Brown Bag Series: The Current State of the Economy and Pakistan’s Desperate Need for Rapid Pro-Poor Growth

Friday, December 13, 2019 - 2:30pm
A-16, Academic Block, LUMS


Dr. Sohail Jehangir Malik received his MSc. in Economics from Quaid-e-Azam University Pakistan in 1975 followed by another Masters in Agriculture Development Economics from the Australian National University, Australia in 1982. Finally, he graduated with a Ph.D. in Econometrics from the University of New England, Australia in 1986. He is currently a US based independent development policy analyst and scholar of Pakistani origin. His career spans 44 years. He has worked in the United States, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Started his career as a Staff Economist from the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in November of 1975, Dr. Malik has worked as a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Advisor at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Vice President of John Mellor Associates in Washington DC. Before returning to Pakistan he was a Senior Economist and Poverty Cluster Coordinator at the Evaluation Department of the World Bank in Washington DC. He now teaches in Rural Universities instead of accepting or seeking bureaucratic Government positions.

He has held the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan Chair in Economics at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and the University of Sargodha. Starting with earlier stints as Adjunct Faculty at the Quaid-e-Azam University and the International Islamic University in Pakistan he has promoted the teaching of applied econometrics and rigorous quantitative methods throughout his career. Additionally, he has been a member of several high level national (Government of Pakistan) and international (FAO and SAARC) policy and academic advisory committees and commissions. In the early 2000s he wrote the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers for the Pakistan Federal Government and the Provinces. Moreover, in 2002 he founded Innovative Development Strategies (Pvt.) Ltd in Pakistan where he serves as Chairman of the Board and in 2015, he set up Innovative Development Strategies LLC USA where he is President.

In terms of publications, his work is widely recognized as he has published over a hundred research papers and reports which have appeared in top peer reviewed journals. He has also authored, co-authored and/or edited co-edited eight books. More specifically, his seminal work in the late 1980s on estimating poverty at the agro-climatic zone level, published in the Jacques van der Gaag and Michael Lipton edited World Bank/IFPRI book: Including the Poor presented for the first time dis-aggregated regional analyses to highlight why one-size-fits-all policies do not work effectively. This work formed the basis for subsequent international advice on poverty reduction strategies. His recent co-edited book Agriculture and the Rural Economy in Pakistan: Issues, Outlook and Policy Priorities was referred to in the August 2018 Review of the American Journal of Agriculture Economics as the go-to text on Agriculture and Rural Policies in Pakistan. His 2017 Chapter on “Agriculture and Rural Development Policies in Pakistan” in the Handbook of International Food and Agriculture Policies reflects lessons learnt from over four decades of his work on Agriculture, Rural Development and Poverty in Pakistan – from his work on the 1987 Report of the National Agriculture Commission of Pakistan, and the National and Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers of the 2000s to the recent 2018 Agriculture Policy of Punjab. His paper on “The Impact of Growth in Small Commercial Farm Productivity on Rural Poverty Reduction“ with John W Mellor published in World Development issue of March 2017 has established the critical importance of agriculture growth together with the development of the rural non-farm sector for rapid poverty reduction. Subsequently, his current work focuses on the inadequacy and poor quality of the available economic data and the decayed capacity for analyses and implementation, to show why rapid pro-poor poverty reducing growth is not possible in Pakistan under the current paradigm and what needs to be done about it. He also interacts with post graduate students of Economics in nineteen remote universities of Pakistan through live video conferencing while based in the United States under a unique program TalimulIqtisadiat which is a unique concept that he is trying to promote.