Pakistan is at a crossroads today. The country’s future growth and prosperity depend acutely on facing a number of complex issues. Many of these issues are grounded in the persistent challenges of reducing poverty, improving food security, and fostering broad-based economic growth throughout the country. Solutions will partly come from designing strategies, polices and investments that serve the millions of poor, rural households and food-insecure urban households. Only with a better understanding of how to implement, monitor, and improve these solutions will Pakistan’s growth and poverty reduction objectives be achieved.
Responding to a request from the Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan Strategy Support Program (PSSP), launched in July 2011, is a flexible country-led and country-wide policy analysis and capacity strengthening program. The program provides analytical support on a range of economic policies affecting agricultural growth and food security in the country. The core purpose of the program is to contribute to pro-poor economic growth and enhanced food security through strengthened national capacity for designing and implementing evidence-based policy reforms. This requires improving research-based policy analysis; building capacity, leadership and networks among researchers and policy analysts within and outside the government; and disseminating research results among diverse stakeholders.
The PSSP, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), seeks to create a more favorable enabling environment for investment and enterprise growth, particularly in the agricultural sector. It is being implemented through close collaboration between IFPRI, Innovative Development Strategies (Pvt) Ltd. (IDS), and other collaborators, under the guidance of a high-level National Advisory Committee.