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we must begin to engage to address the rapid change of the industry
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University in partnership with Skills for Employment Investment Programme (SEIP) project arranged the Dissemination Workshop on Need Assessment Report and Outline of Course Curriculum of Executive Development Programme (EDP) under SEIP project. Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor BRAC University attended the workshop as chief guest where Mr. Abdur Rouf Talukder, Additional Secretary and Executive Project Director, SEIP project was special guest. Among others, Mr. Arastoo Khan, Chairman of Board of Directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Mr. Md. Khairul Islam, Joint Secretary and Deputy Executive Project Director SEIP project, Dr. Md. Shanawez Hossain Chief Coordinator of EDP, SEIP; and entrepreneurs and experts from Knitwear sector attended the event.
To accelerate the growth by increasing the productivity of workforce of the priority industry sectors including Knitwear sector, the Government of Bangladesh with the help of ADB and SDC is implementing this Skills training program. BRAC University is implementing curriculum development part for the Knitwear sub-sector. It will ultimately lead to establishing an Executive Development Center to address skills gap for the mid to high level managers as well as new entrants in Knitwear Sector.
In his speech Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, said that it is a perfect platform for industry and academic linkage where BRAC University has accommodated SEIP for Knitwear industry development. The course will reduce the dependence on foreign resources yet will find ways to better collaborate in the fields of research and development and capitalize the scope of lifelong learning. He suggested that there should be a benchmark and monitoring of the training outcome for the feasibility of such training to integrate more such programs. In future there should be research documents for the next batch of activities. This training programme should focus on SMART goal with innovation and course delivery engaging the participants with critical thinking and problem solving discussions, he added. He also suggested different classroom management techniques like, flip class rooms, group projects, Q/A sessions to make the training interactive.
Mr. Arostoo Khan, who was one of the brains behind the idea of EDP told that, “My engagement with this project is more of passion. As you are all aware that we are going through a demographic dividend and a large number of young men and women are entering into the industry market. So we have to prepare them. Again China is relocating lot of factories away from China as the cost of labor in China is going up and we have to prepare our market for that. So these factors put an impact to take decision regarding the ADB funded EDP.”
Narrating background of the EDP Project, Dr. Abdur Rouf talukder, Executive Project Director of SEIP and the Additional Secretary, Finance Ministry said that there is enormous skill gap at mid and higher level positions, namely supervisor; mid and top level managers in certain industrial sector. Against this backdrop, the SEIP project of Finance Division under Ministry of Finance would like to work with leading universities of country to establish Executive Development Centre (EDC) to conduct nine month training programme to develop mid and higher level managers. Government will support the programme upto 2024. He also mentioned that the concept of EDC used here will be an entity that will support at developing world class business executive and entrepreneurs. He also briefly narrated the scope of the EDC, its beneficiaries, its funding modality and possible implementing strategy.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Shanawez Hossain, Research Fellow of BIGD and Chief Coordinator of EDP, SEIP said that, “I believe involving BRAC University with the project is recognition of its aspiration of ‘inspiring excellence’ in academic and research arena, what the honorable Vice Chancellor always dreams. Further this ‘Government-industry-university’ linkage established under this project is something completely new in Bangladesh. However, it is not new in many countries of the world where companies and universities work in tandem to push the frontiers of knowledge; and thus they become a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth. Silicon Valley is a dramatic example of such collaboration. Microsoft-Cisco-Intel and University of Melbourne collaboration; and BP’s Energy Biosciences Institute in the University of California, Berkeley is further example of such collaboration.” He thanked SEIP for giving chance to BIGD to be a part of this project and also for helping in all possible ways they can. He also thanked all from industry side for giving time despite their busy schedule, which urged to prove the importance of this project.
Later Mr. Md. Khairul Islam Deputy Executive Project Director, SEIP made brief presentation on EDP while Chief Coordinator of EDP, SEIP Dr. Shanawez Hossain presented the Training Need Assessment findings. Ms. Mahreen Mamoon, Coordinator of EDP, SEIP presented tentative curriculum of courses to be offered under this program while EDP-SEIP coordinator Mr. Sirajul Islam and Ms. Jannatun Naim facilitate the workshop. Representatives from several knitwear industries attended the workshop and provided their valuable suggestions and guidelines to make the EDP successful.
Press Launch of the State of Governance in Bangladesh 2016 report
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University has launched one of its annual flagship research report The State of Governance in Bangladesh 2016: Regulation Process Performance through the Press on 20 December 2016, at the BRAC Centre Inn Auditorium, Mohakhali, Dhaka in presence of huge gathering of the reporters and the journalists from Print, Online and Electronic media.
Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud and Dr. Wahid Abdallah are seen at the Launching of SoG (From Left)
BIGD Executive Director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman along with Dr. Wahid Abdallah, Research Fellow, BIGD; Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud, a renowned economist, and Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, the Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) launched the report in front of media.
On behalf of the SoG team, Dr. Wahid Abdallah made the presentation on the findings and recommendations of the report. A lively Question-Answer Session held followed by the presentations, where the SoG Research team addressed the queries and comments of the media reporters and senior journalists.
The report analysed democratic process, specially electoral politics, public sector governance, economic governance, and health governance, specifically governance of Upazila Health complexes. In democratic governance, the report focused mostly on the local government elections in Bangladesh and looked into the role of competition in election, voter turnout, voter list, electoral expenditure and electoral violence. The electoral competition in some elections, for example, the national election and city corporation elections in Dhaka and Chittagong, have been affected by boycotts by the main opposition party, which may have also resulted into lower voter turnout in those elections. Data also shows that election time violence and gender gap in voter list has increased in Bangladesh in recent years. The report said that, Bangladesh has seen deteriorations of electoral competition in the recent years. There was an increased pattern of election time violence, low participation of female candidates in local government elections and increased gender gap in the final voter list prepared in 2014 before 10th national election, the report said.
In public sector governance, the report mentioned that there was sluggish implementation of Annual Development Programme, downward trend of the Request For Information under right to information act, and more than half of the corruption complaints at ACC discontinued. Noted economists who spoke at the report launching called for taking efficient steps by the concern authorities to make the governance system more dynamic at all sectors. They also stressed the need for enhancing capacity of different government organisations.
Economic governance focuses on three topics: labour, tax and the financial sector governance. The section on labour governance analyses the role of ministerial and administrative bodies and discusses issues related to labour rights and collective bargaining, labour conflicts, and workers' safety. According to the report, the workers participation in trade union is dismal compared to the size of the workforce. Industrial safety remains a major concern in the sector and the progress of the reform initiatives. Analysis on tax governance looks at the governance of tax administration and collection in Bangladesh with a special emphasis on the indirect tax, particularly on VAT. There has been an increasing trend in indirect tax revenue collection, particularly of VAT, since 2009. The performance Indicators of the banking sector seems satisfactory. The banking sector in terms of absorbing shocks is reportedly in a moderate condition. Large non -performing loans have been a big concern for the last few years and no sign of significant improvement is observed. In economic governance, the report also said that Bangladesh was the only country with tax GDP ratio of 10 percent, which was the lowest among the South Asian countries. The ministry of labour receives less than two percent of total budgetary allocations, even though it is improving, the report said. In 2016, inspector to workers ratio was 1 to 8 lakh although the standard is 1 inspector to 40,000 workers.
In the health sector governance, relationship between resource availability and performance of Upazila Health Complexes (UHC) has been shown positive using a set of indicators. The analysis goes on showcasing that the service recipients, when informed more about resources availability, are more willing to go to UHCs, thus creating demands for services which, in turn, help improve the performance of government health services at the upazila level.
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