Bringing our research to bear in Bangladesh

Paul van Gardingen
July 28, 2016
I recently returned from a trip to Bangladesh to attend the 21st Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP) meeting. Further information can be found in my blog here.
Whilst there I took the opportunity to catch up with other important stakeholders focussed on the best ways to get ESPA’s amazing research from the region used in the region (and beyond). I met with Dr Saleemul Huq from the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, a key department of the Independent University of Bangladesh. Our discussion centred on possible ways to enhance how ESPA and the University can work together, including a series of learning hub events and supporting opinion pieces in local media.
ESPA has now funded seven projects in Bangladesh.  It's became very clear there is a great opportunity for our projects and their local partners to work with potential users of research including the Government of Bangladesh, Development Agencies, Civil Society and Business in the region to work together to turn ESPA’s research into practice….and through this to benefit the poor which is ultimately why we are here.
I was also heartened to hear from Shamshur Rahman Khan, Deputy Chief from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, that they are integrating the concept of ecosystem services in to their rolling five year plan for the very first time. We at ESPA will do all we can to help make that a reality.
Finally, I had a great catch up with our very own DELTAs team in the form of Professor Munsur Rahman and Professor Salehin Mashfiqus at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. This project finishes at the end of this year, and I’m so excited about some of the outcomes I’ve already seen. As of July this year the team has reported 25 journal articles and 4 book chapters with many more planned in the future.
DELTAs plan to use their proven modelling tools to make the link between science and policy/practice by enhancing relationship with the Bangladesh government through the Planning Commission and the General Economics Division. The team also plan two significant end of project conference to share the main results, one in Dhaka and the other in London (dates yet to be confirmed). It was great to see that everyone agreed there are significant benefits to be had from enhanced efforts to get evidence used to inform poverty related policy and practice in Bangladesh  
Now the hard work begins - or should I say continues - to make sure this happens.
Featured image courtesy of United Nations/M. Yousuf Tushar