The Institute of Development Studies has signed a series of new agreements with Bangladesh partners including BRAC, James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSH) and the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD).
The Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) provide a productive and mutually beneficial framework for future collaborations that will contribute to global efforts to reduce poverty and inequality, and that will harness the organisations’ complementary expertise across research, learning, development programming and practice.
Bangladesh and UK collaboration contributed to efforts to reduce global poverty
The MOUs were signed as part of a wider series of events taking place at IDS and in the UK parliament, looking at the rapid progress of development in Bangladesh over the last forty years.
IDS has a long standing history of working with BRAC, on programmes such as the ground breaking BRAC-led Targeting the Ultra Poor Programme, which has helped 95% of its participants to graduate from extreme poverty. Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, KCMG, Founder of BRAC was previously a member of the IDS Board of Trustees.
Collaborations with BRAC, BIGD and JPGSPH have brought new understanding and analysis to debates around democracy, citizenship, women’s empowerment, unpaid care, taxation and sexual health and reproductive rights. The new MOUs will consolidate these partnerships and underpin future joint research ventures.
IDS Director Melissa Leach said:
“Over the last four decades IDS has worked alongside colleagues in Bangladesh to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges and signing these agreements represents an important opportunity to recognise and reaffirm these vital partnerships. For it is only through global cooperation and collaboration that we can realise our shared visions of a fairer, safer and more sustainable world.”
Mushtaque Chowdhury, Vice Chair, BRAC said:
“From Robert Chambers helping to inform BRAC’s participatory approach to development in the 1990s, to our founder Sir Fazle Hasan sitting on the IDS board – the connections between BRAC and IDS are longstanding and highly valued. I am delighted to be signing this agreement today which will strengthen and evolve these collaborations so both organisations can continue to work together to achieve progressive social change.”
Transformations through Engaged Excellence
Partnerships underpin IDS’ engaged excellence approach which is central to all of their work. This engaged excellence approach means they seek to collaborate with governments and parliaments, international NGOs and local civil society, citizens and communities to understand who can bring about, as well as who obstructs, transformative change. Without these types of collaboration the quality, relevance and impact of our research and teaching and learning would not be possible.
Together IDS, BRAC, JPGSH and BIGD will seek to identify future opportunities that foster mutual learning and cooperation around research and policy engagement activities.
Dr Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, BRAC University, said:
“These research partnerships will contribute both to the strategic direction of each of the organisations, as well as continue to support the type of informed, evidence-based policy making that has helped achieve the remarkable gains in social development in Bangladesh over the last forty years.”