Sustainable Development Policy Institute

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Sustainable Development Policy Institute
Legal statusresearch, reporting and implementation
Purposesustainable development
Region served
Pakistan and worldwide service
Official language

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) (Urdu: دانش کدہِ برائے وضعِ حکمت عملیِ دائمی ترقی‎) provides the global sustainable development community with representation from Pakistan as well as South Asia as a whole. The Institute's mission is: "To catalyse the transition towards sustainable development, defined as the enhancement of peace, social justice and well-being, within and across generations". The think tank is based in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Lauder Institute of University of Pennsylvania ranks it at number 15 among research institutes in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.[1]

SDPI was founded in August 1992 on the recommendation of the Pakistan National Conservation Strategy (NCS), also called Pakistan's Agenda 21. The NCS placed Pakistan's socio-economic development within the context of a national environmental plan. This highly acclaimed document, approved by the Federal Cabinet in March 1992, outlined the need for an independent non-profit organization to serve as a source of expertise for policy analysis and development, policy intervention, and policy and program advisory services. SDPI is registered under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860.

Executive directors[edit]

  • Tariq Banoori was the founding Executive Director of SDPI. He served from 1992 – 1997
  • Shah Rukh Rafi Khan succeeded Dr. Banoori and served as Executive Director from 1997 – 2002
  • Saba Gul Khattak, currently member National Planning Commission Pakistan, headed SDPI from 2002 – 2007
  • Abid Qaiyum Suleri current Executive Director of SDPI took over from Dr. Khattak in 2007[2]



  • Conduct policy advice, policy oriented research and advocacy from a broad multi-disciplinary perspective.
  • Promote the implementation of policies, programs, laws and regulations based on sustainable development.
  • Strengthen civil society and facilitate civil society-government interaction through collaboration with other organizations and activist networks.
  • Disseminate research findings and public education through the media, conferences, seminars, lectures, publications and curricula development.
  • Contribute to building up national research capacity and infrastructure.


These goals reflect the main axes of our work; the means through which we effect change.


  • catalyze the transition towards sustainable and just development in Pakistan.
  • serve as a source of expertise and advisory services for the government, private sector, and non-governmental initiatives supporting the implementation of Pakistan's environment and development agenda.
  • conduct policy-oriented research on sustainable development from a broad multi-disciplinary perspective.
  • provide policy advice on matters relating to the mission of the Institute.
  • contribute to strengthening the social and physical infrastructure for research in Pakistan.
  • initiate, establish and participate in collaborative advocacy and other activities with like-minded organizations in and outside the country.

The Institute's activities are designed to provide:

  • Policy advice to government
  • A forum for policy dialogue
  • Support to in-house, visiting and external researchers
  • Publications for research, public and private sector use
  • A conduit for North South dialogue
  • An environment for information dissemination and training
  • A base for regional advocacy and networking


The research program at SDPI drives the three main activities of policy advice, advocacy and training.

1. Research An effective and viable institution conducting independent research on sustainable development

2. Advocacy Creation of broad awareness of, and active support for, sustainable development in government, the private sector, NGOs, academia and the general public

3. Policy Advice Improved sustainable development policy in government, private and NGO sectors

4. Capacity Building/Training Provision of high quality training to public and private organizations, NGOs and individuals to strengthen institutions and build capacity for sustainable development


SDPI defines sustainable development as the enhancement of peace, social justice and well-being within and across generations. SDPI produces knowledge that can enhance the capacity of government to make informed policy decisions and to engage civil society on issues of public interest. The Institute acts as both a generator of original research on sustainable development issues xxx and as an information resource for concerned individuals and institutions. SDPI’s function is thus two-fold: an advisory role fulfilled through research, policy advice and advocacy; and an enabling role realised through providing other individuals and organizations with resource materials and training. We welcome your views and any inquiries you may have on our ([1]) website and/or organization as a whole.


According to a research report published by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Programme (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) of Pakistan have clinched a position among the top 20 think thanks of the world, SDPI was ranked 15 in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.[3]


  1. ^ 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, University of Pennsylvania, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program website (see page 65 of this report) Published 9 February 2016, Retrieved 13 September 2020
  2. ^ Abid Qaiyum Suleri is the head of Sustainable Development Policy Institute The News International (newspaper), Published 19 July 2020, Retrieved 13 September 2020
  3. ^ "Pakistani think tanks ranked among top 20 in SE Asia". Pakistan Today (newspaper). 5 February 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]