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Spotlight series: The Collective for Social Science Research

This week we turn our attention to The Collective for Social Science Research, Pakistan, for our Spotlight series. The series profiles research organisations based in developing countries.

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The Collective for Social Science Research was formed in 2001 by a small group of social science researchers as an independent research organisation in Karachi. Its objective is to produce high quality academic research in the social sciences and to foster informed debate on social, political and economic issues and policies.

Its research focuses mainly on Pakistan but has also extended to Afghanistan.

The Collective’s areas of research interest include social policy, economics, nutrition, poverty, gender studies, health, labour, migration, and urban studies. The organisation also focuses on three main areas of innovation in the practice of applied social sciences in Pakistan: the introduction of a political economy perspective in macro- and micro-issues; the attention to informal collective action and social networks; and the combination of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.

Much of the Collective’s work is commissioned by those working on social and economic programming in the country, whether they are state policy makers or donors working in the development sector. Through its research the Collective aims to add to the quality of social sector programmes and economic policy. The Collective also engages with academics in the region and globally in an effort to contribute to the on-going dialogue in the social sciences on the condition of various societies and their people.

A significant portion of the Collective’s work is primary research in communities in Pakistan that are often lacking in voice and representation. The research producedoften challenges the categories that the state uses to understand these segments of the population and works to better understand the systems that produce inequality in our society.

Reaching target audiences can be a challenge due to factors such as the capacity of policy makers to use evidence, the small size of the academic community in the country which implies that there are few opportunities to generate/engage in current debates on social policy theory and practice, and the fact that the country has high global visibility with regard to security/conflict issues at the expense of social policy issues.
If you want to get to know The Collective for Social Science Research’s research better visit their organisation profile. A selection of their publications are listed below. Please note that some of this research is published by Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA).

Recommended Readings

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility: Evidence from Two Communities in Pakistan
M. Balagamwala; H. Gazdar / Institute of Development Studies UK 2014
This report contributes to the Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility project by examining the impact of food price volatility on poor and vulnerable households through qualitative research conducted in 2012 and 2013 at ‘listen...
Convergence on Nutrition in Agricultural Systems of Innovation: Concepts and Methods, with Examples from Pakistan
M. Loevinsohn; R. Mehmood / Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia 2014
The paper first briefly sketches the origins of the system of innovation (SoI) concept and the need it was seen to fulfil in agriculture. It then illustrates the different ways it has been employed as a framework to explain how change...
Reproductive health knowledge and perceptions: a rapid assessment in four villages in Sindh
A Khan / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2014
Indus Resource Center (IRC) is scaling up its project “Reproductive Health through Girls’ Education”, now revised as “Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes for Girls through Life Skills Based Educat...
Causes and implications of induced abortion in Pakistan: a social and economic analysis
H Gazdar; A Khan; S Qureshi / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2012
Nearly 88% of pregnancies that were ended using an induced abortion were terminated due to unmet need for family planning or contraceptive failure. A majority of abortions were induced in hospitals, private as well as government, and ...
Exploring the links between contraception, abortion and maternal health in Pakistan
S Qureshi Ikhlas / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2010
Access to safe services remains a critical factor in maternal health, but a more nuanced understanding of access is needed. The majority of women in Pakistan (more than 60%) still prefer to use of dais (untrained traditional birth att...
Afghan values or women’s rights? gendered narratives about continuity and change in urban Afghanistan
N Kabeer; A Khan; N Adlparvar / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2011
There is considerable debate about the extent to which gender equality and womens’ rights are universal values. This debate has been particularly heated in Afghanistan where the violation of women’s rights by the Taliban r...
The criminal justice system and rape: an attitudinal study of the public sector response to rape in Karachi
S Zaman; A Khan / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2012
In the year 2011, the Capital City Police reported that 103 cases of rape and sexual assault were reported across Karachi. However, in community meetings held across Karachi in all 18 towns of the city, participants knew of over 50 ca...
Karachi’s Violence: Duality and Negotiation
H Gazdar / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2011
Karachi has historically been the locus of opportunity for the rest of the country, but its position within Sindh sharpens the economic dualism between urban and rural areas, agriculture and industry, and the two major ethnic groups o...
Social inequality and environmental threats in Indus Delta villages: Pakistan
H Bux Mallah / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2012
Protection of environmental and climate change migrants or refugees and the debate on the legal framework of refugees’ rehabilitation is a matter of major concern for international humanitarian as well as development oriented or...
Agriculture and nutrition in Pakistan: pathways and disconnects
H Gazdar; M Balagamwala / Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia 2013
This paper analyses the pathways and disconnects between agriculture and nutrition in the context of Pakistan, using a framework developed by theTackling the Agriculture-Nutrition Disconnect in India (TANDI) research program...
Employment Program in the Flood Affected Areas
A. Sayeed / Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Pakistan 2011
The focus of this study is to address the livelihoods loss issue in conjunction with the rebuilding of small infrastructure. Based on a rapid assessment of flood affected areas, the study identifies employment programmes at the villag...