10 Years of Knowledge for a Better World: Celebrating BIGD’s Impact and Charting the Path Forward

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) celebrated its 10th anniversary on June 26, 2023. The event featured a series of activities, starting with a participatory timeline creation exercise, a panel discussion, and an award ceremony.

The core part celebration was the panel discussion, where distinguished speakers shared their insights and perspectives on BIGD’s journey, accomplishments, and the challenges ahead.

Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), emphasized BIGD’s identity as a field research organization. He highlighted the importance of adhering to the ethos of field research, combining theory with open-mindedness to embrace fresh perspectives and ground-level realities.

Syeda Salina Aziz, a Fellow of Practice at BIGD, acknowledged the institute’s valuable governance research in public administration. However, she also stressed the importance of exploring other governance disciplines, such as accountability mechanisms and community governance.

Rozina Haque, Associate Director of Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) and Livelihood Programme Development and Innovation at BRAC and BRAC International, emphasized the importance of researchers demonstrating both critical affection and attention towards their programs. She advocated for programs to engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering mutual enrichment.

Pragyna Mahpara, a Senior Research Associate at BIGD, emphasized the critical need to develop contextual framings and methodological tools for addressing complex issues of intersectionality. She urged the epistemic community to vernacularize critical agendas and consider their implications within local contexts to effectively address the everyday struggles faced by people.

Dr David Dowland, Registrar at Brac University, focused on bridging the gap between research and action. He highlighted the importance of leveraging BIGD’s strengths and assets to translate evidence into tangible actions.

In his concluding speech, Dr Imran Matin, Executive Director of BIGD, emphasized three key priorities for the institution’s second decade: leading climate change initiatives, developing robust methodologies and measurement tools to promote inclusive research, and enhancing academic excellence. These priorities will be underpinned by strategic partnerships, a financial foundation, and a high-performing organizational culture fostering excellence, creativity, and adaptability.