SDPI ranked 1st in Pakistan, 15th in South East Asia and the Pacific, 99th among global think tanks

Islamabad, January 31, 2019 (PPI-OT): The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) ranked 1st in Pakistan, 15th among South East Asia and the Pacific and 99 among global (non-US) think tanks, according to the 13th edition of University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) released across the world on today.

The 2018 GGTTI is based on the ranking done from 8162 think tanks (TT) registered with GGTTI from across the globe, selected through a rigorous criterion. The GGTTI team say the reasons for the recent decline in number of think tanks worldwide include: Political and regulatory environment growing hostile to think tanks in many countries, decreasing funding for policy research by public and private donors, public and private donors tendency toward short-term, project-specific funding instead of investing in ideas and institutions, underdeveloped institutional capacity, increased competition and institutions having served their purpose and discontinued their operations. The report concluded that there were more issues, more actors, more competition, and more conflicts and those who could manage competitive challenges, resource challenges, and technological challenges would be able to remain relevant to their domestic, regional and global audience.

Launching the 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index report, the Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said: “Despite all constraints faced by global civil society and think tanks, SDPI has retained its ranking in the index over a couple of years and emerged as the 44th among best quality assurance and integrity policies and procedures, 51st among TTs to watch in 2019 and the 53rd among top independent think tanks. SDPI has clinched the 99th position among top global think tank (non-US).” In this category, SDPI is the only institute in Pakistan that has been included in the list of 144 top non-US global think tanks. Top among them is French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Bruegel (Belgium) and Chatham House (UK). The Brookings Institution, USA, is ranked as top think tank of the world.

Out of 25 policy research think tanks (TTs) SDPI has been ranked the best in the country. Other Pakistani think tanks who got ranked in various categories and in the regional ranking index include: Pakistan Institute for International Affairs, SPDC, IPS, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Centre for Research on Economic and social transformation, Jinah Institute, Lead Pakistan, Applied Economic Research Centre, Area Study Centre for Far East, International Solutions Institute, and Policy Research Institute of Market Economy.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson Board of Governors of SDPI, former Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said, “It is a matter of pride that SDPI has continuously been ranked among top 100 thinks tanks in the world and in top 20 in South East Asia and the Pacific. Though, SDPI has been facing ups and downs in terms of resource constraints but the dedication of its staff, sector experts and leadership duly supported and guided by its vibrant board of governors made it possible for the Institute to retain its status among top think tanks.”

SDPI has been placed at the 67th as the world’s top environment policy TT and stands at 60th position for the best institutional collaborator. SDPI’s position is 65th among the best advocacy campaigning think tanks, 64th for the best use of media, 78th with the best external relations, 83rd for the best social media use, 101st position as social policy think tank, and 143rd among top domestic economic policy think tanks globally. SDPI has also been enlisted among top Food Security Think Tanks.

Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, Chairman of Vice Chancellor’s Committee of 192 Pakistani universities and Rector, International Islamic University commended SDPI’s achievement in international rankings. He said it is a matter of great pride for whole nation that a Pakistani research institute secured its ranking among top 100 think tanks of the world. He said SDPI’s top ranking among league of top notch research institutes is a good example of soft image of Pakistan, which should be supported and recognized. Universities in Pakistan need to revisit their research work and curriculum as per need of the society amid 4th industrial revolution, he added.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI further said we are thankful to our development partners, policy makers, experts, Board of Governor and staff for their role in helping SDPI to retain and improve its ranking over last few years. Now SDPI is a trusted brand networked with donor and development community, private sector including chambers of commerce and industry, parliament, governments, political parties, media and larger civil society. “We assure our partners that we would continue to deliver quality work in future to be ranked prestigiously,” said Dr Suleri.

Dr Shafqat Munir, Research Fellow, SDPI said GGTTI’s 2018 global ranking has observed that the space is shrinking for civil society and think tanks and funding is receding which are causing capacity issues. He said this situation tantamount to undermine the importance of think tanks. If the situation persists, then the think tanks may not be in a position to play their role of bridging policy and practice gap amid rising populism and protectionism, signaling a challenge to multilateralism, he added.

“There are certain other challenges such as growing trade tensions, economic turbulence, increasing economic inequality, climate change, mass migration and refugee crises, as well as traditional and non-traditional security threats, demand that countries and institutions cooperate more regularly and effectively. These challenges need policy solutions and if the think tanks would continue to be undermined, then these challenges will remain unaddressed,” said Dr Shafqat.

For more information, contact:
Coordinator, Policy Advocacy and Outreach
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
38 Embassy Road, G-6/3 Islamabad, Pakistan
Postal Code: 44000
Tel: +92-51-2278134 (Ext: 113)
Fax: +92-51-2278135
Cell: +92-333-559 2210