Certificate Ceremony of
1 st Batch Graduates of the Academy of Work (AoW) Programme

The Certificates handing over ceremony of the first batch of the Academy of Work (AoW), a residential and academic programme of trade unionists, the first of its kind in Bangladesh, was held on October 28, 2017 at the capital. The AoW is a joint collaboration of Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES), a non-profit German foundation funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University and Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) which endeavors to uphold the causes of working people and trade unions of Bangladesh. In an attempt to create an all-inclusive, constructive representation of workers’ interests, a more effective social dialogue and a discussion about responsibilities along the global supply chain, the AoW concluded with this event after three months of residential training sessions.

The first cohort of AoW consisted of sixteen mid-level, active trade unionists from industries such as the ready made garments, construction, transport, as well as government service sectors like postal services and telecommunications.

Mahmud Hossain Opu 8016

The event was attended by former labour and employment Secretary Mr. Mikail Shipar as the chief guest, who handed over certificates to the successful fellows. The programme was also attended by Dr. Wajedul Islam Khan, Joint-coordinator of Sramik Karmochari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) and Mr. Amirul Haque Amin, former Chairman of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) and Mr. Mesbahuddin Ahmed, member of Advisory Council of BILS.

Mr. Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, Executive Director of BILS was present at the event as a moderator while Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director of BIGD, BRAC University and Ms. Franziska Korn, Resident Representative of FES Bangladesh spoke on the occasion.

Dr. Rahman emphasized for upgrading the worker - employer - policymakers relationship and skills development of trade union leaders in the ceremony. Congratulating all 16 graduates for successfully completing the course he said ‘BIGD is proud to be a part of such an important and timely initiative’. He also emphasized that upgrading the worker-employer relationship will critically determine whether Bangladesh can continue to achieve the extraordinary success of the last few decades.

Through six thought provoking modules on subjects such as: (i) Labour policies, (ii) Globalization and trade, (iii) Supply chain and workers’ rights, (iv) Health and safety, (v) Project management and (vi) Leadership skills, this three-month training course not only intended to strengthen the capacity of the workers’ leaders but also to ensure that the outcome of the training benefits the workers and ultimately the nation.

Addressing in the event  Dr. Shanawez Hossain, Research Fellow BIGD and one of the resource person of AoW from BIGD said, the program will ultimately help almost 2 million workers who join Bangladesh’s labour force each year to be more aware of their rights, position in the global supply chain and roles and responsibilities of international brands. In this regard he emphasized the important role of the graduates of the 1st batch to disseminate their acquired knowledge among others.

Guest speakers from the field of academia, as well as from national and international organisations also attended and shared their valuable experiences and insights with the participants at the ceremony.

Next batch of this training is expected to commence from early 2018.

IDRC’s Monitoring Visit to BIGD

IDRC Visit

Dr.  Samar Verma, Senior Programme Specialist of International Development Research Centre (IDRC) visited BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University on 25 October, 2017. BIGD Executive Director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman welcomed him to BIGD and discussed vision, mission, objectives, targeted outputs, utilization of funds in Phase II. He also expressed sincere appreciation to IDRC for the grant under the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) phase II provided to BIGD over last three years which has enabled so many of the accomplishments including two annual flagship publications of BIGD to be sustained by the IDRC grant. BIGD is receiving core funding from TTI as one of the two think tanks in Bangladesh.

Later, Dr. Verma participated in a number of meetings with Research team, Communications team and Finance, Administration, IT & HR team. Different teams made separate presentations on the responsibilities, activities, the ways of works, achievements, and the targets/plans of each team to be achieved in 2018 and further on.
Proper housing for the people living in urban poverty is a prerequisite to achieve SDG-11
Experts says at the National Housing Convention

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People’s migrations towards urban settlement in search for a better livelihood are increasing day by day. Every year more than 5 lakh people come to live in the Dhaka city from all over the country. While the population of the city is increasing every day, one in every three of its inhabitant’s lives in the slums is deprived of basic facilities. In this context, proper housing for the people living in urban poverty has become a prerequisite to achieve sustainable development goal or SDG-11 (pertaining to shelter and settlement), and to ensure planned urbanisation and continued economic progress of the country.

Experts and public representatives expressed these views at a programme titled National Convention on Housing Finance for People Living in Urban Poverty' held on October 15, 2017 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. The Urban Development Programme of BRAC, in partnership with the National Housing Authority (NHA), Urban Development Directorate (UDD), Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP), Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) organised the convention. 

Chief Guest of the convention Engineer Mosharraf Hossain MP, Minister, Ministry of Housing and Public Works said, 81 per cent of houses of the country are in the rural areas and 80 per cent of these are of low quality. The country is losing 235 hectares of farmland every day, which is transformed for making residence. He told that the government has already formulated a law titled "Urban and Regional Planning Act, 2016" for making a planned housing system not only in the urban areas but also in the rural areas. "Under the law, rural people will have to take permission from union parishad chairman or municipality mayor or upazila nirbahi officer for constructing house," he added. 

Engr. Mosharraf said the government has a plan to construct about 10,000 apartments for the slum people to ensure their basic needs. "As the population pressure in the city is increasing, it shows that more slums are being developed. Thus, it is not possible to deal with the housing problems. It has to be closed," he added. The minister also called for making a planned housing system in the both urban and rural areas to stop housing on arable lands.To solve the problem, he suggested that BRAC may collaborate with the government in this initiative, the housing Minister said.

Chaired by BRAC's Senior director for Strategy, Communications and Empowerment Dr. Asif Saleh, the event were also attended by Secretary to the Housing and Public Works Ministry Md. Shahid Ullah Khandaker, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Mr. Sayeed Khokon, Rajshahi city Mayor Mr. Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, Barisal city Mayor Mr. Ahsan Habib Kamal, Bangladesh Institute of Planners General Secretary Prof. Dr. Md Akhtar Mahmud, BIGD Executive Director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, MAB President Mr. Alhaj Md. Abdul Baten, Urban Development Directorate Director Dr. Khurshid Jabin Hossain Toufiq, and National Housing Authority Chairman and Additional Secretary Mr. Khandakar Akhtaruzzaman as Special Guests.

The aim of the convention was to establish multi-level partnerships for pro-poor city planning and housing financing to achieve the targets of National Housing Policy and SDG-11. A key note and three evidence-based housing models: BRAC Jhenaidah community-led housing model, UNDP Sirajganj housing model and NHA low-income housing model were presented at the convention.

The speakers focused on stronger collaboration between the government and non-governmental agencies and involving mayors, other public representatives and relevant actors to promote urban planning facilitating the people living in urban poverty and providing them with housing loan services. 

National Convention SH

Dr. Shanawez Hossain, Head Urban, Climate Change and Environment (UCCE) cluster of BIGD also attended the event as a panel discussant on the plenary session titled Partnership and Collaboration on Housing Finance. Advocate Azmat Ullah Khan, Adviser, Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) presented the keynote paper, where Mohammad Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, Mayor, Rajshahi City Corporation chaired the session.

Around 75 mayors including five city mayors attended the event. The 300 guests included representatives and officials from UNDP, Policy makers, Government and Non-Government stakeholders discussed on pro-poor city planning and housing financing solutions at the convention. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Media Coverage

Nutrition Governance Seminar
Good nutrition is linked with social and economic development of the country
says experts

Maximum importance should be given to the children and pregnant mothers in order to eliminate the malnutrition of the country and make successful the nutrition programme of the state, said Prime Minister's Economic Affairs Advisor Dr. Moshiur Rahman at a seminar on Nutrition Governance.He also emphasised on the diversification of crops and the spread of social security programmes. He also said the government must work to ensure nutrition for children which are a prerequisite to attain its mission to achieve SDGs by 2030. The seminar was organized by the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University at a city hotel in Dhaka on 12 September, 2017.

“Agriculture is the centre of the discussion on nutrition since the agricultural policies affect the national health of a country” said Food Laureate and Co-winner of World Food Prize 2016 and founding director of HarvestPlus, Dr. Howarth Bouis, while presenting a keynote paper titled ‘Agriculture’s Primary Role to Provide Nutritious Diets for National Health’. He suggested that bio-fortification in agriculture would be cost-effective to arrange nutritious food varieties for the poor families.

Adequate zinc consumption is a must to ensure nutrition for all as deficiency of the essential mineral is one of the major barriers to the country's progress in nutrition indicators, he added. Zinc is essential for the function of many enzymes and metabolic processes, and the regular consumption of zinc can reduce different common infant morbidities, like diarrhoea, pneumonia and stunting, he said.

Citing a recent study, Howarth said approximately 70 percent people of Bangladesh do not have adequate zinc, thereby suffering from zinc deficiency. The government needs to put emphasis on the consumption of zinc and other nutrients, he said. It also needs to promote the crops containing nutrients to improve dietary quality, said Howarth.

Good nutrition is linked with effective intellectual capacity and higher productivity - this is critical for the social and economic development of the country, said Mr. Edouard Beigbeder, the country representative of Unicef Bangladesh. He also said the period of vulnerability to nutritional deficiencies starts when a child stays in the mother's womb, and it continues until the child becomes two years old, when brain develops significantly. “If a child is undernourished during this critical window of opportunity, the damage is irreversible and the potential to fully thrive in life will be lost,” he said.

Although the country has made a significant progress in the past decade in reducing chronic malnutrition, one in three children here are stunted which accounts for nearly 5.5 million of them being deprived of their right to survival and development, said Edouard.

Ms. Anuradha Narayan, nutrition section chief of UNICEF Bangladesh, said child stunting affected school readiness and performance as well as impacted the country’s economic productivity. She said the impact of nutritional deficiencies in food intake could reduce adult earning of the country by up to 15 per cent.

BIGD research fellow Dr. Shanawez Hossain said a collaborative effort was needed to solve problems in reaching remote areas with nutrition projects and detection of acute malnutrition. Chaired by BIGD executive director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, the seminar was also addressed by parliament member Mr. Farhad Hossain, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition director Professor Sandy Thomas, Brac Health, Nutrition and Population programme head Mahfuza Rifat, James P Grant School of Public Health Professor Dr. Malay K Mridha and Dr. Md. Tanvir Hasan, Bidyanondo Foundation Finance Secretary Mr. Jakir Hossain, among others.

Keynote Presentation: Agriculture's Primary Role to Provide Nutritious Diets for National Health

Paper  1: Accelerating Reduction of Under-Nutrition in Bangladesh

Paper 2: Improving Multi-Sectoral Collaboration for Scaling up Nutrition-Specific and Nutrition-Sensitive Interventions in Bangladesh

Paper 3: Community Participation in Nutrition Interventions: Experience of BRAC

Paper 4: Nutrition Governance: Coordination, Cooperation and Collaboration

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International Symposium
on Women’s Labour Market Participation and Gender Norms:
The Cases of India and Bangladesh Held

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Center for Gender and Social Transformation (CGST), BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University, in collaboration with British Academy and Manchester University organized an International Symposium on Women’s Labour Market Participation and Gender Norms: the Cases of India and Bangladesh on 30 August 2017at a city hotel in Dhaka.

The Symposium presented findings of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research project on ‘Gender norms, labour supply and poverty reduction in comparative context: evidence from rural Bangladesh and India’. The research examined how poverty programmes have affected peoples' lives in rural Bangladesh and India, focusing on women, work and attitudes to women’s work. The study was a collaboration between the University of Manchester, UK, Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi, India and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development of BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The symposium consisted of three sessions titled Women’s Labour Market Participation Trends: Research Findings, Methodological Innovations for Assessing Labour Force Participation and Labour Market Participation and Changing Gender Norms. BIGD’s Executive Director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman; Dr. Selim Raihan, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka and Executive Director, SANEM and Dr. A T M Nurul Amin, Chair, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, BRAC University chaired the sessions respectively.

Among others the programme was attended by Dr. Wendy Olsen, Professor of Socio-Economics, Department of Social Statistics, University of Manchester; Ms. Simeen Mahmud, Head, Gender Cluster, BIGD, Mr. Amaresh Dubey, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Mr. Anup Mishra, Banaras Hindu University; Mr. Santosh Kumar Singh Jawaharlal Nehru University; Ms. Sayema Huq Bidisha, Dhaka University; Ms. Maheen Sultan, Dr. Sohela Nazneen, Adjunct Fellow, BIGD; Ms. Lopita Huq, Research Fellow; Ms. Sahida Khondaker, Research Associate; BIGD.
BIGD is now the Approved Centre of CIPS

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University recently achieved the certificate of approved study centre of The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), UK and ranked up from the registered study centre to approved study centre authorized by CIPS. Till now BIGD is the one and only exam centre of CIPS in Bangladesh. BIGD applied for the study centre approval in the year of  2016 and now it has become the approved study centre in Bangladesh for providing Diploma, Advance Diploma and Professional Diploma of CIPS to achieve the MCIPS awarde from Bangladesh.   CIPS has a network of almost 100 study centres in the UK, and more than 150 centres worldwide.
After two years as an approved study centre, BIGD will be able to apply for an upgrade to ‘Centre of Merit’ and following a further two years’ continuing demonstration of additional criteria, BIGD will also be able to achieve ‘Centre of Excellence’.
Approval certificate


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