By Shehryar Nabi
A fragile state, a growing economy, an unequal society, a peaceful democratic transition, a nuclear-armed power, a rich heritage, an uncertain future, an enormous potential.
These are just some of the ways Pakistan has been described.
Could “prosperous”, “equal”, “healthy” and “educated” ever make that list? They could, but there are big challenges to getting there.
Prosperity isn’t easy when an energy crisis cuts the hours your workplace can function, and strips a third of your economy’s growth.
Equality is only a dream as long as your class, ethnicity, disability or gender puts you at a disadvantage.
Health is a luxury when you can’t afford nutritious food, your water is contaminated and there is no room in the nearest hospital for treatment.
Education is a challenge when not only is your local school hard to get to, but 5th graders at that school can’t demonstrate basic reading and math skills.
But it gets far more complicated than that, and understanding that complexity to find real solutions is the focus of Developing Pakistan.
To satisfy both the need for insight and action, this blog promises to:
1. Think broadly
When it comes to development, you can’t exclude any subject. Discussions on politics, economics, education, health, law, gender, the environment, energy and more will find a home on Developing Pakistan.
2. Dive deep
Breadth of subject does not mean sacrificing depth of knowledge, and all content on Developing Pakistan takes a rigorous approach based on research and evidence.
3. Speak in plain English
Development policy writing can get overly technical and dry. Developing Pakistan makes it easy to understand and rewarding to read for development professionals and non-specialists alike.
4. Have a bias for impact
Of utmost importance is finding the prescription to the problem, not just the diagnosis. Sometimes, the enormity of the problem and scarcity of the solution will leave our hands tied. But if that’s the case, how do we untie them? When we tried something in the past and failed, why didn’t it work? What is it like being an implementer of new policies? What is it like working with the people who are supposed to benefit from policies?
Developing Pakistan is maintained by the Institute for Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) and the Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR), so much of its content comes from leading development researchers that are part of their network. However, the blog still draws from research and expertise associated with other organisations.
With these guiding principles, Developing Pakistan hopes to promote an informed conversation about Pakistan’s development challenges for a better understanding of how we can fix them.
Shehryar Nabi is a communications associate at the Consortium for Development Policy Research and Communications and Advocacy Coordinator at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS).