Academic outreach & engagement
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  • 1. Academic Outreach & Engagement The Case of SDPI Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad March 2014
  • 2. 2 Outline Think tanks in Pakistan Think tank – University Collaboration • SDPI MoUs with Universities Regional Initiatives Faculty Development Student Engagement
  • 3. Work close to both government and community Gaps between government and community Specific issue depending upon political economy Produce evidence-based research Official data Researcher’s own data Evaluation of program implementation Communicating evidence Policy advocacy Branding of policy issues 3 How think tanks work?
  • 4. 4 Think Tanks in Pakistan How they are different from universities? 3 core activities of think tanks Elevator pitch
  • 5. Build government’s capacity Pull and push strategies for reforms Demand and supply for research 5 Helping the Government
  • 6. 6
  • 7. 7 Think – Tank University Collaboration • HEC Framework • Working on geographical niche – UAF – SDPI on agriculture trade with India – IMSciences – SDPI on business in conflict areas • Collaboration venues – Implementing sustainable development (AAWAZ Programme)
  • 8. 8 Regional Initiatives Track-II diplomacy: Making Pakistan Regionally Relevant
  • 9. South Asia Economic Summit Sri Lanka: Institute of Policy Studies Bangladesh: Center for Policy Dialogue India: Research and Information Systems Nepal: South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment Afghanistan: Afghanistan Research Evaluation Unit 9 South Asian Davos
  • 10. • South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) • Regional trade agreements • Transit trade agreements • Energy corridor negotiations • SAARC Food Bank • Indo-Pak Water Dialogue Regional policy research and advocacy initiatives 10
  • 11. 11 Faculty Development
  • 12. Sabbatical arrangements at SDPI with linkages at: Planning Commission Ministry of Commerce Ministry of Finance Ministry of Water and Power Ministry of Food Security and Research Ministry of Climate Change 12 Visiting Fellowship
  • 13. University- led sessions University of Zurich South Asia University United Nations University Boston University London School of Economics University of Laval Theme: Pathways to Sustainable Development • Key partners: HEC, UN, World Bank, ADB, IDRC, UK DFID, USAID, Chambers of Commerce, Media • Dates: 9-11th December 2014 • Venue: SDPI, Islamabad • Hosted 3200 guests at 16th SDC. Attended by President of Pakistan and 7 Federal Ministers 13 17th Sustainable Development Conference
  • 14. University – Think tanks Joint Proposals IDRC Canada ESRC UK Academy of Sciences China US State Department SAARC Human Resource Development Centre Sustainable Development Solutions Network 14 Joint “Policy” Research
  • 15. Center for Capacity Building NGOs Policy research & advocacy Universities Executive trainings for university support staff Chambers of Commerce University – industry nexus 15 “Niche” Capacity Development
  • 16. 16 For the Students… • Summer Camp Initiative – Research – Communications • SDPI-IDRC Fellowships • Placements and Job Fairs • Taught courses via Web-ex • Engagement via social media – Students respond more to twitter and facebook
  • 17. You have strong urge to remain policy-relevant You wish to work closely with both government and communities At the end of the day you wish to preserve your identity as an academic 17 Why work for a think tank?
  • 18. • Why policy makers do not act? – Rent seeking – Fear of losing votes – Lack of demand for reforms • How to convince policy makers? – Social accountability – Working with civil servants (Finding Champions) • Branding the problem – Allows politicians to take credit • Partners in reform – Media (social media?) – Local community – Business Community 18 Value of Academic Advice
  • 19. www.sdpi.org, www.sdpi.tv Thank You