Maximising the benefits of CPEC – Pakistan, November

Using Scientific Evidence for Maximizing Benefits of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Tuesday, 05th November 2019

Location: Seminar Hall, RIMMS, NUST H-12 Campus, Islamabad



On the 5th Nov 2019, the Asia chapter of INGSA organised a one day workshop jointly with NUST and National Academy of Young Scientists (NAYS). This was the first INGSA workshop in Pakistan and undertook to discuss utilising science for maximising benefits of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – one of the most important development initiative in Pakistan’s history.

Objectives of the Workshop:

  1. Introduce INGSA and INGSA-Asia.
  2. Create awareness on the importance of using scientific evidence in policy formulation through case studies.
  3. Discuss CPEC related potential effects on climate change, social integration and economy.


Video Messages from Sir Peter Gluckman (INGSA Chair) and Prof Abhi Veerakumarasivam (INGSA Asia Chair)

Dr. Hammad M. Cheema (INGSA Asia Steering Committee Member)

Dr. Altamash Janjua (Deputy Secretary, Institutional Reforms Cell, Prime Minister’s Office)

Dr. Ashfaque Hassan (Member Economic Advisory Committee to Prime Minister)

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay (Senior Political Economist, Executive Director Zalmi Foundation)

Dr. Salma Siddiqui (Head of Behavioral Sciences Dept, S3H, NUST)

Dr. Iffat Batool Naqvi (Assistant Professor MUET & INGSA Research Associate 2019)

Dr. Irfan Khan (Professor Environmental Governance & Climate Change, IIUI)


Brief Report:

The first grassroots INGSA workshop in Pakistan was held at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad on 5th November 2019. The workshop was attended by 35 participants representing govt sector, NGO, universities and industry. The event was graced by NUST Pro-Rector (Academics) as chief guest who recognized the science-policy interface as a complex one, one that requires understandings  of  both  cultures,  and  that  is  critical  because  there  is  no  single issue affecting social, environmental or economic wellbeing where science cannot play an important role in informing policy development, application and evaluation. Dr. Hammad M. Cheema, the INGSA Asia Steering Committee member, then gave the participants an introduction to INGSA, it’s Asia chapter activities and also his views about scientists role as broker instead of an advocate. This was followed by video messages by Sir Peter Gluckman and Dr. Abhi  Veerakumarasivam who appreciated the effort by the local organizers for holding the first activity in Pakistan. An INGSA case-study was then discussed by the participants that provided insight into the complex nature of decision making by the policy makers.

The program included a series of six talks by imminent speakers starting with an overview of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan who is a member of economic advisory council for government of Pakistan. He emphasized the importance of CPEC but at the same time hinted at the room for improvement for coordination between various stakeholders. The next speaker, Dr. Altamash Janjua, provided interesting insights on the use of data for informed decision making in resource constrained public sector departments. Dr. Salma Siddiqui, a behavioral scientist by profession, shared her firsthand experience of visiting far flung southern areas of the country that as per government’s claims will be uplifted through CPEC but currently lag behind considerably. The next speaker, Dr. Iffat Batool Naqvi, an INGSA Research Associate, shared her on-going research on the first industrial cluster of Sindh province and reiterated the importance of considering her findings in future allocation of government resources based on the geographical mapping of various industries. The last speaker covered the environmental impact assessment of CPEC and shared the expected greenhouse gas emission contributions of various earmarked CPEC projects. He emphasized on the establishment of regulatory mechanisms to keep the environmental impacts under check during the execution of various CPEC initiatives during the next 10-15 years.

The workshop provided an excellent networking opportunity among the participants and was appreciated by all. Certificates were provided to participants whereas Shields were awarded to the worthy speakers. The organizers are thankful to INGSA for financial support and guidance for making this event possible.

Meeting Agenda:

Time Activity and Speaker
0845-0915 Registrations
0915-0925 Welcome Remarks by Chief Guest
0925-0935 INGSA & INGSA Asia Introduction

(Dr. Hammad M. Cheema)

0935-0940 Video message from Sir Peter Gluckman (INGSA Chair)

Video message from Dr. Abhi Veerakumarasivam (INGSA Asia Chair)

0940 – 1040 Title: Use of Scientific Evidence for Policy Formulation:  Case Study and Role Play

Moderator: Dr. Hammad M. Cheema

1040 – 1100 Tea break
1100 – 1140 Title: Overview and Opportunities of CPEC

Speaker: Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan (Member Economic Advisory Council Government of Pakistan, Principal & Dean, S3H-NUST)

1140 – 1220 Title: Measure to Manage: Quantified Performance Management in Public Sector of Pakistan

Speaker: Dr. Altamash Janjua (Deputy Secretary, Institutional Reforms Cell, Prime Minister’s Office)

1220 – 1300 Title: Importance of Using Science in CPEC Economic Planning        and Execution

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay (Senior Political Economist, Executive Director Zalmi Foundation)

1300 – 1415 Lunch and prayer break
1415 – 1445 Title: Role of Social Science in Cultural Aspects related to CPEC

Speaker Dr. Salma Siddiqui (Head of Behavioral Science Dept, NUST)

1445 – 1510 Title: First Industrial Cluster Policy of Pakistan: Evidence Based Proposal

Speaker: Dr. Iffat Batool Naqvi (Assistant Professor MUET & INGSA Research Associate 2019)

1510 – 1550 Title: Environmental Impact of CPEC, can Science help?

Speaker: Dr. Irfan Khan (Professor Environmental Governance & Climate Change, International Islamic University)

1600 – 1630 Shields and certificate distribution
1630 onwards Tea and networking