BRAC University (BRACU) is proud to be a part of New York University Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship (NYU Reynolds)/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium. Cutting-edge universities around the world have joined together to conduct their own intra-school competitions and support their students’ efforts to scale sustainable, proven poverty solutions in the developing world. The consortium does more than providing students a chance to launch a world changing venture. It also pools university resources, encourages shared value and curriculum, and multiplies the power of each university.
The partners of the consortium are: BRAC University, NYU Reynolds, D-Prize, NYU Green Grants, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, and Nanyang Technopreneurship Center, Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
As a part of this program, the NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium hosted four (4) webinars to help the participants learn more about the competition and design their idea. All of webinars were organized and hosted online, and for BRACU students, the first two webinars were organized at GDLN Centre of BRACU.
Details of the webinars are as follows:
- Global Webinar 1: Intro to the NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Competition Consortium and Social Entrepreneurship (31 January 2017, hosted by NYU Reynolds)
- Global Webinar 2: Social Entrepreneurship in the Developing Country Context (6 February 2017, hosted by BRAC University)
- Global Webinar 3: Non-Profits, For-Profits, and Hybrids, Oh My! Choosing a Model that Works for You (9 February 2017, hosted by Institute of Business Administration, Karachi)
- Global Webinar 4: Creating a Credible Digital Presence for your Social Venture (15 February 2017, hosted by Nanyang Technopreneurship Center)
The webinars aimed at showing how to successfully design a social venture, get a brief overview of the field of social entrepreneurship, have the opportunity to workshop the idea with an international community of change agents, and ask questions participants may have.
A workshop on ‘Data Analysis and Self-Assessment Report Writing’ was held at 10:00 AM on16 February 2017 in the IQAC Conference Room. Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of BRAC University (BRACU) organized this event. Professor Md. Tafazzal Hussain, Ph.D. director of IQAC, BRACU delivered his welcome speech at the beginning of the program.
Dr. A B M Rahmatullah, Additional Director, Institutional Quality Assurance Cell, AIUB was the key speaker on the Workshop.He discussed various methods and share his experiences on ‘Data Analysis and Self-Assessment Report Writing’ process. A total 18 members of Self-Assessment Committee of different programs/entities attended the Workshop. The Workshop was concluded with an interactive question-answer session.
Military Institute of Science and Technology ( MIST) has celebrated an architectural fest 2017 from 15 to 16 February 2017. Second day was the Design Charrette day and opened for first year and second year students of all schools of architecture of Bangladesh. 28 students from the Department of Architecture, BRACU attended the Charrette. The theme of the Charrette was " Me, Myself and I". Media was free to portray the participants. Mehonaz Afroj Yuna, a student of design studio IV, BRACU has scored the third position. The First and Second Position were scored by Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) and MIST respectively.
On February 16, 2017, a workshop on “Bloom's Taxonomy: A Planning Tool for Crafting Effective Learning Outcomes” was conducted by Mr. Pankaj Paul, Lecturer at BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL).
Bloom’s Taxonomy is one of the most widely used frameworks to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition. In an educational setting, Bloom’s taxonomy plays an important role all the way from planning curriculum to deciding learning outcomes.
In this workshop, Mr. Pankaj highlighted the basic concept of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the different domains in the taxonomy and how the different categories in cognitive domain can be used to develop attainable, measurable and concrete ‘Learning Outcomes’. This informative session created an opportunity for the BIL faculty members to engage and involve in a meaningful discussion and explore the possible applications of Bloom’s Taxonomy in our teaching and learning context.
The session ended with a hands-on experience on crafting ‘learning outcomes,’ incorporating the ‘action verbs’ used in the different levels in Bloom’s taxonomy and illustrating the urgency and significance of establishing an alignment among issues that include learning outcomes, instructional strategies and assessment.
Another journal article review session took place on February 15, 2017, at the Meeting Room of BRACU Savar Campus. Mr. Md. Sayeedul Islam Khan, faculty member of Ethics & Culture, presented the article titled “Withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration from minimally conscious and vegetative patients: family perspective” by Celia Kitzinzer and Jenny Kitzinger.
Advanced medical technology in 21st century has created new moral dilemmas, one of them being taking decisions regarding permanent vegetative state patients. These decisions about withdrawing Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (ANH) from patients in permanent vegetative state or minimally conscious state, which is a state from where there is no hope to recover, are well-discussed issues in medical ethics. In this article, the writers explore salient ethical features from the perspectives of such patients’ family members, including those who believed that their relative would not have wanted to be kept alive, regarding withdrawal treatment.
In the research, researchers collected data from 51 participants who had close relatives in permanent vegetative state or minimally conscious state. From data analysis it has been found that many families are not willing to even consider ANH withdrawal. Philosophical debate about whether or not ANH should be withdrawn from patients will contribute most usefully to real-life situations where such decisions must be taken.
In an open discussion, faculty members who were present in the session shared their own opinion regarding the issue and provided valuable feedback about the article’s analysis concerning the views of the families.
Department of Architecture, BRAC University celebrated the fourth cycle of the ‘Noman Award for Excellence in Design(NAED) 2016’ on 15 February 2017. Through this event the department celebrated the best design from the graduating batch of 2016. The Award Giving Ceremony was followed by an Exhibition of the shortlisted projects. Ar. Khaled Noman, Dr. Mohammad Faruk, Dr. Zakiul Islam and Ar. Naim Ahmed Kibria graced the occasion along with respected faculties and guests.
Ten projects were selected from two final year studios completed in 2016. Nominated Students were Aiman Elahi, Sk. Suraiya Rehnuma, Nuran Mohammed Nur, Hasanur Rahman, SumaitaTahseen, S.M Kaikobad, Joynal Abadin, Tasmia Kamal, Priyanka Baten and Saqif Shadman.
A jury panel containing eminent architects have reviewed all the nominated projects and selected the projects titled ‘Integrated Handloom Center: A Platform for the Weavers’ by Tasmia Kamal and ‘Know Thy Neighbor: Regenerating Future Interactive Spaces to Heal a Neighborhood’ by Sumaita Tahseen as the winning projects. A commendation award was given to ‘Shanto-Marium University of Creative Technology’ by Saqif Shadman. Ar. Mustapha Khalid Palash and Dr. Zakiul Islam were the respected members of the Jury Panel. The Jury Session, Exhibition and Award Ceremony were coordinated by Saiqa Iqbal Meghna, Manal Anis and Rayeed Mohammad Yusuff, faculties of the department.
This Award is being generously awarded since 2013 by Khaled Noman AIA, an architect of Bangladeshi origin, living and practicing in Chicago, USA. The award is given once every year to a student with the best graduating design project from the Department of Architecture, BRAC University, to enhance student’s active participation in architecture design process. Final year projects are short-listed by the respective studio teachers and a Jury Panel containing external critics reviews and selects the winning project from the nominated projects.
Celebration of the fourth cycle of ‘The Noman Award for Excellence in Design’ (NAED) 2016
On February 15, 2017, the Department of English and Humanities, BRAC University and the Department of English and Modern Languages, Central Women's University jointly hosted a discussion session with Professor and translator Seung-Hee Jeon at the GDLN Conference Centre, BRAC University. A Research Professor at the Kim-Dae-Jung Presidential Library and Museum, Yonsei University in South-Korea, Professor Jeon came to Dhaka to meet noted Bangladeshi author, Shaheen Akhtar. She is translating Shaheen Akhtar's fiction on the War of Liberation, Talash into Korean language, through the book's English translation, The Search by Ella Dutta. Author Shaheen Akhtar was also present at the event and talked about her experience of writing this historical fiction. The event ended with a mutual hope to continue collaborative work of similar nature between BRAC and Central Women's University.
The steady growth of Bangladesh has been possible because of a kind of deal prevailing between the political and social elites, speakers said at a workshop in the capital on Thursday. The observation came as speakers discussed how the country maintained a ‘steady and reasonably high’ growth despite shifts in political regimes and economic policies over decades since its independence in 1971.
Representatives of administration, bureaucrats and politicians joined these elites in expanding their sources to earn more money from and the syndicate continued to grow through discoveries of new resources like new maritime boundary, they said. The experts taking part in the discussion also expressed concern that the 'deal' was not, however, enough to attain inclusive growth. They also appreciated achieving the existing growth trend, despite weaknesses in many of the market-enhancing institutions, because of a reasonably robust form of 'growth-enhancing governance'. But they also stressed the need for holding periodic, fair and contestable elections to satisfy popular aspirations, and for seeking legitimacy.
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) in cooperation with Effective States of Inclusive Development (ESID), University of Manchester jointly organised the policy workshop on 'Politics and Development, Democracy and Growth: Bangladesh and Beyond' at BRAC Centre Inn. The workshop contained three important sessions titled “Understanding the Politics of Economic Growth”; “Understanding the Politics of Social Policy”; and “The Political Settlement in Bangladesh: Past, Present and Future”.
Taking part in the discussion, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan said: "The term 'ideology' is now a myth. Ideals are used to deliver speeches on the national days. Personal development is stronger than idealism. Whoever the player is now, all are motivated with this."
‘The existence of this equilibrium is related to the expansion of sources from where rents are collected,’ said Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya. ‘The question is how long will this equilibrium hold?’ asked Debapriya.
Dr. Mirza M Hassan, an adjunct fellow at the BIGD, presented the first session’s keynote paper on navigating the labyrinth of the ‘deal’s’ world and politics of economic growth in Bangladesh. He authored the paper along with Selim Raihan, University of Dhaka. ‘Ordered deal was maintained under military dictatorships, dominant party settlements exhibiting mostly centralised rent management, as well as under competitive party settlement in Bangladesh,’ read one of the points mentioned in the keynote paper referring Bangladesh as a unique case. ‘In economic domain, the elites don’t fight. They come together at the end of the day,’ said Mirza. As a result, business community has become politically stronger, said the paper. It also mentioned that the country’s growth has been a topic of surprise for many given the facts that it has a bad reputation for governance.
Dr. Sohela Nazneen, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex and Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka; Simeen Mahmud, Head, Gender Cluster & CGST, BIGD; and Dr. Naomi Hossain, IDS also presented their papers at the workshop. Eminent academics and policy experts including David Hulme, CEO, ESID; Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud, University of Dhaka; Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, PPRC; Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director, BIGD and Professor Rounaq Jahan of the Centre for Policy Dialogue and Kazi Anis Ahmed, writer and publisher discussed the papers presented at the workshop. Country Representative of The Hunger Project Badiul Alam Majumder, The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam, Dhaka University teacher Asif Nazrul, and former caretaker government adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman attended the workshop among others.
Stata is an important and widely used statistical analysis package not only for academic researchers in social science, public health, economics, and education. To meet the growing demand for skill, the James P Grant School of Public Health organised a short course from 14-15 February on “Intermediate Statistical Computing Using Stata” for researchers, market researchers, analysts and government agencies who deal with different types of data and projects in their day-to-day work. Other than this group, the course also attracted non-academic participants who apply data analysis from an econometric perspective. It was facilitated by Fahmida Homayra (Research Fellow, JPGSPH).
Recently “Textile Today”- the leading journal of textile and RMG in Bangladesh, has nominated Dr. Md. Tareque Aziz, Associate Professor of BRAC Business School, as their “Consulting Editor”. Textile Today also published an article written by Dr. Aziz on the importance of building customer relationship in retail industry in their recent February’ 2017 edition. In this article Dr. Aziz illustrated the importance of developing and maintaining long-lasting customer relationships in the retail industry. As an initiative to educate textile professionals about the importance of relationship marketing, Dr. Aziz has also presented a key note in “Textile Today’s” recent seminar for textile engineers and sales professionals in Dhaka.
The existing FYAT groups of Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 have successfully completed their pre midterm advising sessions. Probation students from Fall 2016 cohort and fresher students from Spring 2017 cohort were advised on academic expectation and challenges and thus referred by the respective FYAT advisers. The total intake for Spring 2017 semester was 1250 out of which 1053 students (84.24%) were advised and monitored by the FYAT at the end of February, 2017. The main aim of these advising sessions is aiding the new students to overcome transitional issues of BRACU and providing them appropriate support through referrals, consultations and tutorials where applicable.
Left from BRAC University
Mr. Md. Taz Uddin, Department Coordination Officer, Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) got separated from BRAC University in February 2017.
Faculty on Study Leave
Ms. Nishat Zareen Khair, Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy went on Study Leave in February 2017. Ms. Nishat will be pursuing her Ph.D in Cancer Drug Discovery in the University of South Australia.
Ms. Bidoura Mosharraf, Lecturer, Department of Architecture went on Study Leave for pursuing her Master of Architecture from Deakin University, Australia in February 2017.
BIGD Executive Director Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman had several meetings in February 2017 with a number of distinguished personalities such as prominent academics, policy makers and researchers regarding the research collaborations and other relevant issues of BIGD.
Dr. Rahman had meetings with Mohammad Mejbahuddin Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, regarding research and academic programme, Isabel Bucknall and Deepa Solanki, Managers at Adam Smith International - Public Financial Management, regarding possible partnership; Brian D. Hanley, Regional Director for Asia Programmes of Internews, regarding a project of media monitoring, Franziska Korn, Resident Representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung - Bangladesh Office, regarding the ongoing project and board meeting and Ms. Sylvia Borren, BRAC board member from the Netherlands & former Director of Green Peace.
Dr. Rahman also attended Economic Research Division’s (ERD) high-level consultation meeting on “National Policy on Development Cooperation” and many other lectures, seminars and conferences.
Bangladesh’s remarkable progress over the last 40 years in reducing poverty and improving lives can offer valuable lessons for achieving inclusive and sustainable development globally, said Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury, Vice-Chair of BRAC, at an event in the Palace of Westminster hosted by the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Bangladesh and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex.
Dr. Chowdhury highlighted the vital contribution that the partnership between Bangladesh and the UK has made to Bangladesh graduating to lower middle-income status, reducing poverty, improving health services and education provision and modernising agriculture. Bangladesh has overtaken India in terms of human development progress, he added. He also said that the collaboration between Bangladesh and the UK has helped to increase our understanding of how to break the cycle of extreme poverty. This learning around what works could make a significant contribution to the reduction of poverty in all of its forms globally.
Meanwhile, the IDS has signed a series of new MoUs with Bangladeshi partners including BRAC, James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSH) and the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD). 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 40 years. These MoUs provide a productive and mutually beneficial framework for future collaborations that will contribute to global efforts to reduce poverty and inequality, and will harness the organisations' complementary expertise across research, learning, development programming and practice.
Dr. Chowdhury 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."
Melissa Leach, Director, IDS 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," she said.
Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director, BIGD, 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 40 years". 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. Shanawez Hossain, Research Fellow of BIGD attended a seminar on National Governance Assessment Framework (NGAF) with the Members of Parliament (MPs), held on February 14, 2017, at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). The seminar was arranged by Governance Innovation Unit (GIU), PMO and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangladesh. Consultants from UNDP presented a draft governance assessment framework in the seminar, where 10 MPs shared their valuable opinions. The session was chaired by Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Advisor to the Prime Minister, whilst Md. Abdul Halim, Director General of GIU, and Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director of UNDP also attended the event.
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