The Bangladesh Unnayan Gobeshona Protishthan or The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) is an autonomous public multi-disciplinary organization which conducts policy oriented research on development issues facing Bangladesh and other developing countries. The mission is to facilitate learning in development solutions by conducting credible research, fostering policy dialogue, disseminating policy options, and developing coalitions to promote informed policy making. The Institute also conducts training on research methodologies and carries out evaluation of development interventions. In that pursuit, BIDS is involved in collection and generation of socio-economic data for carrying out analytical and policy loaded research on current economic and social issues and dissemination of research findings and knowledge on developmental concerns to support policy formulation. BIDS researchers also contribute directly to formulation of government policies through their interactions and participation in the policy making process.
Goals & Objectives
The strategic objectives of BIDS are crystallized around the theme of generating credible policy oriented research on development issues facing Bangladesh and other developing countries along with strengthening research-policy links to promote informed policy making in Bangladesh. In the pursuit of its strategic objectives, BIDS activities are multi-dimensional and inherently straddle several objectives:
- Promote excellence in policy research and extend the knowledge frontiers to facilitate learning in development solutions especially in priority areas of development related to social well being of the poor and disadvantaged groups in society;
- Collect and generate socioeconomic data to facilitate the conduct of analytical research on current economic and social issues and facilitate development planning and policy formulation by the government;
- Disseminate knowledge and research based policy options to the policy makers and assist them in designing credible development strategies for achieving economic and social goals;
- Expand outreach of research to civil society and other stakeholders to help shape policy debates on key development issues, develop broader understanding and consensus, and promote knowledge based policy agenda;
- Conduct training and capacity building programs and promote the application of cutting edge research techniques and appropriate methodologies in economics and allied social sciences to develop human and institutional capacities within the government and in other institutions;
- Promote research communication and networking to share research findings on the BIDS knowledge base and stimulate interaction within the research community, policy makers, civil society, and other stakeholders through organizing workshops, seminars, conferences, and using different modes of print and electronic media.
A Brief History
The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) had its origin in Pakistan, named as the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and established in June 1957. From the very beginning, PIDE was served by a significant number of Bengali scholars and a distinguished body of foreign scholars. Through its performance, PIDE attracted bright young economists and social scientists who began their career at the Institute. The PIDE was moved to Dhaka in January 1971.
After the emergence of independent Bangladesh in 1971, the Institute was called the Bangladesh Institute of Development Economics (BIDE). Later on, a Parliamentary Charter was awarded in 1974 and the Institute was renamed as the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) to reflect its multidisciplinary focus of development research. It was incorporated as an autonomous body, governed by a high powered Board of Trustees under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Since 1974, through a process of national level institutional restructuring, two other institutions––the Population Study Centre and the National Foundation for Research on Human Resources Development–– were merged with BIDS in 1982 and 1983 respectively.
With its multidisciplinary focus on development, evolving development paradigm, and changing economic and social realities of the country, the research focus of BIDS covers a wide range of issues including macroeconomic fundamentals, agriculture and rural development, poverty and inequality, trade, food security, microcredit, industry and small and medium enterprises, labor market, health, nutrition, education, rural nonfarm activities, environment and climate change, water resources management, energy, gender and empowerment, migration, urbanization and other areas of dynamics of development in Bangladesh and developing countries in general. Emerging priority issues include macroeconomic management, environment and climate change impacts, infrastructure including energy and power, and impact of globalization.
Initially, funding for BIDS was made through regular government budgetary support. In 1983, the Government created an endowment fund to ensure a source of recurring revenue for running the Institute, thereby reducing its dependence on regular budgetary support, and enabling BIDS to enjoy more functional autonomy. In 2009, the Government provided a Research Endowment Fund of Tk. 200 million to support core institutional research of BIDS. Some donor agencies and foundations also provide resources for its activities.