SPDC has created a niche for itself by producing quality social sector research. Objective and original research on developmental issues has been its hallmark and the influence on the national and provincial policies clearly visible.
Integrated Social Policy and Macroeconomic Model (ISPM): a pioneering effort
SPDC developed expertise in social sector/macro-economic modelling by developing an Integrated Social Policy and Macroeconomic Model (ISPM) which was considered internationally to be a pioneer effort and was highlighted at the Project LINK Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1996 and also by the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Its unique features are the modelling of the interaction between the macroeconomic indicators, public finance data, and the social sector. The model can be used as an effective planning tool for social sector development as it provides the basic framework for analyzing the implications of economic measures on the long-term development of Pakistan's social sectors. A tailored version of this model has been used by the Planning Commission of Pakistan in preparation of the Ten Year Perspective Plan and the macroeconomic framework of the Ninth Five-Year Plan. Additionally, the model was used by the ‘Panel of Economists’ formed by the Government of Pakistan. Contribution of SPDC was acknowledged in ‘Interim Report on Economic Stabilization with a Human Face’, Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan.
Comprehensive Review of the Social Action Programme (SAP):
SPDC evaluates public sector initiatives in social sector development. In 1997, it conducted a comprehensive review of the Social Action Programme (SAP). Several of its recommendations were incorporated in Phase II of the SAP. SPDC also conducted a critical review of Pakistan's Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Contributing to the Debate on Poverty and Pro-poor Growth:
SPDC has worked on various aspects of poverty, inequality, and pro-poor growth. Its research mainly focuses on definitional issues in estimating poverty line, various dynamics of poverty and inequality, poverty trends, poverty at sub-national levels, poverty and inequality nexus, social development and economic growth, social safety nets and regional inequalities. The findings helped initiate informed debate on issues related to poverty, inequality and pro-poor growth and have contributed in placing these issues on the national policy agenda. SPDC’s work on poverty was used by the government in preparing the ‘Three Year Poverty Reduction Program 2001‐04’ and by provincial governments in preparing the provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.
Nomination of Key SPDC Staff to Government Fora:
SPDC’s capability and capacity as a premier policy analysis institute is reflected by the nomination of key SPDC staff members to more than 30 commissions, committees, task forces and other forums established by federal and provincial governments over the years. The committees/commissions constituted were mainly in the field of resource mobilization, expenditure management, inter-governmental fiscal relations, poverty alleviation, data base development, socio-economic development and women issues.
Technical Assistance in the Formulation of NFC Award:
SPDC provided technical assistance to the federal and provincial governments in the formulation of NFC Award of 1996 and technical assistance to Government of Sindh regarding 7th NFC Award 2009. SPDC also provided technical assistance to the Government of Sindh in the formulation of the Provincial Finance Commission Award besides preparing studies/reports on provincial/ local finances and social service delivery.
Additionally, SPDC’s work on Development Ranking of the Districts was used by Government of Sindh in preparing formula for resource distribution among districts and was incorporated in PFC (Provincial Finance Commission) Award 2002.
International Technical Assistance:
SPDC provided technical assistance to the Government of Eritrea in developing the capacity of the National Statistics and Evaluation Office, Eritrea. Technical assistance to Eritrea focused on developing survey tools for the Living Standards Measurement Survey and analyzing the data for assessment of poverty indicators. SPDC also provided technical assistance to Macro Policy and International Cooperation Office of the Government of Eritrea in preparing the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy paper for Eritrea.
Training on Gender Responsive Budgeting:
SPDC pioneered specialized training on Gender Responsive Budgeting in Pakistan. A series of training workshops and seminars were conducted in this particular area to train government officials, people from CSOs, academia and SPDC staff.
• Task Force on Sindh Revenue Services.
• Pre-STEP Research Advisory Council, Pre-STEP Organization, Islamabad.
• National Policy Advisory Group on Strengthening Federalism in Pakistan, Centre for Civic Education Pakistan.
• Executive Committee, Media Women Publishers and Journalist Organization (MWPJO).
• Technical Group on Poverty Assessment - Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning and Development, Government of Pakistan.
• Technical Advisory Committee, Social Safety Nets - Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform, Government of Pakistan.
• National Panel on the Economy of Tomorrow, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Islamabad.
• Research Advisory Services for Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad.
• Board of Studies of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Ziauddin University, Karachi.
• Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) of the Enhanced Democratic Accountability and Civic Engagement (EDACE) Project for Sindh.
• Board of Directors, Institute of Policy Reforms, Lahore.
• Pakistan Policy Group (PPG) Envisioning Afghanistan Post 2014, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).
• Academic Council, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education (DIHE)-Karachi.
• Chair, Research Committee (CRC), Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Chair, University of Karachi.
• Policy Advocacy Group on Formation of NTM / NTBs, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Karachi.
• Committee for PhD Candidates, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Karachi.
• The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) was established by the government largely to alleviate poverty through income generation projects for the rural poor. SPDC was represented on the board and was responsible for assisting in developing policy and criteria for selecting such projects.
• SPDC actively participated as members of groups/sub-groups formed to prepare the Five-year (2005-2010) Development Plan for Pakistan.
• SPDC was part of the co-ordination group to implement Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-II) in 23 districts of Sindh, and to establish the Baseline for Socio-economic Status of Districts, Government of Sindh.
• SPDC was part of the Provincial Steering Committee on Strengthening Poverty Reduction Strategy Monitoring, Government of Sindh.
• SPDC was part of the Technical Committee on Survey of Social, Recreational Community and Personal Services, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.
• SPDC was part of the Technical Committee for Change of the Base of Price Indices, Government of Pakistan.
• Members of SPDC have served on the Panel of Economists, Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan.
• SPDC served as an external peer reviewer of World Bank's new Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) for Pakistan.
• Committee of Experts constituted by federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the formulation of Voluntary Code of Conduct for Electronic Media.
• National Coordination Committee (NCC), Implementation of SAARC Social Charter.
• Advisory Board, Pani Pakistan-a Water Consortium.
• International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Advisory Group.
• Provincial Steering Committee on Gender Reforms Ministry of Women Development, Social Welfare and Special Education, Government of Pakistan.
• Governance Institutes Network International (GINI) Governance Curriculum & Executive Education Network.
• Working Group on Medium Term Macroeconomic Framework for the Next Five Year Plan, Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan.
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