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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 national challenge of internal displacement
By: Akseeb Jawed

With every chill that a jackal faces, a conviction to build a shelter is
endangered—and that conviction remains a conviction throughout his
life. So is the case in Pakistan, with the supreme authorities. They are
so true to their political verdicts that they never touch them, lest
they should. The issue of IDPs is not new for Pakistan as over the last
decade, it has experienced large scale involuntary internal displacement
caused by a range of factors including Afghan refugee crisis of 1979,
military operation against militants in Malakand region of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Province in 2009, and again in 2010 when worst flooding hit
the country dislocating 7 million people from the affected territory.
Most recently, there is no let up of people getting displaced as a
result of 2014 flooding.
We live in twenty first century, for crying out loud. Floods do not come
unannounced anymore as Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD)
predict(s) them beforehand. Neither do military operations like Rah-e-
Rast and Zarb-i-Azab happen of their own accord. They are pre planned.
All that their predictions ensure is a greater damage as compared to
previous years. This year, according to officials, the figure of
affected population in Punjab has reached to 1,735,893. These are the
exact reasons as to why hundred and thousands of people claim the status
of IDPs every year–which is unavoidable in such circumstances. This
give rise to a very genuine question—then why do our government
authorities act like pigeons in the face of a cat when issues boil down
to chaos.
IDPs have always been used as political pawns—they were considered as
trophies for getting international aid. In case of Pakistan,
humanitarian assistance has always been a highly political activity. It
has always influenced our political economy—and has always been
influenced by the political considerations of donor governments.
Nevertheless, one of the government’s main humanitarian responsibilities
during natural disasters and wartime is to take care of internally
displaced persons (IDPs).
According to officials, in the wake of military operation Zarb-i-Azam
almost 10, 16,611 people have been displaced to the towns of Banu, Laky
Marwat, Tank, Dera Islamil Khan, Peshawar, and other parts of the
country. Similarly, as per National Disaster Management Authority
approximately 618,072 people have been evacuated so far as a result of
on going 2014 flood. The humanitarian principles of neutrality and
impartiality are under constant assault as stark difference between the
amount and type of humanitarian assistance given to Pakistan during
acute crisis of IDPs shows that humanitarian aid has never been
disbursed solely on the basis of need. Similarly, when aid agencies,
NGOs, and humanitarian organizations take responsibility for the welfare
of populations, the disaster is reframed as humanitarian and the
political responsibilities which leaders have to their people are
Aid may also cause inter and intra societal tensions by undermining
horizontal relations between communities and between sub-groups within
communities. As a result of its potential to have significant impacts on
the conflict dynamic and because of its humanitarian value, aid
distribution is a politically sensitive issue. Prendergast warns that if
‘there is a perception (accurate or not) of unbalanced aid
provisioning’ then ‘competition and suspicion in resource-scarce
environments’ can result. Gandhi Said, see no evil, hear no evil, speak
no evil, greatly moved by this three wise monkeys corporate Mantra, our
government every time we face a crisis stops seeing, hearing, and
speaking altogether for crisis classifies as evil. The big guns suffer
from some malignant illness. Moreover, there is little incentive for
leaders to even begin thinking about the welfare of their people if
international aid agencies and NGOs assume all responsibilities when
crisis erupt. Indeed, it is probably in the interest of local
authorities to encourage such external dependency as it enables them to
maintain compliant populations in areas that they control.
Our disaster management policies are in some safe place, under a lock
and key and God knows where they find implementation. Likewise, common
man might wonder who formulates the mechanism of aid disbursement, how
are things distributed among people and who evaluates these matters? The
solution to these queries is again, almost priceless and is hidden away
in some secret dungeon lest it should be harmed in any way. Pakistan is
a country swarming with IDPs and refugees, and quiet shockingly, the
policies are lying on the shelf of Ministries, collecting dust. We are
given so much aid from the foreign world every year—and we spend it so
lavishly and only lavishly, I must say because it never manages to meet
the necessities of calamity, stricken, poor people, incapable of
All we have for the refugees and IDPs is a bunch of tall claims and loud
announcements made by our political parties regarding Utopian aid. As a
nation we do possess the capacity and potential to deal with the crisis
of IDPs.
The ministry of SAFRON is particularly looking after this issue.
Moreover, different projects like Refugee Affected in Hosting Areas
(RAHA), are initiated to bring IDPs out of their miseries. As a result
of 2014 floods national and international aid started pouring in. There
is a need to properly handle and disburse this aid in a justifiable way
and to make these projects sustainable because once the project is
completed there is no looking back and the condition of IDPs will
Furthermore, the policy makers should also take in to account the
suggestions of stakeholders which include the IDPs as well. In this way
the policy decision would also get their perspective and know exactly
where and what amount of aid is required. This will save them from
working and wasting their efforts in wrong areas. Furthermore, there is a
dire need to support enforcement of policy at ground level to prevent
entry of people who are a direct or indirect threat to the Pakistani
community and to national security; and a contribution to the
government’s efforts in relation to counter terrorism activities through
the use of information, intelligence and technology, will save Pakistan
from different man-made disasters.
On a serious note, please start acknowledging the worth of human lives.
These masses look up to you for you are their rulers. Have some
compassion for them and take a step forward for their real benefit.
Build the shelter before the chill smothers your breath!

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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.