Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS)
Pakistan is passing through a phase of rapid transformation. There are profound changes taking place in social, economic and political spheres. The ongoing social change, concerns for equitable development, political economy of reforms, changing patterns of trade and markets, and dynamics of the interface between corporate actors and governance apparatus have thrown up great challenges.
Pakistan currently finds itself in a situation of relative disadvantage. This situation has come about primarily due to neglect of education, social research and properly informed public policies. Resultantly, there is an alarming human resource deficit in Pakistan, non-transparent governance, increasingly under-performing public sector and uncompetitive private sector. This situation is taking its toll both at individual as well as national levels and adversely affecting Pakistan's standing as a country and as a nation.
With regard to knowledge, there is a need to critically examine basic assumptions at the philosophical and conceptual levels from multiple perspectives. This is the most crucial element missing in their institutes of higher and advanced learning. In the realm of public policies, there is a need to evaluate mainstream discourse that informs and influences public policy formulation and guides development interventions in Pakistan. The quality of human capital to respond to these challenges also suffers from multiple factors, including deteriorating educational standards, inadequate skills development and on-the-job training opportunities. The current human resource deficit greatly impinges on the quality of knowledge production, public policy formulation and development processes at the national level and hinders career growth at the individual levels.
To respond to these challenges there is an urgent need to undertake rigorous social research to augment their knowledge of socio-political and economic phenomena and provide basis for sound and informed public policies. Moreover, development processes need to be contextualized with local realities leading to equitable development. Trained and knowledgeable human resource needs to emerge, which could play a vital role in the identification of local problems and socially responsible and equitable solutions.
The Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) has been established to respond to the challenges outlined in the rationale. The Institute has emerged from Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP), a national research and advocacy organization working since 1998. A review and evaluation of CRCP’s work over a decade convinced the Board of Trustees that new challenges emerging in the social, economic and political spheres called for consolidation of the work already done by CRCP and establishment of an independent research, teaching and training outfit with the aim of conducting multi-disciplinary research, developing human resources, informing public policies, optimizing development initiatives and engaging state and market actors for sustainable development. It is in this context that I-SAPS was established.
The Institute is engaged in research and analysis, policy dialogues and advice, and teaching and capacity building programs. Support and services offered by the Institute are available to public, private and development sector organizations and their staff. Besides, students from undergraduate to post doctoral levels can also benefit from the services of the Institute.
The Institute also engages in development projects at selected geographical areas. The practical work is guided by the Institute's vision of equitable development and expertise, simultaneously feeding research and analysis, policy dialogues and advice, education and capacity building programs of the Institute. Support and services offered by the Institute are available to public, private and development sector organizations and their staff. Besides, students from undergraduate to post doctoral levels can also benefit from the services of the Institute.
I-SAPS also works closely with public sector organizations to leverage their work with an aim to ensure system-wide improvements. The leveraging of public sector work is guided by the realization that the public sector plays an important role in articulating and implementing policies that lead to social justice. The institute aims to inform the state-market dialectics by facilitating a dynamic interface between research and academic institutions, civil society groups, public sector organizations and corporate actors through a variety of programs with the objective of transforming Pakistan into a knowledge-based and a just societySee more