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IFPRI and the abolition of the wheat flour ration shops in Pakistan: a case-study on policymaking and the use and impact of research

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  • Islam, Yassir
  • Garrett, James L.

Abstract

In February 1987, the Government of Pakistan (GOP) abolished the wheat ration shop system. Started as a food rationing program during World War II in colonial India, it had degenerated by the 1980s into a wasteful corrupt system that failed to reach the poor. Why did it take so long for this monument to come tumbling down? Was this simply fortuitous, or was it a well-planned and timed demolition? Our findings suggest that IFPRI research on this issue, commissioned and conducted in Pakistan, played a key role in this historic decision. A case study of this decision represents one means by which IFPRI can gauge the impact of its work on policy choices. In order to understand IFPRI's contribution to the outcome, this paper looks closely at how the information was produced, communicated, and used in the policymaking process leading to the decision. This analysis can suggest whether, and how, IFPRI's work mattered in the final decision to eliminate the ration shops, and provide lessons about what IFPRI can do to increase both the relevance and impact of its research activities. Understanding how information is used in policymaking at the country-level should also provide valuable insights that can be applied when analyzing the impact of research at the regional or international level, a hallmark of IFPRI's research strategy. This case study is also important because it is one of the few attempts to identify a particular body of IFPRI research and trace its use by policymakers in the decisionmaking process.

Suggested Citation

  • Islam, Yassir & Garrett, James L., 1997. "IFPRI and the abolition of the wheat flour ration shops in Pakistan: a case-study on policymaking and the use and impact of research," Impact assessments 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:impass:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alderman, Harold, 1988. "The twilight of flour rationing in Pakistan," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 245-256, August.
    2. Adams, Richard Jr., 1983. "The role of research in policy development: The creation of the IMF cereal import facility," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 11(7), pages 549-563, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Behrman, Jere R. & Calderon, Maria Cecilia, 2009. "Case study on IFPRI and conditional cash transfer (CCT) and non-conditional cash ransfer (NCCT) programs:," Impact assessments 30, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Nazli, Hina & Haider, Syed Hamza, 2012. "Pakistan Rural Household Panel Survey 2012 (Round 1): Methodology and community characteristics:," PSSP working papers 7, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Babu, Suresh Chandra., 2000. "Impact of IFPRI's policy research on resource allocation and food security in Bangladesh," Impact assessments 13, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Paarlberg, Robert, 2005. "Regional policy networks: IFPRI's experience with decentralization," Impact assessments 24, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Bennet, Jeffrey W., 2013. "An ex-post impact assessment of IFPRI's GRP22 program, water resource allocation: Productivity and environmental impacts:," Impact assessments 35, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Dhehibi, B. & Gil, J. M., 2003. "Forecasting food demand in Tunisia under alternative pricing policies," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 167-186, April.
    7. Farrar, Curtis, 2000. "A review of food subsidy research at IFPRI," Impact assessments 12, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Karami, Ayatollah & Esmaeili, Abdoulkarim & Najafi, Bahadin, 2012. "Assessing effects of alternative food subsidy reform in Iran," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 788-799.
    9. Paarlberg, Robert L., 2012. "Impact Assessment: IFPRI 2020 conference "Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health":," Impact assessments 34, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Ryan, James G., 1999. "Assessing the impact of rice policy changes in Viet Nam and the contribution of policy research:," Impact assessments 8, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Kerr, John & Chung, Kimberly, 2001. "Evaluating watershed management projects:," CAPRi working papers 17, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Norton, George W., 2011. "Impact assessment of the IFPRI agricultural science and technology indicators (ASTI) project:," Impact assessments 32, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    13. Ryan, Jim, 2002. "Assessing the impact of food policy research: rice trade policies in Viet Nam," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-29, February.

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