The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Norway jointly signed a contract with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 23 June 2010 at CPD to conduct a collaborative research focusing on Inclusive Growth and Good Governance.

Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted 15 million NOK to fund a three-year research and capacity building programme between CMI and the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).  This new agreement continues CMIs more than 50 years’ experience in research, consultancy and capacity building in Bangladesh.  

The areas to be covered under these broad themes include such topics as food security and poverty, governance in energy, role of human capital in private sector development, parliament and political parties, democracy and corruption. The new programme represents an important initiative to promote bilateral cooperation between Bangladesh and the Norwegian Government by spurring institutional cooperation between CPD and CMI in prioritised areas. CMI has a long standing history of research collaboration with various institutions in Bangladesh and the present programme will further strengthen this partnership.

The contract was signed by the Ambassador of Norway, HE Ms Ingebjørg Støfring on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, CPD and Mr Arne Wiig, Research Director, CMI.

More on the programme:
The overall objective of the programme is institutional research co-operation on issues relevant  to  the poor in Bangladesh. In addition to institutional co-operation, the key objective is to support policy-relevant research and to build capacity that may contribute to improved governance and inclusive growth in Bangladesh. The aim is to identify some main obstacles and suggest some remedies for problems of democratic institutionalisation and poverty reduction. The Programme will also contribute to capacity and knowledge building in both Bangladesh and Norway.

This new co-operation programme will enable CMI to strengthen its country-specific competence, but it will also make it possible for CMI to create and support a broader network of researchers and students working in and on Bangladesh. Dissemination and research communication is a key component, and a new Bangladesh website will be launched soon. 

The research programme seeks to spur institutional co-operation within prioritised areas of collaboration, including good governance, anti-corruption, energy and private sector development. These are all priorities reflected both in the Bangladeshi poverty reduc­tion strategy and in line with official Norwegian policies towards Bangladesh.

Although the three-year programme will be formally established between CPD and CMI and most of its activities will be carried out by the two institutions, there will also be collaborate with other institu­tions (such as the  Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS)). 

The proposed programme is structured around two research themes or sub-programmes: ‘Governance’ and ‘Inclusive growth’. Both research themes are well anchored within the research profiles of the two institutions. Within each main theme, different sub-projects have been identified.

A total of seven research projects have been developed. These are:

  • Agricultural Trade with India: Implications for Food Security and Poverty
  • The Parliament of Bangladesh
  • Private Sector Development: The Role of Human Capital
  • Governance and Energy in Bangladesh: The Role of FDI
  • The Political Parties in Bangladesh
  • Political Corruption in Bangladesh
  • Democracy and Corruption

There is also a third sub-programme on ‘Sustainability and Capacity-building’  with a guest researcher programme for researchers from Bangladesh, training courses, dissemination, programme monitoring and coordination.

Research director Arne Wiig is the contact person at CMI while Dr Fahmida Khatun is the contact person at CPD.