P&D and CDPR, IGC Jointly Organizes a Seminar on Enhancing State Capabilities in Punjab Province at P&D Complex, Lahore.
Finance Minister Punjab Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha has said that greater collaboration with researcher was necessary for operationalization the Punjab Growth Strategy, the province’s framework for meeting growth targets by 2018.
She said this while addressing the seminar on “Enhancing State Capabilities in Punjab Province” jointly organized by Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR), International Growth Centre (IGC) and Punjab Planning & Development Department, Lahore to explore ways the government could use academic research in public policy.
Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab on Economic Affairs Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Provincial Secretary P&D Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Members P&D Board, Government Officials from different departments, Business Leaders and Academic Members also participated in the seminar.
Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghous said that achieving the growth strategy required greater investment of government resources, holding civil servants accountable to implement policies, ensure inclusive growth and design strategies with also stakeholders at the table. She hailed the efforts of organizations such as CDPR, the International Growth Centre (IGC), the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) and the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) in bringing cutting edge research to the attention of the policymakers. She addressed an audience of government official, business leaders, academic and journalist at the P&D Complex about implementing the Punjab Growth Strategy.
Addressing the seminar, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Secretary, P&D Punjab thanked the researchers for their presentations, which he said were intellectually stimulating. He noted that revenue generation and public-private partnerships were areas that the government was addressing at the moment. He also remarked that the seminar connected the dots between scholarship, public policy planning and implementation. Through these conversations, he concluded, the government of Punjab was determined to improve the lives of its citizens.
Dr. Ijaz Nabi, chairman of CDPR and Advisor to Chief Minister on Economic Affairs, gave the final words by stressing the need to equip government officials with good quality evidence to make them feel empowered on policy issues. He said that policymaking was moving in the right direction as the government has shown a renewed interest in collaborating with researchers.
The event included presentations by researchers on a variety of subjects about Punjab’s public sector.
Katherine Vyborny, CDPR fellow and postdoctoral associate at Duke University, spoke on the relationship between creating safe, harassment-free spaces in public transport for women and their access to employment.
Faisal Bari, Research Director of IDEAS and Rabea Malik, Research Fellow at IDEAS, gave a presentation on how partnerships between the public and private sectors can improve enrollment in schools.
Adnan Khan, Director Research, IGC and Program Director, CERP spoke on how the implementation of a digitized public procurement system can improve the efficiency and accountability of how the government allocates its budget.
Benjamin Olken, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), shared the results of a study that introduced incentives for tax collectors in Punjab Province. His research found that tax revenue grew by 46 percent after incentives were introduced.