BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) is a social science research and academic institute, grounded in developing country context and practices, with a mission to improve governance and development outcomes.
BIGD conducts rigorous, multi-method social science research, grounded in developing country operations, on a range of social and economic issues to promote practical, time-sensitive innovations for tackling governance and development challenges. Our research spans innovations taking place in government, non-profit, and private sectors for improving lives.
BIGD leads the research on the socioeconomic empowerment programs of BRAC—the global leader among NGOs focusing on poor and marginal people—which gives us a unique opportunity to find innovative, effective, and scalable approaches to complex development challenges through formative and large-scale field research on BRAC interventions in Bangladesh. Our affiliation with the Independent Evaluation and Research Cell (IERC) of BRAC International helps us reach countries in South Asia and Africa.
BIGD’s priority areas include economic development and growth, focusing on poverty, skills and jobs, international migration, access to finance, and small and medium enterprises, with an aim to promote equitable, sustainable economic development. We also focus on themes of gender and social transformation, exploring discrimination and inequalities faced by women and other vulnerable groups and associated norms, values, and sociopolitical factors. Moreover, BIGD’s research looks into issues of governance and politics, honing in on accountability, institutional reform, deliberative democracy, governance efficiency, and public service. Recently, BIGD has been expanding research on critical emerging questions—how to use digital technology for inclusive development and how to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of the population vulnerable to climatic shocks.
BIGD’s academic programs are geared towards developing high-performing next-generation leadership in the public and development sectors. We are one of the leading academic institutions in Bangladesh in the areas of governance and development, and we are increasingly becoming international, both in terms of the quality of education and student profile. We offer three master’s programs:
Master of Development Studies (MDS), a pioneering development studies program in Bangladesh, with a strong emphasis on research and practice for enhancing analytical and practical skills required to address ongoing and emerging development challenges, with alumni spread across South Asia and Africa
Master of Arts in Governance and Development (MAGD), one of its kind in Bangladesh, developing effective future leadership in the public sector
Masters in Procurement and Supply Management (MPSM), also one of its kind, building capacities to improve transparency and efficiency in public and, increasingly, development and private sector procurement
BIGD also offers specialized technical and managerial skills training for improving development-focused outcomes.
We also offer specialized technical and managerial skills training for improving development-focused outcomes. We are offering:
• Post Graduate Diploma in Knitwear Industry Management (PGD-KIM)
• CIPS-UK Qualifications in Procurement and Supply
• Certificate Course in Academy of Work
Evolution of BIGD
Realizing the need for research-based evidence and insights to support continuous innovation and improvement in contemporary public policy and management, BRAC University established the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS) in 2005.
CGS was upgraded to a full-fledged Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) in July 2007. It was a pioneering governance research institute in Bangladesh, undertaking research on governance issues of critical public interest alongside offering a post-graduate degree and professional training programs.
BRAC University also established the BRAC Development Institute (BDI) in 2008 for promoting research and developing knowledge on practical solutions to the issues of poverty, inequity, gender, and social justice.
But development is inextricably linked with governance. So, in 2013, the BRAC University Board of Trustees decided to merge these two institutes into what is known today as BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) to transform the institute into a regional centre of excellence for governance and development research; to bring together academics and practitioners to raise critical questions on development; to provide lessons on good practices; and to advocate for pro-poor policies.
Dr Sultan Hafeez Rahman, a reputed economist and a former Director General (South Asia) of Asian Development Bank (ADB), took the helm as Executive Director (ED) of the newly-established institute in 2013.
He was succeeded by Dr Imran Matin, who has worked extensively at the intersection between international development and research in Bangladesh and globally. Dr Matin took charge of BIGD as the new ED in July 2018 and since then, has been guiding the BIGD family with a vision to transform the organization into a globally-recognized centre for rigorous research on policy and development interventions.
In 2018, BRAC transitioned its internal Research and Evaluation Division (RED) to three institutes of BRAC University—BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BRAC IED), BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH)—to enrich research and learning on development interventions through close academic partnership and to provide a unique opportunity to the university to incorporate knowledge with learnings from development interventions in its research and knowledge base. BIGD has been working closely with BRAC from the beginning, but after this recent transition, BIGD now provides continuous research support to BRAC’s socioeconomic empowerment program.
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