CDPR is a non-profit association of independent researchers/policy advisors based in Pakistan.
Telephone: +92 (0) 42 35778180
Address: 19 A FCC Scheme, Maratab Ali Road, Gulberg IV, Lahore.
Funded by: IGC
Team Lead: Miriam Golden and Luke Sonnet
This project provides politicians in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province useful tools to gather actionable information about voter preferences over public goods and, reciprocally, provides voters high-value information about upcoming policy decisions.
The project is aimed at establishing potentially durable feedback linkages between voters and elected representatives that gives politicians more information about voter preferences, thereby allowing them to be more responsive. Improved responsiveness, in turn, potentially increases the likelihood of reelection for politicians who operate in a political environment that is highly unpredictable and characterized by disadvantages for the incumbent party.
Funded by: IGC
Team Lead: Ehsan Ullah Choudhry and Antonia Marasco
Duration: 2016 – 2017
This project undertakes extensive empirical analysis to explore the lucrative opportunity for Pakistan to lower barriers to trade, not only with India in the East, but also a number of countries (including China) in the West and North, which are accessible via westward land routes. East-West liberalization of Pakistan’s international trade could lead to a large expansion in imports and exports, and have a major impact on Pakistan’s economy.
This project has quantified the effects of East-West trade liberalization and explored the payoff available from this policy.
This research project analyzes what are (if any) ‘wider economic benefits’ of new road networks on a local economy. In Pakistan, it is commonly noted that construction of new road networks are influenced by political actors to facilitate their favorites. But at the moment there is no concrete evidence how the a construction of new road networks alter dynamics of local political economy. This research has aimed to fill this void.
From a policy perspective, state (policy makers) should prioritize allocation of resources for road networks in those places where it can generate positive externalities for majority of the people, especially for historically disadvantaged and marginalized segments of society.
Funded by: IGC
Team Lead: Turab Hussain, Syed Hassan and M. Usman Khan
The Rural Enterprise Study (RES) is an attempt to facilitate Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) to redefine its role as a business incubator/ coordinator that helps small firms in rural areas to improve their productivity and grow in size and scale. The RES is closely linked with research conducted by the International Growth Center (IGC) Pakistan and LUMS that are already engaged with PSIC on two projects. The first is an ongoing IGC-funded project, titled ‘Development of an electronic database of Industrial and Commercial Activity and a Spatial Analysis of Small and Cottage Industries in Punjab, Pakistan’, and the second is the upcoming ‘PSIC Diagnostic Study’. these studies with the eventual objective of producing a panel data set that serves as a quantitative tool to inform industrial policy across the Punjab.
Objectives of this study were to identify constraints and facilitate growth of small businesses, which in turn would contribute to overall economic growth. With a strong buy-in/ traction from PSIC and the Planning and Development Department (P&DD) of the Punjab Government, this study is also in line with the IGC Pakistan’s current research priorities and will help deepen its involvement in the Industrial Sector in the Punjab.
Funded by: IGC
Team Lead: Ammar Anees Malik and James Witte
Duration: 2018 – 2019
This project aimed to establish proof of concept regarding the feasibility and utility of conducting robust economic censuses in Pakistan’s cities and exploring and documenting clusters of economic activity within Peshawar’s historic inner-city (focusing both on sectoral/industrial composition of businesses and the supply/demand for skilled labor).
In the absence of any current and reliable datasets on urban spatial form and patterns of economic activity within them, Pakistan’s policymakers are making decisions on the basis of at best incomplete and at worse misleading information. Major public investments, e.g., bus rapid transit systems, are planned and implemented without any concrete understanding of the demand and supply of trips in key urban job markets. The report that future project planning in cities across Pakistan could enhance productivity if policymakers took into account underlying economic factors.
Funded by: IGC
Team Lead: Karrar Hussain
Reducing the gender gap in politics, especially on voter turnout, remains a challenge in much of the developing world. A lack of information about public service delivery performance of politicians aligned to women’s preferences is one the reasons behind the low voter turnout rates for women.
Before the 2018 general elections in Pakistan, a randomization of electoral areas was done and a political campaign was run to inform women voters about the public service delivery performance of the incumbent politician. Results suggest that women’s turnout in the election increased substantially as a result of the information campaign as did the vote share of the incumbent.
Funded by: Pakistan Business Council (PBC)
Team Lead: Hasaan Khawar and Nadia Mukhtar
The focus of this study is the ready-made garments sector, which is an important component of the range of textiles that Pakistan produces and exports. Given that production in the garments segment is the most labour intensive, least energy- and capital-intensive and generates the greatest value addition out of all the products in the textiles value chain (viz., yarn, grey cloth, finished fabrics and garments) and thus should play to Pakistan’s strength in resource endowment, what are the prospects for this sector going forward, especially in light of CPEC?
An in-depth exploration of the garments sector, which this study provides, is critical in understanding the state of overall industrial performance and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) firm capability, as well as international competitiveness of Pakistan’s manufacturing sector. It will also help in the formulation of sector specific policies.
Funded by: IGC
Team Lead: Sanval Nasim and Faiza Sharif
Conventional brick kilns—Bull’s Trench Kiln (BTK)—in Pakistan’s Punjab province are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and harmful particulates which exacerbate climate change and deteriorate ambient air quality, respectively.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has recently introduced a new kiln technology—Induced Draft Zigzag Kiln (IDZK)—in Nepal which is more energy efficient than conventional kilns. ICIMOD statistics suggest that IDZKs produce 25 percent more high-quality bricks, use 30 percent less fuel, and generate 70 percent less emissions compared to BTKs.
The SME sector in Pakistan employs around 80% of non-agricultural labour force and significantly contributes to the value-addition in manufacturing, total exports, and the country’s GDP. Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority’s (SMEDA) 2007 SME policy attempted to provide support to the SME sector in terms of easing regulations for doing business, providing improved access to finance, human resource development and technological upgrades, but due to coordination bottlenecks, its implementation failed. A revised SME policy that addresses the sector’s current challenges and opportunities is required, which is based on consultations with various intra-governmental departments, private sector organisations, and drawing from existing studies on the SME sector from organisations such as the Pakistan Skills Development Fund (PSDF) and donor-funded research.
Given the restrictive scope of civil servant trainings provided by the National School of Public Policy and Civil Services Academy, a training programme covering the entire civil servant base across all the grades is crucial to enhance coordination between top tier officials and frontline public servants for improved coordination across and within government departments to improve public service delivery. The formulation of an effective training framework for public sector employees requires creating institutional capacity to undertake this task, such as identifying needs for capacity development, making financial commitments, coming up with legal and regulatory frameworks, instituting processes to constantly review training curricula to keep it relevant and robust, identifying of training resources, etc. In order to inform decisions and reforms in these areas, a technical review, based on a rigorous scientific methodology of the existing structure, its gaps, and future prospects is proposed for a Training Needs Assessment (TNA).
Funded by: DFID
Team lead: Faisal Bari
An evaluation of DFID’s Punjab Education Sector Programme (PESP) is being undertaken in collaboration with Oxford Policy Management (OPM), Institute of Development Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) to gauge the progress of the programme and gauge coordination and implementation bottlenecks for devising a revised action plan where required. CDPR is playing an intrinsic role in the entire process by carrying out the stakeholder mapping and creating the communications strategy to identify, assign and measure the contribution each counterpart.
Funded by: IGC
Team lead: Masooma Habib
This study responds to a request by the department of education, government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan, to assess how the incentive structure for teachers and administrators can be improved to enhance student learning. The study will make recommendations based on findings from the national and international literature and analysis of data available in KP followed up by focus group discussions with department officials, administrators and teachers in the province. High performing schools will be identified to draw insights into the learning process and apply those to low performing schools. An assessment of the statutory rules will be made using this framework, regarding incentives to identify the core rules that would affect absenteeism and therefore learning outcomes.
Funded by: International Growth Centre (IGC)
Team lead: Hasaan Khawar
Leveraging CPEC for Punjab’s agricultural development first requires identifying the key complementarities between Pakistan’s supply and China’s demand so that investments are curtailed within those areas of agricultural development. This will enable the mapping of a canvas of opportunities in agriculture for Punjab vis a vis CPEC. CPEC is one of six routes along which Chinese investment is going to be carried out. CPEC’s long term plan includes a priority to agricultural improvement for reducing rural poverty. Through CPEC, Punjab government’s aim of increasing the growth rate from 2.1% to 7% can be achieved by 2020 by improving the quality of agricultural output to match international benchmarks. Access to resource optimizing technology and technical know-how will be given to farmers, in particular, water-saving machinery and support to revitalize low-yield land. Improving agricultural productivity, encouraging farmer-centric delivery and achieving private sector led growth, can be achieved through CPEC.
Funded by: International Growth Centre (IGC)
Team lead: Hasaan Khawar
CPEC is a platform for Pakistan’s provinces to provide Chinese firms an enabling business environment and access to markets, through infrastructure development and low cost labour. In exchange for these facilities, Pakistan will have access to Chinese financing, business experience and capacity, and technological upgrades. Pakistan must identify each province’s priorities towards industrial cooperation with Chinese investors based on their comparative strengths to set the direction of industrial development. Punjab’s priority lies in strengthening its private-sector led industrial development with a priority towards the textile-chain, garments sector. To establish a mutually beneficial industrial outcome, Punjab government must devise and implement policies geared to strengthen existing industries as well as incentivize promising industrial sectors with the aim of targeting market-failures and encouraging spillovers to make them sustainable and competitive in the long-run.
Funded by: World Bank
Team lead: Suleman Ghani
Pakistan’s tourism sector offers a wide-range of multi-cultural attractions from heritage sites to pristine natural beauty. However, the sector has not been able to garner adequate attention from tourists, despite Pakistan being the cheapest travel destination in the world. Currently, international tourism comprises 0.4% of Pakistan’s GDP, which creates a large space for developing and leveraging this sector to significantly contribute to Pakistan’s GDP. In order to harness the economic potential of this sector, a multi-sectoral approach is required to address the bottlenecks inhibiting the sector’s growth. These include targeted policy aimed to direct investment towards the renovation of dilapidated heritage sites and infrastructure to provide tourists safety and high quality accommodation and facilities. A tourism specific public-private partnership and better marketing strategies is essential to increase sector development competition, as well as to draw people to visit these places.
Garment manufacturing, the least energy and capital-intensive kind of industrial activity, is not realising its potential in Pakistan to grow the economy and create employment. To unlock the benefits of garments manufacturing on Pakistan’s economy, it must move up the value chain and compete in global export markets.
IGC-funded research in Punjab has helped digitize and analyze firm-level data on non-manufacturing economic activity across all 36 districts of the province. This information will contribute to existing survey data, and can be used to assist researchers as well as help develop more informed public policy.
Funded by: IGC Team Lead: Ijaz Nabi and Naved Hamid Duration: 2013-2014
Punjab’s growth strategy, in tandem with initiatives of the Federal Government, provides an adequate safety net for the bottom quintile of the population and aim for equitable development outcomes. The Government believes that Punjab’s full potential will only be achieved by improving governance in the public sector, in collaborations with the World Bank, to support a subset of the Government’s agenda.
Team leads: Hanid Mukhtar, Rashid Aziz, Shahid Sattar
There is a positive correlation between energy consumption and economic growth. However, Pakistan’s overreliance on natural gas in its energy mix has caused it to deplete rapidly – gas reserves will finish by the next decade at the current rate of consumption. The unfettered provision of gas to new households and particularly to the fertilizer industry – the highest consumers of gas – has led to the wastage of this resource. Though there has been a significant reduction of gas in the energy mix, gas continues to be wasted through leakages in pipelines. Levying tariffs, inviting investors to bid on energy prices, and taxing gas providers on the difference between the price charged to consumers and the price of purchasing can create incentives to explore new sources of gas to increase its supply.
There are direct and indirect costs associated with lack of or no access to grid electricity in Pakistan. These costs can be mitigated through introducing efforts to utilize energy efficiently and conservatively to reduce the burden on the grid and increase access to electricity, particularly for low income groups, who are subjected to long hours of load-shedding. Switching to renewable electricity generation for irrigation pumps and using energy efficient appliances will require coordinating with the producers of these goods as well as with the citizens to incentive the supply and usage of low electricity consuming technology. Energy conservation techniques should be adopted from countries such as UK, Malaysia and China, who are optimally producing and utilizing energy to meet the SDG energy goal by 2030.
Pakistan’s expenditure on service delivery investments are not only insufficient, they are also inefficient. Reasons are attributed to over spending on defence, industrial subsidies and the overall high domestic debt to which money is diverted towards. Additionally, the channels to finance investments in public goods are few. Ideally, financing such investments should be done through the revenues generated through prior development projects, but recovery of costs is slow. A reduction in completion time of development projects must be aimed to finance further investments and the need to improve fiscal management under devolution is required, with the urgent aim to increase property tax collections. Seeking increased foreign assistance to finance development projects is another viable option.