CERP was established with the aim of filling the gap of evidence based policy planning in Pakistan. Despite substantial resources devoted to the development process, Pakistan suffers from a dearth of cutting-edge knowledge and expertise that can help design better policy and evaluate the success of countless development efforts that are being undertaken. As a result, policy makers often do not have the knowledge needed to identify policy missteps and this increases the likelihood of misusing limited resources. CERP’s founding members, who have a history of conducting rigorous and internationally recognized empirical research in Pakistan decided to come together and form an organization that will focus specifically on generating such knowledge, disseminating it to inform policy, and partnering from the outset with policy actors to ensure theoretically and empirically informed policy design. CERP was also envisioned to act as a primary research networking resource for academics interested in Pakistan-related economic research and with idea generation, sharing research outputs, setting up new projects, and helping researchers partner with various stakeholders.
Initiated in 2008 by economists at Harvard University, University of Chicago and Lahore University of Management Sciences, CERP has since expanded both in size and scope. The organization currently enjoys an inspirational and rapidly growing roster of over 60 internationally recognized economists and social scientists working on numerous research projects in collaboration with the government of Pakistan, National School of Public Policy, and several international organizations. Partnerships with various government departments have included those with Ministries of Education, Excise & Taxation, Planning and Development and the State Bank of Pakistan. CERP continues to partner with international organizations like Jameel Abdul Latif Poverty Action Lab (MIT), Innovations for Poverty Action (Yale), Evidence for Policy Design at the Center for International Development (Harvard), The World Bank, the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (Harvard). In addition, projects have received support from the Department for International Development (DFID), The World Bank, The National Science Foundation and various international and local foundations on numerous projects.