Think Tank Initiative’s 5th South Asia Regional Meeting
South Asian Think Tanks discussed
opportunities, success and challenges
Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, ED, BIGD (3rd from left) seen in a session of TTI Regional Meet

BIGD’s Senior Staff members participated at the Think Tank Initiative (TTI)’s 5th South Asia Regional Meeting, held during 18-20 November, 2015 at Sohna, Delhi, India.  

Organised by India’s Centre for Policy Research (CPR) this year, around 100 participants from 14 think tanks in the South Asian region, based in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India, came together at the meet, to exchange ideas, discuss challenges and opportunities, and share successes on key national, regional and global public policy issues they work on. Along with the delegation from Regional Think Tanks, the attendees are also included high-level policymakers, donor representatives, and other policy stakeholders from the region in different sessions of the meeting.

The three-day meeting included four thematic sessions to focus on how think tanks are contributing to global challenges relating to urbanisation, public service delivery, climate change, agriculture and water, social development and poverty, and governance and accountability. The meeting also highlighted the continuity of  the exploration of how the continued support to the South Asian cohort of Think Tanks strengthen their capacities to generate new knowledge, become more effective and sustainable in policy engagement , thriving institutions within the policy and research ecosystems. The purpose of these sessions were to highlight key debates, showcase data and evidence, and share examples of how think tanks are instrumental in transforming evidence into policy action.

Led by Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director; the BIGD delegation also included Dr. Shanawez Hossain, Research Fellow; and Mr. Sarwar Jahan Chowdhury, Head of Operations.

The meeting also focused on facilitating and sharing lessons learnt about strategies for defining, building, and managing successful, sustainable Think Tanks with a wide range of policy research organisations and interested stakeholders. BIGD Executive Director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman was a discussant in the session “Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for South Asia and the role of think tanks: Country Context” and  Research Fellow Dr. Shanawez Hossain made two presentations titled (i) “State of Governance in Health and Education in Bangladesh” and (ii) Partyarchy Democracy in Bangladesh.

Think Tank Initiative (TTI), a multi-donor programme funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), managed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of independent policy research institutions in the developing world.