In the midst of political turmoil, strikes and protests, Bangladeshi ministers, local politicians, civil society activists, journalists and researchers took the time to participate in three dialogue meetings in Dacca 10 and 11 March. The dialogue meetings were hosted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and CMI. The Norwegian ambassador to Bangladesh, Ragne Birte Lund also participated. In close collaboration with CMI, CPD regularly hosts dialogue meetings to discuss research and how the findings can contribute to improved governance and inclusive growth.

Researchers from CPD and CMI presented preliminary findings from research projects on local government reform, energy and entrepreneurship, and invited stakeholders, activists and ministers to comment and discuss the findings and its implications. All the major Bangla TV stations and newspapers broadcasted and reported the discussions.

-          If we are serious about wanting to influence policy, we have to engage key stakeholders throughout the process, says Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Director of CPD. We host policy debates to allow engage key stakeholders to interact with each other. We want our research to produce concrete policy suggestions that government can implement. 

CMI and CPD has a three year institutional cooperation agreement funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Bangladesh. The overall objective of the programme is institutional research co-operation on issues relevant to the poor in Bangladesh, policy-relevant research and capacity building that may contribute to improved governance and inclusive growth in Bangladesh.

Research focus is on inclusive growth and good governance with subprojects on food security and poverty; governance in energy; the role of human capital in private sector development; parliament and political parties; democracy and corruption.

- As researchers we must engage with local stakeholders affected by policy issues and expose our findings to their review and scrutiny, says Ottar Mæstad, Director of CMI who visited CPD and Bangladesh for the first time to participate in the dialogue meetings.  These dialogue meetings allow researchers, stakeholders and political change makers to discuss policy implications of our research. It is both inspiring and useful, providing crucial input to our research.