MR. MUHAMMAD ARFAN (RASTA ID# CGP 01-027)
Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) was introduced to mitigate the inept management of the traditional irrigation bureaucracy. It was hypothesized that these reforms would have a positive impact on the crop productivity and enhance the conveyance efficiency of the system. The present study tries to compare the PIM and Non-PIM irrigation schemes—Pakistan, under almost same cropping systems of Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan—link it to farm sizes, traditional ecological knowledge, irrigation management practices, institutional arrangements, and governance structures. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods used for studying different aspects of irrigation management system. This study helps to explore the multidimensional facets of water governance and their interconnectedness. It is helpful to enrich the more participatory, equitable and economical water legislation in the irrigation system, and as a result higher land and water productivity can be attained.
Duration: 12 months
DR. MIR SADAAT BALOCH (RASTA ID# CGP 01-029)
This research proposal is a mixed methods study that will focus on development budget allocation of four departments of Balochistan such as: Health Department, Education Department, Communication & Works and Social Welfare Department to find ways that can increase the efficiency of development budget in Balochistan. There is lack of proper evaluation and impact assessment system in the province. Financial allocations are mostly done on the basis of what could be best described as an incremental approach: a certain fraction is added to the department’s previous years’ allocation every year without a rigorous investigation of the departmental needs and impact of previous allocations. Because of this inefficient practice the PSDP of Balochistan has been challenged in high for last four years resulting in a stagnated development in the province that is affecting the livelihoods of people. This proposal aims at finding ways that can increase the efficiency of development budget in Balochistan by providing evidence-based policy input. To suggest proper ways for evaluation and impact assessment by proposing a matrix for allocation and assessment. This research will give policy input that can be aid to distributive justice through matrix budgeting during the allocation of development budget.
Duration: 8 months
DR. ANWAR SHAH (RASTA ID# CGP 01-037)
Khokas (small vendor shops) are one of the key segments of Informal economy in Pakistan. Khokasprovide jobs to many people and facilitate consumers in doing various types of transactions. However, entry to barriers put a bar on such access, leading to inefficiencies. The elimination of barriers to entry is important for promoting competition in the market and enhancing welfare of people. Thus, it is important to know about the barriers to entry aspects of legal framework and behaviour of people towards khokas market. We aim to examine such barriers to entry in this study. We are of the view that some barriers to entry may be mitigated through policy measures but others barriers to entry may not be under the influence of policymakers. For example, this might be possible for policy makers to decrease the monetary and non-monetary cost of granting permissions to Khokas, but it might not be possible for them to ask relatives/friends of potential entrants to encourage and provide motivation to new entrants. We will examine, whether the barriers to entry aspects of legal framework are more dominant than the barriers to entry aspects of behaviour of people towards khokas. We will review the legal framework and collect primary data through focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant’s interviews (KIIs) from the new entrants into the khokas’ markets in Punjab, KPK, Baluchistan and Islamabad. The focus of the FGDs and KIIs will be on the barriers to entry aspects of legal framework and attitude of people towards kohkas business.
Duration: 10 months
MR. DANIAL SALEEM (RASTA ID# CGP 01-039)
The objective of this study is to present a comprehensive analysis for the widespread deployment of microgrid systems in Pakistan. The study will be carried out keeping in view the techno-economic, financial and policy perspectives and its results will facilitate the policy makers in taking necessary initiatives for microgrids development in Pakistan. Identification of business attractive zones for microgrids will be a key component of this research work which will encourage various stakeholders in utilizing this cutting-edge technology to overcome the current challenges of Pakistan’s power sector i.e., sustainability, affordability and reliability.
The power sector of Pakistan is already following the path of major restructuring in line with the globally well-established 3D reforms, i.e., Decarbonize, Decentralize & Democratize. The current reforms related to ‘Decarbonize’ and ‘Decentralize’ include the important steps of electrical vehicle policy, 30% penetration of renewable energy, implementation of CTBCM (Competitive Trading Bilateral Contract Market) and Alternative and Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy 2019. Our research work will pave the way for the very next step, which is ‘Democratization’ of power sector through deployment of microgrids in the electrical power network of Pakistan. In this regard, the potential locations will be identified across Pakistan and their technical, financial, legal and regulatory implications will be analyzed.
The significance as well as potential benefits of microgrids in Pakistan’s future energy policies will be investigated. In addition to policy recommendations, technical solutions for issues associated with the interconnection/operation of on-grid and off-grid microgrids, such as frequency control, voltage control, harmonics, stability issues, etc., shall be proposed specifically in the context of a weak electrical power network in rural/remote areas. Moreover, possible investment models for massive scale microgrids deployment in Pakistan will also be chalked out.
Duration: 12 months
MR. GUL MUHAMMAD RIND (RASTA ID# CGP 01-044)
The focus of this study is to investigate public private partnerships (PPPs) in education, in this instance by evaluating the Educational Management Organizations (EMOs) Program in Sindh, Pakistan. The study will be guided by the following overarching research questions: (1) To what extent, how, and for whom does the PPP mode of education through EMOs improve accessibility to education? (2) How effectively and efficiently do PPPs in education meet the objective of providing/delivering quality education? (3)To what extent and in what ways do PPPs in education address the issue of equity in education?
We have chosen the Realist Evaluation approach to answer the research questions and have adopted a mixed method research design. The data collection includes EMOs policy documents, SEMIS and SAT data sets, and students’ result sheets. Moreover, semi-structured interviews with the EMO stakeholders will also be conducted. In the data analysis, quantitatively the descriptive analysis and regression model of data sets will be analyzed to examine the SES, gender, and academic achievement differences before and after the EMOs program. Meanwhile, qualitatively the interview transcripts and document reviews will be coded in Context, Mechanism and Outcome (CMO) themes. CMO themes includes the descriptive objectives of the EMOs program, observed outcomes, context, and mechanism.
The study may provide an opportunity to policy makers to better understand what works, for whom, in what circumstances and in what respects, relative to these PPPs. Future research can be conducted by comparing EMOs and non-EMOs public schools in Sindh, Pakistan.
Duration: 12 months
DR. NAVEED ARSHAD (RASTA ID# CGP 01-055)
In the last few years, Pakistan has surplus generation capacity. This surplus generation capacity has resulted in an accumulation of a large circular debt and a huge sum of capacity payments is paid to compensate the surplus generation capacity. In addition to this, Pakistan has significant daily and season variations in the demand which further accounts for vast surplus generation capacity. As a consequence of this, the Weighted Average Cost of Generation (WACG) has increased drastically over the last few years. To consume the extra capacity, there is a dire need to find a suitable load that is non-seasonal as well as flexible. Moreover, such load should not be the one that increases the daily load peaks.
To this end, we propose development of a dynamic artificial intelligence (AI) based Time-of-Use (ToU) pricing tool for off-peak utilization of generation capacity by flexible loads. Real-time electricity demand data will be used in the tool to develop short-term demand forecasts. Similarly, data pertaining to the available real-time generation will be used to estimate the generation capacity corresponding to the developed short-term forecasts. The difference between generation capacity and the demand will dictate tariff rates. During peak hours when the gap between the demand and the available generation capacity is smaller, higher tariff rates will incentivize electricity usage during off-peak hours and vice versa. As the tool determines the TOU pricing, it will be ensured that at all the time the tariff rates remain higher than the basket price of electricity in order to prevent any burden on the national exchequer in the form of subsides. The proposed tool will be dynamic in nature implying that it will function under different sets of demand and generation data.
Duration: 12 months
Dr. RIAZ AHMED (RASTA ID# CGP 01-058)
One-sixth of the world children, adolescents and youth were out-of-school in 2018 and astonishingly about 35% of them were from South Asia. In 2017, 44% of children aged 5-16 in Pakistan were not enrolled in school. Due to low or continuous reduction in government spending on education, accessing to higher education is even a dream to Pakistani population. Only 4% of people get higher education in Pakistan which is much lower than in India and China – 11% and 20% respectively.
Poverty and financial constraints are the core hindrance in the way of growth in higher education. In order to reduce poverty and control income distribution, the development of higher education could be a considerable policy option. For that end, the governments of Pakistan (both at federal and provisional level) have taken several initiatives towards students’ participation in HEIs by providing them scholarships.
This rigorous short to medium term impact evaluation will be carried out to assess the impact of three different type of scholarship programs (HEC-Ehsaas scholarship, HEC-Need scholarships and BEEF scholarship) on students’ academic performance in the public sector universities of Balochistan. In this quasi-experimental research design, a mixed methods strategy will be used to analyze the impact evaluation. The proposed estimation techniques for each scholarship program are difference-in-differences (DID), Regression Discontinuity (RD), statistical matching analysis (e.g. PSM), and multivariate regression.
Evidence derived from this impact evaluation would help policymakers and scholarship monitoring bodies to understand the success and failure for implementation of the programs. It would also provide the guidance and direction for initiating similar scholarships or for rolling-out these and other such scholarships throughout the country.
Duration: 12 months
DR. FAIZ UR REHMAN (RASTA ID# CGP 01-083)
Despite the considerable attention paid by previous governments to the underdeveloped regions, intra-regional economic disparities are on the rise in Pakistan. While there can be several reasons for exasperating inter-regional inequality across regions, political institutions and politicians may explain a significant size of this inequality. Politicians exercise considerable de facto political power to redirect resources towards their regions which has a substantial cost for least developed regions.
This study aims to understand the economic inequalities and regional disparities across regions through the lens of political economy. Specifically, we are interested to study the impact of dynastic persistence on local economic development in Pakistan. Previous literature argues that the identity of a politician has an impact on domestic policymaking, public goods provision, and economic development. Besides several arguments, there is little empirical evidence to comprehend these theoretical debates. Thus, this study will contribute to the existing literature on political dynasties by investigating the empirical relationship between dynastic persistence and rural development. To make the analysis possible, we will first identify political dynasties at the constituency-level. Subsequently, we will exploit an innovative empirical strategy to investigate the causal economic impacts of political dynasties in Pakistan.
Duration: 12 months
DR. AZIZ AHMED (RASTA ID# CGP 01-091)
Economics, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta
Since, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its projects like SEZs and EPZs have the likelihood of bringing forth employment opportunities and decent levels of earning fortunes for our unemployed and unskilled youth and may give secured alternates to the prevalent precarious and non-secure jobs in the current labor markets of the province. SEZs and EPZs are assumed to have substantial likely impacts on economic growth and social transformation and may promise jobs creation to accommodate the growing youth population of Balochistan.
This study will focus on identification of relevant human resource skills and to critically map out technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system and its skills set that are probably be needed for the needs of specific industrial occupations of different industries on three selected Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Processing Zones (EPZs) of Bostan, Gawadar and Hub areas in Balochistan. The study will also give a reference mechanism to comprehensively augment the supply and demand aspects of TVET skills, its identification and its mapping from diverse stakeholders of TVET system to empirically give evidence of TVET skills provision that are demanded in labor markets as future guiding tools for human resource planning specific to industrial development in Balochistan.
The mixed research methods approach will be employed in different phases of desk-top survey and field survey to include focus group discussions, employers’ survey, and survey from TVET qualified individuals with the help two sets of questionnaires via purposeful sampling technique for accomplishing the objectives of this study. The outcome of this research endeavor will bring forth empirical, industry demand oriented and labor market based TVET skills mapping and human resource planning for job creation for unemployed youth (i.e., population age group of 15-29 years) as socio-economic policy implications for the province of Balochistan.
Duration: 12 months
Approved budget: Rs. 3,601,807/-
MS. HINA BINTE HAQ (RASTA ID# CGP 01-127)
Elections are the lifeblood of democracies. Unfortunately, rigging has been a constant theme in elections throughout the world. This suspicion tends to erode the confidence of citizens in the political process, creates political animosity, and undermines democracy, and has at times even led to civil war. In Pakistan, elections are routinely tainted by systemic poll rigging and/or allegations of such, which has led to political deadlock and mass protests, in the recent past. Procedural inefficiencies also run rife in the electoral system. There is a dire need to renew citizens’ confidence in democracy and government institutions.
Recent breakthroughs in Election Technology, specifically Verifiable Voting technology, powered by cutting edge cryptography, mean for the first time, voters and observers can partake in verifying an election and certifying its results. Verifiable voting has garnered immense attention internationally and has been called the holy grail of electronic voting.
Unfortunately, Pakistan is lacking research and development efforts, in the domain of Election technology. Elections present an anomalous situation. Where development of most applications can be outsourced, Election technology as a critical application requires national ownership and responsibility. Pakistan also differs considerably from advanced countries in terms of resources, infrastructure, political and social environment, facilities, and funding, and it is not straightforward to adapt existing systems and frameworks for our use. There is significant research that needs to be done at the confluence of technology and policy, about how to fit Verifiable Voting concepts and theoretical constructs into the various contexts of a developing democracy like Pakistan.
We intend to undertake a study that will identify the research and policy challenges of adapting Verifiable Voting in Pakistan and devise a comprehensive roadmap to introduce verifiable voting technology in Pakistan. We believe it will be an important contribution towards a more transparent, inclusive, and efficient electoral system in Pakistan.
Duration: 12 months
DR. SALMA SHERBAZ (RASTA ID# CGP 01-135)
The incessant rise in global temperature and environmental degradation is a serious trial to humanity. In the past, the issue mandated an elucidating account of the melting icecaps, depletion of the ozone layer, the concentration of greenhouse gases, the devastation of the ecosystem, and so on but, unfortunately, it no longer demands a dialectic arguing as every commoner has started to witness their world burn and to experience gasping in the suffocating ether. The situation is even worse in urban sprawls where population explosion and migration fever add more fuel to the fire.
While we are striving to redeem our actions, the protracted struggle would require many adjustments on our part. The intellectual resources at our disposal today are the results of investigations mainly based on field measurements of various parameters such as wind and heat distribution in complex urban micro-climate. Although they present a grave picture of the contemporary situation, they fail to provide any solution in the form of an alternative arrangement.
The proposed study primarily focuses on the development of a framework for the climate responsive urban design (CRUD) that will be a guide to find the most optimal orientations of streets considering solar gain and wind directions. The performance evaluation will be based on the computer-aided simulation of various urban layout, street geometry and orientation, while the performance criteria is their environmental impact on the built environment (i.e., energy load of built environment).
Duration: 12 months
DR. NASIR IQBAL (RASTA ID# CGP 01-146)
The proposed study explores the legal and economic dynamics of Street Economy (SE) in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Pakistan has a large SE operated by individuals and micro-enterprises across the country, mostly in urban areas. There are no precise estimates on the quantum of SE due to the informal nature in Pakistan. It is vital to gauge the contribution of SE in the overall economic landscape of the country due to the overwhelming involvement of individuals and micro-enterprises.
This analysis helps to bring hidden employment and economic contribution to the national statistics. We will follow Liu et al., (2015) methodology to quantify the economic contribution of SE to national GDP. According to this methodology, street vendor’s transactions have multiplier effects. Another critical aspect of SE is the legal quandary for Street Vendors. Due to no support of government the informal sector role is loosely tied and involves businesses/ventures that are either not registered or measurable. It becomes imperative to research this issue in the background of fragmented governance of street vending in major Pakistani cities, where municipality, development authority, and city administration are jostling to create space for their regulatory prowess in the city domain. We will employ a mixed-method approach to conduct a field survey in six different sectors in Islamabad to collect information onstreet vendors using stratified random sampling.
Duration: 12 months
MR. ZAHID ALI (RASTA ID# CGP 01-152)
Gwadar’s economic potential has become a center of debate in national and international media. Less discussed are the people living there, especially the native communities who are mostly dependent on fishing as source of livelihood. Most of the available studies have taken a quantitative approach, obscuring the genuine voices of the local people into a jugglery of figures. This study aims to take a people-centric approach by employing qualitative methodology with grounded theory as a research design. The study is primarily aimed to explore the perspective of native people in Gwadar regarding the positive and negative impact of CPEC projects. The study is important because the success of any development project is based on the perception and cooperation of the local communities. Specifically, this study has been designed to explore and analyze the knowledge, understanding, fears, and expectations of local people in Gwadar to better understand the viewpoint of the native people whose lives are affected the most (both positively and negatively) by the CPEC projects.
Intensive fieldwork will be carried out in Gwadar city to collect data from various groups of the native people including fishermen communities, people displaced by the CPEC projects, daily wage laborers, local community leaders/influential, micro businessperson etc. Both male and female members of these communities will be studied for better understanding how different group are affected differently by different projects. This study will help in shifting the focus from national to the local, from economic and strategic to social and cultural, from competing elites to the grassroots, and from quantitative to qualitative implications of CPEC, thereby bridging the knowledge and policy gap.
Duration: 12 months
DR. SHAISTA ALAM (RASTA ID# CGP 01-154)
The continuously rising income of urban dwellers in Pakistan leads to increase consumption and consequently the production of higher levels of solid wastes. About 12,000 tons of solid waste is generated in Karachi alone and is expected to be doubled by the end of 2020(KCCI- 2018). The arrangements made by the public and private sector entities in disposing-off and recycling wastes are improper. A combined and simultaneous impact of rapid growth of urbanization and incapability of public sector organizations resulted in the unmanaged part of the solid waste collected, sorted and marketed by the private sector through a chain of activities in a manner that remains informal and exploitative. The problem will further aggravate in the coming years because of a lack of appropriate planning, governance, public resources devoted to managing the problem and inefficiency at management level.
In light of the above, the proposed study plans to focus on (1) assessment of the current process of SWM by categorizing the type of wastes generated by households, Industries and hospitals etc. and the process of managing the different types of wastes. (2) Evaluation the capacity of the public sector in SWM (3) Identify the incapacity/gap in the provision of services delivered by the public sector (4) Evaluate the role of the private sector. The type of activities performed by the private sector (5) The extent of informality in managing the SW (6) Evaluating prospects of collected waste for recycling (7) the proposed study will provide policy options for efficient management of solid waste using public-private partnerships (8) In the final part of the study, households’ WTP will be estimated. For the assessment purposes, the proposed study plans to conduct comprehensive surveys/interviews of key players involved in the management of solid waste.
Duration: 12 months
DR. FOUZIA SOHAIL (RASTA ID# CGP 01-157)
In Pakistan, affordable and clean energy, which is number 7th of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), was considered as category-1 target that requires immediate policy intervention by Government of Pakistan. This reflects the significance of the issue that persist in the country since decades. The proposed research aims to find the impact of recent upsurge of electricity tariff due to the gradual elimination of subsidies on household welfare. This proposed study will further analyze the redistribution of subsidies between various income groups. The study will provide a comprehensive measure of energy poverty by including a wider set of variables representing both access and affordability dimensions of energy provisioning at household level. Because of the existing caveats in the secondary datasets, the study aims to conduct a primary survey of Karachi as a case study for obtaining the in-depth information on energy situation This study thus aims to form a rigorous analytical basis for energy policy making in Pakistan. The study contributes to the existing literature not only by conducting the impact assessment of tariff on household welfare but will also contributes by matching a policy variable with micro dataset. The primary survey, extending the PSLM/HIES data for energy related issues will be an additional contribution.
Duration: 12 months
MR. AJAZ AHMED (RASTA ID# CGP 01-169)
Public transport in urban Pakistan is mostly left to an unregulated private sector. The current offer is either inefficient, has limited coverage and does not guarantee equal access to potential users or it is not affordable for a broad swathe of the population. As a result, commuting is slow, time consuming, and tedious process which undermines the productivity of urban population, and thereby cities’ contribution to economic growth. Hence, a more efficient, accessible, and affordable public transport system is an urgent need of the masses residing in urban areas of Pakistan. This could improve labor force participation, access to opportunities, and more productive use of time in addition to reducing gender, income, and class inequalities. However, the first step in designing an efficient public transport system is to understand commuters’ preferences for the key attributes of public transport such as travel mode, travel time, coverage, and their willingness to pay for transport services, among others.
For this purpose, this research proposes to use discrete choice modelling approach and a stated preference survey of commuters in three urban locations (Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad). The analysis will uncover commuters’ choices and their monetary valuation of different features of the public transport system such as fare and travel times, coverage, and comfort which will inform the optimal design of public transport systems in urban Pakistan.
Duration: 12 months
PROFESSOR ADEEL MALIK (RASTA ID# CGP 01-193)
In 2012, Pakistan signed a five-year engagement plan with the European Union that paved way for its inclusion in EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to allow duty free access to Pakistan’s exports. The GSP entailed a major harmonization of regulatory standards and led to a dramatic increase in the application of non-tariff measures across the entire manufacturing space. Some sectors experienced higher NTM introductions than others.
Using this rich empirical setting, we will conduct three levels of empirical enquiry. Firstly, we probe whether sectors with special interest groups represented by strong business lobbies or politically connected firms were able to secure higher levels of non-tariff protection in the wake of the 2013 trade policy shock. Secondly, we will investigate whether sectors subjected to higher levels of NTMs in 2013 experienced a slower subsequent growth in exports. Finally, we will estimate a structural political economy model of trade protection that accounts for government-industry interaction (Grossman and Helpman, 1992). To this end, we use information on three major trade policy instruments in Pakistan: tariffs, non-tariff measures, and regulatory duties.
Duration: 12 months
MS. SHAGUFTA AMAN (RASTA ID# CGP 01-214)
One of the most revolutionizing public policy developments in recent times in Pakistan in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular has been the introduction of digital governance tools for improved, cost efficient, transparent and accountable service delivery to the public. The sub-national governments in Pakistan, including that of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is undertaking a number of e-governance reforms in its various departments, including police, revenue, health, education and district management offices under the motto ‘Technology is our new Ideology’. In what manner the use of technology is improving service delivery in KP and therefore helping the government in attaining the objectives of efficient service provision and transparency is a subject that is highly under-researched in literature.
This project attempts to investigate how the use of ICT tools is affecting efficiency, transparency and inclusiveness in service delivery by the provincial bureaucracy and making it undergo organizational and cultural changes. Further, whether digitalization has affected citizen’s trust on government’s service delivery. The project will make use of the theoretical framework of “Social Determinism” and “Technological Determinism” to understand how digital reforms in the provincial bureaucracy are re-shaping governance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Additional theoretical perspectives will be sought in the writings of Langdon Winner’s “Do Arti facts have Politics”. Since the research questions are exploratory and analytical, therefore, the project will make use of Mixed Methods of data collection from qualitative as well as quantitative sources. Primary data will be collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews from respondents selected from two broad categories: officials and non-official/ common citizens/ complainants. The use of quantitative method is necessitated by the nature of the project, which also attempts to understand the perception of the common people about the improvement in service delivery and transparency of provincial bureaucracy and for knowing the issues and problems faced by the people while accessing public services for complaint registration and redressal using the digital tools. The project intends to use survey questionnaire for collecting data through quantitative methods.
Duration: 12 months