Since 1977, we’ve supported Pakistani researchers’ efforts to improve health care, education, and farming practices. Research has also focused on peacebuilding and women’s experience of discrimination and violence.

We funded research to find lasting solutions to economic and environmental problems. For example, research in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas identified solutions to conserve soil and water — such as planting hybrid off-season corn — while increasing family incomes.

IDRC facilitated research to reduce poverty, including a community-based monitoring system to track the government’s effectiveness. Researchers also brought hope to Tehsil Balakot, a rural area devastated by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. Local organizations gained a better understanding of residents’ needs, and received training to help them rebuild or replace lost livelihoods.

Since the mid-2000s, IDRC research partners have introduced the Internet to hundreds of isolated northern villages, bringing online training opportunities, along with health and agricultural information.

Local-language computing

A widely celebrated effort to include poorer parts of Asia in the information age began in 2002, with a modest initiative to create digital fonts in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language. Given that English dominated computers and the Internet at that time, IDRC-supported research teams produced local language computer programs so Asians could read and publish content on the Internet in their own languages. Researchers at Pakistan’s National University for Computing and Emerging Sciences coordinated the 10-country program.

In another effort to narrow the digital divide, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Pakistan is measuring — and bridging — the gap between men and women, and girls and boys, in accessing computers in rural areas.

Environmental economics

For the past decade, we’ve helped build the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics. This network specializes in applied research that connects economic and environmental problems with solutions. Groundbreaking research in Pakistan includes a study showing how the recreational value of natural resources, such as parkland, can generate funds to preserve them.

Total IDRC Support

94 activities worth CA$31.8 million since 1977

DFID/V.Francis

Our support helps

  • use e-health to increase people’s access to services and information

  • end early child marriages and forced marriages 

  • increase Pakistan’s ability to provide sound research that informs and influences policy

  • strengthen health system governance to improve reproductive health and women’s rights

Projects