ISLAMABAD - Canadas International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has selected Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) as an independent policy research institute of South Asia to receive $35 million for its role as influential player in national policymaking. According to Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri Executive Director of SDPI, We believe that the support given by the Think Tank Initiative and the collaboration with other policy think tanks will help SDPI to effectively catalyse the transition towards sustainable development, defined as the enhancement of peace, social justice and well-being, within and across generations. Selection for this grant is recognition of SDPI as a major knowledge generator and knowledge disseminator. Moreover, the Initiative is envisioned as a long-term investment over at least 10 years and the five donors have committed a total of about $110 million to the programme. Dr Suleri further said that the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2008, the Think Tank Initiative is a step towards reversing this trend. It aims at supporting local think tanks to produce high-quality research that will improve policies and, ultimately, contribute to more equitable and prosperous societies. The US$35 million investment in Latin America and South Asia follows US$30 million in grants to 24 think tanks in East and West Africa in 2009. Moreover, according to the details, David Malone, President of Canadas International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has said that international donors continue to invest in policy research undertaken by Western institutions and sometimes forget that it is strong local think tanks that often generate the most effective policymaking in developing countries. Further, SDPI Executive Director said that the think tanks in the developing world were in a unique position to affect change in their societies. They could strengthen public policy debates and promote more objective and evidence-based decision-making. However, most of them never receive predictable core funding, instead depending on short-term project grants and consultancy contracts. This initiative provides think tanks with stable funding so that they could attract, retain and build local talent, develop an independent research program, and invest in outreach to ensure that research results were used in policy debates. Dr Abid was of the opinion that the initiative received over 300 proposals from a wide range of Latin American and South Asian think tanks that focus on broad national, social, and economic policy issues. Following a thorough and rigorous review process, 28 institutions were selected from seven countries in Latin America and five countries in South Asia - Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In total, two institutes SDPI and SPDC were selected for this grant from Pakistan. He further informed that the initiatives three initial donors have now been joined by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS). This strengthened partnership is a concrete move toward establishing and nurturing strong local policy research institutions that ultimately help generate smart and effective policymaking. This is an exciting and innovative initiative. It will provide a much needed support for evidence-based research and policy on global issues such as economic growth, good governance and citizen empowerment, which will help tackle poverty in South Asia and Latin America says Michael Anderson, Director General for Policy and Global Issues at DFID.