management committee, which had a ready contingency plan A and a
backup plan B, were faced with a plan C for which they were not
prepared, a decision by the higher authorities.

We cannot fully prevent floods but with systematic planning and
coordination the losses by floods can be reduced. It would help the
affectees if they are informed about the locations of relief camps so
that they can easily access the closest camps instead of selling all
their valuables to pay transporters.

Source : http://tribune.com.pk/story/764054/the-2010-floods-did-we-learn/

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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.