Understanding Think Tank - University Relationships in South Asia

Published by mis on Wed, 07/03/2013 - 13:21 in


This is a regional South Asian study on Think Tanks and Universities’ relationships, undertaken by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), and supported by the International Development Research Center (IDRC). 

The project builds on a growing body of literature on knowledge systems for public policy making in South Asia. It specifically attempts to theorize the complex and dynamic relationship between two supplier groups of policy research: think tanks and universities. Furthermore, the project examines the impact that externally-provided support has on these same relationships. South Asia in general and the sampled three countries in particular: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, have seen a marked increase in the number of universities and think tanks assuming more proactive and visible roles in policy related research. The sampled countries also present a variety of research knowledge environments and therefore enable comparative analysis. It is however unclear how various institutions of policy research interact with each other and what are the factors driving these relationships. The project aims at identifying the cases in each of the countries which demonstrate the differences in patterns of relationships between think tanks and universities, and the role and forms of external support to these institutions in shaping these patterns. 
Key Institutions:
The consortium consists of two leading think tanks of the region and the University of Bath, UK.
  1. Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
  2. Indian Institute of Dalit Studies
  3. University of Bath, UK 
Key Personnel:
  1. Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, Islamabad - Principal Investigator
  2. Professor Sukhadeo Thorat, IIDS/Chairman Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) - Consortium Advisor
  3. Arif Naveed, Visiting Associate, SDPI - Co-Investigator/Country Lead, Pakistan
  4. Professor Geof Wood, University of Bath/SDPI and President of Development Studies Association (DSA) of UK and Ireland - Lead Consultant
  5. Mathilde Matriot, University of Bath – joint country lead - Bangladesh
  6. Dr. Joe Devine, University of Bath/Institute of Governance Studies, Dhaka - Country Lead, Bangladesh 
  7. Dr. Nidhi Sadana Sabharwal, Executive Director, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies - Country Lead, India 
  8. Zalla Khattak, Research Associate, SDPI, Islamabad - Project Manager - Pakistan
  9. Abdur Rub, SDPI, Islamabad – Consultant
  10. Wajeeha Javaid, SDPI, Islamabad - Internee

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