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Project Team Arif Naveed, Abid Suleri, Zalla Khattak, Abdur Rab, Abrar Ahmad, Wajeeha Javaid ‘Impact’ and ‘Impact Factor’: The dynamics of the relationship.

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Presentation on theme: "Project Team Arif Naveed, Abid Suleri, Zalla Khattak, Abdur Rab, Abrar Ahmad, Wajeeha Javaid ‘Impact’ and ‘Impact Factor’: The dynamics of the relationship."— Presentation transcript:

1 Project Team Arif Naveed, Abid Suleri, Zalla Khattak, Abdur Rab, Abrar Ahmad, Wajeeha Javaid ‘Impact’ and ‘Impact Factor’: The dynamics of the relationship between Think Tanks and Universities in Pakistan

2 Organisation of the presentation Landscape of policy research in Pakistan Objectives of the study Methodology Key findings Patterns of relationship Key drivers of collaboration: Think Tanks Key drivers of collaboration: Universities Barriers to collaborate Case studies Funding implications

3 Landscape of the institutions of policy research 2013 Clustered in Islamabad, Lahore and to some extent Karachi - complete neglect of KP and Balochistan. A virtual absence of public sector organisations and the institutions of higher education from the landscape of policy research. Numerous structural barriers to undertaking research and its uptake Weak state of social sciences even after a decade and half of higher education reforms: total research outputs increased 6 times from 2002 to 2012 but social science outputs increased only by 4.5%. Funding and commissioning heavily dominated by the international donors. Donor funded short term research projects limit the prospects of the long term capacity building. Fragmented narratives not coherent with the core development narrative of the country.

4 Objectives of the study Broader objective is to understand; The patterns, drivers, consequences of the relationship between TTs and Universities Ways in which both groups have developed mutually beneficial relationships How does external support affect these relationships?

5 Methodology/data Existing landscaping database of DFID-SDPI study – based on 70 institutions, policy makers and research commissioners – Aug-Dec 2012 In-depth individual interviews with heads of 17 major think tanks and 15 university departments in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, during Oct-Nov 2013 Web based data gathering Case studies of various forms of collaboration in the process

6 Key findings: Patterns of relationships Overall minimal interaction Advisory and governing boards, panels, committees Formal institutional research collaboration are rare Informal, individualised and personalised engagements are common Most of the interaction takes place in dissemination and policy advocacy events. Universities supplying human resources albeit with questions on quality of training and teaching Researchers, particularly mid-career ones engaged in teaching at universities and occasionally in curricula development. Increasing engagement of ‘local university’ students in data collection in the remote sites.

7 Think Tanks: Key drivers of collaboration with universities Tapping skilled human resource potential Methodological and theoretical rigor Increased chances of funding with academic CVs with the bids Legitimacy and credibility – architects and contractors Capacity building opportunities Increased chances of academic publications on joint projects Wide-spread presence of universities in contrast to the geographic clustering of think tanks Increasing outreach and ‘visibility’

8 Universities: key drivers of collaboration Collaboration with think tanks increases: Dissemination of personal research at a wider scale Influence over policy given TTs networking Access to research funds – particularly the international development funds Access to the appropriately qualified human resources as visiting faculty members (low ranked universities particularly) Employment and internship opportunities for graduates/students Altruistic motivations Earnings through consulting Autonomy in the research process given bureaucratic structures at universities

9 Barriers to collaborations Distinct mandates, missions, visions, objectives Distinct organizational structures and public- private/non-government distinction Weak state of social sciences and poor research tradition at the universities: political nature of policy change and policy research and a depoliticised academe Distinct nature of research - ‘Impact’ vs. the ‘Impact Factor’ Disciplinary analysis and ‘inter-disciplinarity’ of policy research ‘Architects’ and ‘contractors’ distinction Distinct channels of funding

10 Case Studies Pakistan Institute of Development Economics: Convergence from think tank to university Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Centre: From independent organization towards merger into Lahore University of Management Sciences Sustainable Development Policy Institute: Collaborating with universities widely on research, capacity building, and policy advocacy. Aga Khan University – Institute for Educational Development: Academically rigorous research influencing AKESP’s education provision through 179 schools, mainly serving 37,500children from disadvantaged,,572 teachers I-SAPS: Bringing academic and policy research together through peer- reviewed Journal of Social and Policy Sciences.

11 Case Studies – some emerging trends Satellite institutional arrangements – ‘star’ academics and researchers based at prestigious universities (usually abroad),collaborating with each other to form research centre in Pakistan, loosely organised around research programmes/projects, winning large internationally competitive grants, designing innovative research projects, producing high quality research and working closely with the government. Lahore based Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP), International Growth Centre (IGC), Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) are the key examples. Academics from the private universities in Lahore (mainly LUMS) part of these alliances. The young researchers are often drawn from these universities graduates pool.

12 Implications of funding arrangements Almost mutually exclusive sources of funding for universities and think tanks: policy research largely funded by international donors Funding through short term projects promotes short term behaviour,– particularly in the absence of well networked epistemic communities. Trends in funding priorities represent the changing priorities of the international development agenda rather than of the national policy needs affecting the interaction between think tanks and universities. Funding alone is insufficient: Increased financial autonomy is likely to strengthen the in house capacity rather than reliance on external capabilities. Need to address the structural barriers to create synergies between the two groups of institutions


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