The Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR) is a non-profit association of independent organisations based in Pakistan that aim to consolidate resources and organise informed debate on key policy issues. Its participatory organisations include the Center for Economic Research Pakistan (CERP), the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), the Pakistan office of the International Growth Centre (IGC) as well as other leading Pakistani economists.
These organisations have effectively tapped into the growing pool of well-trained economists in the country with exposure to policymaking at the highest level and research output published in leading academic journals. By combining their resources, CDPR intends to move beyond their individual capacity to disseminate research findings and provide project support, and help identify logistical and intellectual principal investigators for research projects. The Consortium will have a key role in advocacy and information dissemination via engagement with policymakers, media and other stakeholders using multiple avenues such as workshops, dialogues, seminars and regularly published high-quality policy briefs etc.
The activities that will be carried out in the coming year (April 2014 - March 2015) will further CDPR’s goals. The following will be undertaken:
- The first step will be to expand CDPR’s knowledge base. A resource bank will be created on overarching themes that member organisations are working on. This will entail collection of research outputs from various organisations, which are either academic or based on policy initiatives undertaken in Pakistan. The overarching themes selected for this year are education, health, political economy/governance, taxation/fiscal policy and firm capabilities.
- The resource banks will be used to write synthesis papers/survey papers on each theme in order to contextualise results of all the research and link them with current initiatives. They will provide a succinct meta-analysis for policy makers, media and local researchers and serve to provide an informed and independent input into the design and implementation of policy. The first two themes selected to write synthesis papers on are Health and Education.
- Policy Briefs will also be written based on current projects that are in sync with the selected themes. These include the Punjab Growth Strategy 2018, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Medium Strategy for Inclusive Growth, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Mobilisation (Medium Term Economic Framework), Private Schooling in Rural Punjab (Determinants and Implications).
- Further, existing policy briefs written based on completed projects undertaken by member organizations will be modified and adopted for local readers and policymakers. Each brief will be co-branded by CDPR and respective member organisation. These written outputs will be translated into the local language (Urdu) so that a wider audience understands it. CDPR also plans to incorporate more research organisations and networks into the consortium and expand its membership to other cities outside Lahore. The aim is to tap into the work being done by other organisations to fully encompass the breadth of policy research work in Pakistan.
- CDPR will use existing knowledge from research projects to organise a dissemination event in Islamabad on the theme of improving economic governance. The discussion and presentations will focus on the use of IT and other management tools to improve implementation of reforms and policies based on the work done by IGC and other member organizations. This event will be particularly useful for practitioners, policymakers and other academics interested in governance issues. It will also be an opportunity to have an informed discussion with the media on economic policy, since the event will include a separate seminar with the leading economic/business journalists. This event will further be used to spread learning based on the policy briefs CDPR publishes, to create an environment where policy debates are based on evidence. It will be held in late 2014.