BIDS IT Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies
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An Evaluation of Rural Social Service Programme of the Government of Bangladesh


Study Team: Dr. M Harunur Rashid Bhuyan (Study Director), Dr. Sharifa Begum, Dr. Binayak Sen, Dr. S M Zahedul Islam Chwodhury and Dr. M Mainul Hoque.

Sponsor agency: Department of Social Services    

Bangladesh is now a model of development to many other countries. Growth has picked up by about 1 percentage points in every decade since 1980s. The annual rate of poverty alleviation has also accelerated over time. The holistic approach to foster development in fact preceded the current proliferation of microcredit programs in Bangladesh. The rural social service programme, which has been implementing since 1974, is based on the principle of holistic approach to development. For inclusive growth and faster alleviation of poverty, programmes like rural social service are very important. The current study proposes to undertake a thorough evaluation of the rural social service programme which has already involved a sizeable number of rural households. The study intends to pursue two broad objectives; (i) an evaluation of the modus operandi of the programme by assessing the different players involved in the implementation at different stages, and (ii) to evaluate whether the programme has been contributing to the amelioration of the economic and social lives of the rural people, if yes, to what extent?

The study will make use of both primary and secondary information. The secondary data from various sources, the main one being the information already collected under this project, will be analyzed to understand the operational aspects of the programme and spatial as well as income distribution of its main beneficiaries. To complement the available information, primary data will be collected through structured questionnaire from 1000 beneficiaries and 500 non-beneficiaries, and different personnel involved in the implementation of the programme. The study is expected to be completed by October 2016.


Baseline Study on Renewable Energy Technology Systems in Bangladesh


The energy sector in Bangladesh has been plagued by acute shortage of electricity supply. Natural gas is the primary fuel for more than 70% of power generation and it is in short supply too. Renewable energy currently constitutes less than 1% of total power generation in the country and the government intends to increase its share up to 10% by 2020. The infrastructure development company limited (IDCOL) has been planning to implement several types of renewable energy technologies (RETs) such as solar mini grid, improved cooking system, bio-gas plants and solar irrigation systems in the off-grid areas under the RERED II project of the World Bank. The objective of the RERED project goes beyond fulfilling the immediate energy needs of the consumer by making a difference in their development outcomes, policy makers and project implementers can learn about the true impact of the project. Thus the World Bank and IDCOL are interested in the developmental impacts on these renewable energy interventions, which will be done through a will designed impact evaluation (IE) exercise. For this purpose, the basic pre-requisite is a well designed baseline study. BIDS will carry out a baseline survey to assess socio-economic benefits of RETs such as mini grid, solar irrigation pump, ICS and biogas plants, as well as the delivery mechanisms of the RETs. The survey will cover households, enterprise and communities. The study is expected to be completed in June 2017.

Study Team: Monzur Hossain (Team Leader), Mohammad Yunus, Nazneen Ahmed and Humayra Ahmed


Skill and Employment Baseline Assessment of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Bangladesh


Sponsor: International Labour Organisation

Research Team: Dr. Kazi Ali Toufique (Study Director) andDr. Mohammad Yunus. External researchers: Dr. Abdul Hye Mondal, and Ms Sinora Chakma.

The indigenous and tribal people (ITPs) constitute a minority of marginalized population in Bangladesh. Their livelihoods are characterized by subsistence farming, insecurity of land tenure, high incidence of informality irrespective of whether employed in rural or urban areas, seasonal work and precarious working conditions and vulnerability to violations of fundamental principles and rights at work. The ILO is aiming to enhance the skills and employment situation of indigenous and tribal peoples in Bangladesh. In this context, the present study is going to undertake askill and employment baseline assessment of the indigenous and tribal peoples in Bangladesh. The envisaged assessment seeks tocontribute to and strengthen knowledge and polices regarding skills and employment and related socio-economic rights of the ITPs. To this end the assessment is expected to develop high-quality knowledge on their skills and employment situation.

  • The baseline assessment has the following specific objectives:
  • Collection of socio-economic information on ITP households (as far as possible compared to national averages) related to the life and livelihood of communities including educational/vocational/skills status, income and wages, and related discrimination. 
  • Assessment of current levels of enrolment and completion of TVET by ITP women and men and demand in growing sectors in ITP areas.
  • Review of relevant national laws and policies to assess coverage and/or exclusions of ITPs in law or practice, taking into account relevant international ILO instruments.

Baseline Data Collection for the Impact Evaluation of Second Rural Transport Improvement Project-II
Client: Local Government Engineering Department
Research Team: Dr. Mohammad Yunus (Study Director), Dr. Monzur Hossain (Member), Mr. Md. Harunur Rashid Bhuyan (Member), Dr. Md. Mainul Hoque (Member), and Ms. Humayra Ahmed (Member).
The Second Rural Transport Improvement Project (RTIP-II) would be implemented through development and/or construction of upazila roads and union roads (RTIP-II (R)), to improve accessibility in rural areas in 26 districts (2 in the Rajshahi Division and 24 in Chittagong, Dhaka, and Sylhet Divisions respectively), strengthen institutional capacity for sustainable rural road maintenance, reduce rural poverty, and stimulate economic development of rural communities with approximately 22 million beneficiaries. Also included under the RTIP-II is a component related to restoration of rural waterways to promote rural water transport (RTIP-II (IWT)). The proposed intervention area of this component is around four upazilas of Comilla district: Titus, Homna, Muradnagar and Meghna. Out of the 26 km long reach from Kathalia to Batakandi of the Titus River, a total of 11.3 km from Char Kumeria to Machimpur will be considered for dredging with approximately 250,000 beneficiaries.
The proposed baseline survey will attempt to assess the benchmark levels of major indicators of economic and social development in the impact zones of the intervention and control areas. The effects of infrastructure development activities should be measured in terms of increased income and employment through higher involvement in farm and off-farm activities and increased value chain of farm products, human development through better access to education and health services, and social development through better safety and security of lives and properties, and conflict resolutions, enhanced women empowerment through greater roles in intra-household decision makings, mobility in public places and labor force participation, etc. 
The study will be completed in a period of six months effective from 05 July to 31 December 2015.
Assessment of Direct and Indirect Impacts of Export Processing Zones on the Economy of Bangladesh
Client: Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA)
Research Team: Mohammad Yunus (Study Director), Abdul Hye Mondal (Consultant)
The objective of the proposed study is two-fold: (i) to make a comprehensive assessment of the direct and indirect impacts of the EPZs in Bangladesh with a view to understanding the real contribution of the EPZs to the national economy, and (ii) to examine whether there is any policy space for further expansion and replication of EPZs in the new areas of the country. 
The study will be based on a field survey of 8 operational EPZs. The main survey instruments will be structured questionnaires for the EPZ establishments, agencies linked to the EPZ establishments and census of ancillary activities in the neighborhood of the EPZs. The study will be completed in a period of six months ending in October, 2015.
Impact of Natural Barrier on Competitiveness of Selected Bangladeshi Exportable Agricultural Products in the International Market
Study Team: Dr. S. M. Zahedul Islam Chowdhury(Study Director), Research Fellow and Dr. Asif Reza Anik(External Consultant)
Sponsored by: South Asia Network of Economic Research Institutes (SANEI)
The proposed research aims to estimate export potential of different agricultural exportable products by estimating protection and competitiveness of these crops in the international market. While doing so it will differ from the existing literature by estimating and incorporating widely defined natural barrier in the estimation. Natural barrier will be defined as transaction cost incorporating both implicit and explicit cost. Real life transaction cost will be estimated through collecting information from different market actors and exporters. By incorporating this cost in the estimating protection (nominal and effective) and in Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) analysis, the research will show relative importance of both natural and policy barrier in export. Through PAM analysis it will also show different policy options available for the exporters.
Gender and Energy Sector Reform in Bangladesh
Study team: Dr. K.A.S Murshid, Tahreen Tahrima Chowdhury
Sponsor agency: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Duration: July 2015-December 2015
Energy consumption has been growing rapidly in Bangladesh over the past two decades. However, over 92% of rural households depend on biomass for cooking even today. Bangladesh faces a serious energy crisis due to an inadequate supply of energy resources. Energy sector reform and pricing policy has become one of the crucial priority areas of the policy scheme of the government. However, government’s concerns toward mainstreaming gender issues into energy sector reform still remains inadequate considering the relative relevance of women’s participation   into health and education sector.
This study is intended to provide a country research plan on energy sector reform with gender concern. The study will be designed with a detailed review of the existing research literature as well as policy documents and important project reports focusing on gender and energy sector reforms in Bangladesh. This includes evaluations of projects/programs that are aimed at empowering women through improved technology, awareness building and skills. The aim of this exercise is to explore/review the key issues relating to energy use, preferably through a gender lens. The most relevant issues will be discussed in terms of several dimensions, including production and distribution process of (different kinds of) energy, consumption of energy, and the impact of choice or use of energy on girls’ and women’s health, time use, productivity, education or security mediated by cooking and lighting needs and solutions. 
Education and Literacy in Bangladesh: An Analysis from Social Inclusion Perspective
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the last twenty years, particularly in the education sector as most of the educational indicators show positive trends in Bangladesh. The main purpose of the present study is to examine: (i) the extent of progress in enrolment and completion in primary and secondary education, (ii) whether the progress has been pro-poor, with enrolment (and completion) rising faster amongst the poor than the non-poor, faster amongst girls than boys, and faster in rural than in urban areas.The main data source will be census data of various years (i.e. Population and Housing Censuses of 1991, 2001, and 2011, and HIES, and BDHS data).
Researcher involved: M.A. Mannan
Duration:  January-May 2015
Sponsor: BBS
Population Monograph on
Study team: Dr. Rushidan Islam Rahman
The proposed monograph on ‘Children and Youth’ will focus on the human capital aspect of these groups. The analysis will emphasize on education
and their roles as labour force members which can contribute to economic growth of Bangladesh.Specific objectives of the study are to
(a) Examine the educational attainment and enrolment in educational institution;
(b) To focus on health and nutrition of children and young persons;
(c) To analyze the labour force participation (LFP) of these groups disaggregated by sex, location etc. and examine the determinants of LFP;
(d) To examine the characteristics of youth labour market in terms of sector and type of employment;
(e) To assess the extent of unemployment and underemployment among these groups;
(f) To make policy suggestions for improvement of human capital and youth labour utilization.
Inclusiveness of migration: An analysis of socioeconomic background of international migrants
Study team: Dr. Abul Basher
 Everyone does not have equal access to the migrant labour market. The poor face special challenges in this respect thus constraining their ability to move up, limiting the equity-enhancing role of migration. In addition to the socioeconomic condition, migration also depends on social capital – access to the network of communication, mutual trust and reciprocity. The most important determinant of migration is likely to be the quality of information available from informal networks - hence the importance of the credibility of the conduit of information. All these mean although migration can act as an effective way to reduce poverty and promote growth in Bangladesh, its inclusiveness in terms of economic groups and regions will continue to suffer unless some informed policy measures are taken. Informed policy measures require credible research based findings. This study hopes to contribute towards this end.
The study is sponsored by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and expected to be completed by May 30, 2015. 
Tracer Study on the TVET Graduates in Bangladesh
Team members: Tahreen Tahrima Chowdhury and Abdul Hye Mondal
The objective of this study is to assess employment outcomes of the graduates of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Bangladesh. The study will seek to: (i) assess occupation of TVET graduates in relation to their field of training, (ii) determine the means by which graduates acquire employment, (iii) determine the extent of occupational mobility of the TVET graduates, (iv) assess employment opportunities of TVET, (v) assess employment rates of TVET graduates, (vi) assess  the difficulties encountered by those graduates that have not been able to find relevant employment, (vii) assess waiting times for first employment and associated reasons, (viii) assess  the level of employer satisfaction with regard to TVET graduate employee’s skills and level of performance, (ix) provide comprehensive information on labour market outcome of the TVET graduates. The results of this study are expected to be useful for improving existing TVET programs towards labour market needs at the institutional level and for increasing the efficiency of TVET system at the national level. The study is sponsored by Department of Technical Education (DTE).
Aquaculture and the Poor: improving fish production, consumption and nutrition linkages
Team Members: Kazi Ali Toufique and Ben Belton.
The objective of this research is to produce two peer reviewed journal articles.
Article 1 will use HIES data to provide an assessment of the changes in nutrient intakes in Bangladesh associated with changes in fish consumption over time. This will help to evaluate increase in fish consumption brought about by the growth of the aquaculture sector from a nutrition perspective. Article 2 will examine the temporal changes in the consumption of fish, using historical data derived from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES). A forthcoming paper written by Kazi Ali Toufique and Ben Belton will form the basis of this article. This paper analysed HIES data from 2000 to 2010. The analysis will be carried for the survey years before 2000 to understand the changes in fish consumption in a historical perspective. Alternatively, Article 2 may make an attempt to estimate demand functions for fish for several HIES survey years and compare price and income elasticities of demand for various fish species or fish groups as it changed over time. These estimates may done for various poverty groups.
This research is funded by WorldFish.
Study on Agri-Business for Trade Competitiveness in Bangladesh
Study team: Dr. Nazneen Ahmed (Team Leader) and Dr. Abul Basher
In a developing country like Bangladesh, the private sector plays the vital role in enhancing economic development. This project will analyse various inclusive market development (IMD) models to understand how private sector of Bangladesh may be encouraged more to make their business practice inclusive so that they can play direct role in poverty reduction. The study will mainly focus on agriculture sector. The main objectives of the study are- i) to analyse the relevance of inclusive business models or inclusive growth models for promoting inclusive growth in agriculture sector of Bangladesh; ii) Support relevant government agencies to  promote the development of rule based, non-discriminatory and inclusive markets, by designing incentives and policies that will direct and encourage the private sector to undertake more pro-poor (or inclusive) business; iii) Providing a supportive policy framework to systemically review options for encouraging and supporting linkages between poor people and the business.  The study is sponsored by the Swisscontact (Katalyst) and is expected to be completed by July 2016.

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