The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) has launched a multi-year competitive grants program for policy-oriented research in Pakistan titled ‘Research for Social Transformation and Advancement’ (RASTA) under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, the Government of Pakistan.
RASTA’s mission is to develop a high-quality research network of academia and think tanks across Pakistan producing high-quality, evidence- based policy research to inform Pakistan’s public policy process. RASTA will build on an earlier Competitive Grants Proposal of the Planning Commission of Pakistan 2011-14. See Haque and Orden (2018) for a summary.
The objectives of RASTA program are to:
1. Reduce research-policy gap by stimulating economic and social science research and debate across Pakistan.
2. Build a network to stimulate internally defined and produced policy-relevant research within a context of crowd-sourced ideas.
3. Provide a knowledge-sharing/generating platform where different actors can present and share evidence-based research to inform decision-making in the government.
4. Revisit the future policy agenda in line with the evidence produced in this program.
5. Build capacity and improve policymaking and implementation by involving and engaging local universities, think tanks, policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders.
With these objectives, the program seeks to develop local thought communities and generate knowledge. Substantial outputs will be completed in important areas of public policy that will produce insightful research and facilitate goals that the Government wants to achieve according to its vision.