Recognising the need for an interdisciplinary professional association of social scientists in Pakistan, a group of social scientists from different social science disciplines held a meeting in the last quarter of 1999 to establish such an association. The Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan (COSS) is the result of this effort. It. was registered in June 2000.
The Mission of COSS
The Council is a service-oriented, non-profit, non-partisan, and autonomous organisation of social scientists of Pakistan including non-Pakistanis interested in studying Pakistan. It is committed to the advancement of a pluralistic approach to social sciences while remaining committed to objectivity, rationality and creativity ___ the essential elements of science.
The Council will:
work towards the development of an autonomous community of social scientists that can effectively contribute towards the understanding of national problems with its professional knowledge.
provide a platform for social scientists from different disciplines to interact with each other and adopt an interdisciplinary approach towards studying Pakistani society and culture. It will strengthen links between social sciences and natural sciences.
act as a link between social science faculties of universities, research institutes, and civil society organisations___ engaged in research and teaching of social sciences; and disseminate information about their research.
create awareness among social scientists and the public regarding the state of social sciences in the country and suggest means and mechanisms for upgrading them.
foster scientific approach for analysing national problems among the citizens of Pakistan.
encourage contacts and interaction between Pakistani social scientists and those of other countries and international organisations like UNESCO and regional academic and research organisations.
make efforts to raise the standard of social sciences, and evaluate the research work of social scientists through peer-reviews.
develop a code of conduct for social scientists.
The Council has three categories of members:
(ii) Life Members
(iii) Institutional MembersEligibility for Membership:
For Members and Community of Social Scientists:
provide a platform for articulating the problems of social scientists in the performance of their professional duties.
publicise research papers and books, and provide information about research work and professional activities of social scientists.
help researchers in the procurement of documents that may not be easily available to them locally.
when financially possible, give research grants for sound and interdisciplinary research projects
For Members residing outside Pakistan:
put them in contact with scholars, research institutions, libraries and archives in Pakistan and provide information regarding documents of the Government of Pakistan and facilitate their access to them.
arrange meetings with scholars in Pakistan to share their findings with them.
For the Government:
mobilise social scientists to assist the Government in policy-making.
provide information, data, and publications required to the Government.
assist in the planning and evaluation of research projects initiated by the Government ministries, departments, and research institutes.
For Civil Society Organisations:
give technical advice in formulating research projects.
certify the soundness of research projects of civil society organisations for submission to Government and donor agencies.
help train research staff of civil society organisations.
Linkages with International Organisations
Since its inception COSS has developed contacts with a number of international and regional organisations such as UNESCO, ActionAid, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York.
The Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC), an organisation of national social science research councils, academies and institutes has admitted COSS as Associate Member in 2005. AASSREC has 13 regular members and two associate members.
COSS is a Founding Member of South Asian Sociological Society (SASS) consisting of sociological organisations from six SAARC countries