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: USAID
Team lead: Turab Hussain
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.
Funded by: UNDP
Team lead: Suleman Ghani
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.
Punjab’s growth strategy also has to provide, in tandem with initiatives of the Federal Government, 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.