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London-based IGC to partner with BRAC in setting up a data hub in Bangladesh, says its chief

Dhakadiplomat.com desk
  21 Jul 2023, 01:24

Bangladesh should adopt quality curriculum prioritizing future needs and the digital economy in all cycles of educational institutions from preschool to primary, secondary, and higher education to create employment opportunities.

This was stated by Jonathan Leape, associate professor in Economics at The London School of Economics and also Executive Director of the International Growth Centre (IGC).

The IGC is partnering with the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development to establish a Bangladesh Data Hub, which aims to stimulate more high quality research in the country, he said.

He is now is in Dhaka to attend a conference titled ‘Resilient and resurgent Bangladesh-sustainable economic growth in a changing climate’. It has been organised by the IGC.

Leape is leading a group of young researchers from London.

In an interview with journalist on Thursday he talked about future economic growth and skilled and productive human resources development to face the challenges ahead.

The IGC has focused on how to make data more accessible and user-friendly for decision-makers in government. The central role of data in guiding policy during the pandemic has increased the demand for data by policy makers worldwide, including Bangladesh, Leape said.

In reply to a query about the skill gap, he said Bangladesh needs a strong curriculum reform in line with the developed countries to turn the huge number of unskilled people into resources.

He said academic research can be a learning accelerator for policymakers and research can provide robust evidence on what works and what doesn’t, helping make policies more effective and less costly.

It can also provide a new conceptual framework, reframing questions in a way that opens up new policy options, the economist said.

He said the conference in Dhaka, brings together policymakers, researchers, and citizens for a series of discussions of economic policy issues that are central to achieving the government vision of smart Bangladesh.

Regarding the conference he said 12 researchers are presenting their latest studies, and senior government officials shared their insights, all with the aim of inspiring evidence-based solutions to some of the policy problems Bangladesh faces.

The IGC engagement in Bangladesh has led to strong partnerships. The foreign, commonwealth, and development office has supported and funded the research and policy engagement in Bangladesh, said Leape.

BRAC, and BRAC Institute of government and development, are key partners of IGC and the London School of Economics more broadly, he said.

“We have also valued partnerships with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, RAPID, Policy Exchange, and PRI amongst others,” he added.

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