BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION
Planning & Development Department (P&DD) of the Government of Sindh, came into existence on July 1, 1970 with a staff of 82 including gazetted and non-gazetted personnel. This number continued to expand with increasing challenges and responsibilities. At present, the Department is manned by about 200 officers and staff working in various technical and administration sections in addition to the personnel associated with different projects.
The Department plays a vital role in the process of socioeconomic development of the Province. In an economy where public and private sectors co-exist, development proceeds along a well charted course with targets of growth emanating from direct investment by both public and private sectors. This requires careful identification and selection of projects for various nation building departments and providing direction for private sector investment through incentives and appropriate monetary, fiscal and trade policies.
Research & Training Wing was formerly known as Sindh Regional Planning Organization and was formed under SRPO Act of 1976. The structure of organization was different from what it is now, and the overall functions of SRPO were not specific and thus not focused. The SRPO was repealed in 2005 and Research and Training Wing was formed in 2006.
Despite new formation and organization in 2006, the wing still lacked focus on the training and research aspect, and thus the department was virtually dormant. Therefore, in 2017, the Planning and Development Department of the Government of Sindh, in order to enhance public sector delivery, enhance the capacity of human resource and meet the modern-day development challenges by adopting modern techniques and tools of planning and development and bring the province of Sindh to the path of sustained economic growth and prosperity initiated the process of revitalization with technical support from European Union Public Financial Management Support Program for Pakistan (EU PFM-SPP). The Wing now acts as in-house research, policy advice and capacity development body for P &DD helping it to improve function and quality of Public Investment Management. Eventually the Wing aims to evolve as a policy hub within the government of Sindh for informed policy making. The Wing is also going to cater to the training aspects of not only planning and development department but of other line departments of the government of Sindh. Along with this, the Wing has also started to develop partnerships with leading universities, think- tanks, civil society and business associations in the shape of memorandums of understandings.
There are three core functions of the Research and Training Wing, which include but are not limited to: policy making, knowledge management and training, and creating partnerships with leading universities and think-tanks.
The first and most important core function of the Wing is to be a policy hub. Under this, wing would quality-filter for new policies and regulations. The Wing will develop templates, best practices and charters for new policies, regulations repository of key policies, regulations and rules for Government of Sindh. The Wing will also review and give input on the design of foreign-funded programs and projects.
The second core function of the Wing is knowledge management and training. In knowledge management and training, the Wing is going to organise training on policy cycle, planning process, etc. Act as in-house research on the issues relating to federal-provincial and sub-provincial fiscal relations. Organize monthly seminar by academicians and experts having research in areas of interest. Impart training programs, impact evaluations and policy review. Collect and disseminate of best practices.
In the third core function of fostering partnerships with leading universities, think-tanks, the wing is going to enter into partnerships to get external advice on key policies and plans. Under the same ambit, the Wing is going to arrange consultation on new policies, regulations and programs for P&DD. To bolster its research, the wing is going to commission joint research studies on key socio-economic issues. And finally, to have a meaningful research, the Wing is going to share existing programs and policies of GoS with stakeholders.