The Institute has been involved in a number of collaborative programmes some of which have phased out and others are on-going. The following are some of them:
Bangladesh Human Security Assessment 2007
BIISS has undertaken a research project entitled “Bangladesh Human Security Assessment 2007” in collaboration with Department for International Development (DFID), Bangladesh. The overall objective of the project has been to provide qualitative and quantitative analyses of the levels, trends and drivers of human insecurity in Bangladesh, and identify significant policy implications for Government, Donors and Civil Society in Bangladesh. Various activities done in connection with this project are: Inception Workshop at the end of November 2007 to obtain feedback on research design from experts and practitioners; Six Divisional Workshops in divisional headquarters to map country-wide human insecurities during January-February 2008; Household Quantitative Survey of 3000 nationally drawn samples during May-June 2008 from 42 upazilas and 8 urban spots; Quantitative Survey—Focused Group Discussion, Large Group Discussion, Key Informant Interview and Case Study in the sample areas during June-July 2008. Data entry and analysis have been completed. As of November 2008, draft report being prepared for submission to DFID. A Dissemination Workshop after finalization of the report is planned in 2008.
BIISS-Saferworld Collaborative Programmes (2007-2008)
BIISS has undertaken several research projects with “Saferworld” – a UK based international non-governmental organization working on security and conflict. The following are the collaborative activities which are mainly concerned with small arms, human security and climate change:
A series of projects related to Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Improvised Explosives Devises (IED) Proliferation in Bangladesh. The objective was to improve conditions for sustainable development through increasing community security and reducing levels of armed violence by supporting initiatives and mechanisms to control SALW and promote innovative, effective and accountable security provision in Bangladesh.
BIISS assisted Saferworld in conducting a series of Key Informant Interviews with government and non-government officials in the Human Security Survey in Bangladesh carried out by Saferworld in 2007. The report was published by Saferworld in 2008. The aim of the Survey is to conduct an accurate assessment of the nature and extent of community insecurity and armed violence in Bangladesh.
One of the most recent collaborative works between the two organizations is a research project on the Links between Climate Change and Security in Bangladesh. The study carried out in 2008 assessed the impact of climate change on security in Bangladesh, and the likely patterns of environmentally induced migration within Bangladesh and to neighboring countries as a result of climate change. The Climate Change and Security Report is in the process of finalization.
Human Security in South Asia: Discourse, Practice and Policy Proposition (2007-2008)
The basic purpose of the regional project sponsored by the Ford Foundation, New Delhi, is to catalyze mainstreaming discourses on non-traditional security (NTS) issues. The specific objectives of the projects are: to provide an intellectual understanding of the concept of human security through synthesis of academic discourse, local/indigenous scholarship and practices and policies; to provide for capacity building, human development, institutional capacity, enabling environment - for policy making on human security; to contribute to the building of standards and norms of measuring human security; and to build a system of monitoring human security index/audit. With these aims in view, 10 (ten) collaborative research works were commissioned on competitive basis from the South Asian countries for about three years. Three workshops on the research works were held. Each collaborative work of individual /group research led to a book length work and these are to be eventually published in book forms. Following five books are already published: “Violence, Terrorism and Human Security in South Asia”, by Ajay Darshan Behera, “Evolving Security Discourse in Sri Lanka: From National Security to Human Security”, by Gamini Keerawella, “Nepali State, Society and Human Security: An Infinite Discourse”, by Dhruba Kumar, “Women and Human Security in South Asia: The Cases of Bangladesh and Pakistan”, by Saba Gul Khatta, Kiron Habib and Foqia Sadiq Khan, “Pakistan: Haunting Shadows of Human Security” by Jennifer Bennett. Books in the process of publication are: “Human Security in Bangladesh: Discourse, Practice and Proposition” by Shaheen Afroze and Abul Kalam Azad, “Human Security in India: Discourse, Practice and Policy Implications” by Mahendra P. Lama, “Human Security Index in South Asia: Exploring the Issues” by Abdur Rob Khan and A. K. M. Abdus Sabur, “Ethnicity, Ethnic Conflict and Human Security: The Cases of Bangladesh and Pakistan” by Mohammad Humayan Kabir and A. T. Salahuddin Ahmed and “Human Security in India: Health, Shelter and Marginalization” by Monirul Hussain.
As a follow-up of the project, an Asia-wide NTS-Asia Network has been launched by the Raja Ratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang University of Technology, Singapore, and BIISS is a founding member of the network.
Regional Stability: The Role of Small States
BIISS has undertaken this research project with assistance from the Asia Foundation, Dhaka. The focus of this project is to explore the role of small states like Bangladesh in South Asian context in promoting peace and stability. Six comprehensive papers have been commissioned with six renowned scholars in the country. The draft papers will be deliberated in brainstorming sessions to be followed by a Regional Workshop in August 2003 where scholars from the regional countries will deliberate on the findings of the study.
WTO : Bangladesh's Capacity Building and Coping with Differential Impacts.
BIISS has undertaken the research project with assistance from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), a German foundation with its South Asian office in New Delhi and a liaison office in Dhaka. The main objective of the research project is to critically analyse the institutional preparedness and challenges in implementing the WTO rules including the challenges emanating from phasing out of the MFA facilities after 2004. The project is being carried out by the BIISS researchers under the supervision of Prof. Ismail Hossain of Jahangirnagar University, Savar.
Bangladesh-South East Asian Relations :
BIISS has been part of a triangular cooperation with the Ford Foundation and the Singapore-based Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS). Under this, two BIISS senior researchers have been offered three-month fellowship each to undertake research on Bangladesh's relations with South East Asia. At the end of three-year period during which ten scholars from Bangladesh availed of the fellowship, a joint seminar was held in Dhaka in May 2001 to evaluate the fellowship programme. A second component of the cooperation programme brought six scholars from the South East Asian countries to give talks/seminars to different forums in Dhaka under the aegis of BIISS.
Free Trade Option for Bangladesh
The research project undertaken in late 2002 at the initiative of BIISS aims at exploring the feasibility of entering into bilateral free trade arrangements with her neighbours in the SAARC region.
Dr. Ayubur Rahman Bhuyia, Professor of Economics, University of Dhaka, has developed a comprehensive paper on ?Bilateral Free Trade between Bangladesh and India? while Prof. Ismail Hossain of the Department of Economics, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, has drafted the paper on ?Bilateral Free Trade of Bangladesh with Pakistan and Sri Lanka? The draft papers were discussed a number of brainstorming sessions attended by concerned senior government functionaries and academicians and chaired by Ambassador Mufleh R. Osmany, Chairman, Board of Governors of BIISS. On finalization, the reports will be submitted to the Government.
UNDP/ ESCAP Networking of Trade-related Institutions :
The Institute has been part of a local network of trade related organizations in a programme in which the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) is a focal point institution.
SAARC-Japan Cooperation :
After successful completion of a major collaborative study on Schemes of Regional Economic Cooperation Aimed at Fostering Economic Growth in South Asia: The Role of Japan, in 1995-96, the Institute was also involved in another investigative work on Assistance for SAARC Chambers of Commerce for Regional Cooperation of the Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives in cooperation with International Development Center of Japan (IDCJ), Tokyo during 1997-98.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Bay of Bengal: National Capacity Building for Bangladesh :
The first phase of a collaboration between BIISS and the Oceans Institute of Canada (OIC), Dalhousie University, Canada began in December 1996 with the visit of a delegation from the OIC. The first workshop was held in January 1997 in Dhaka with participation of OIC and concerned scholars and institutions from Bangladesh. A number of possible areas including national capacity building on maritime issues, and in-country networking have been identified for future collaboration. It was followed by a training workshop on Legal and Technical Aspects of Maritime Boundary Delimitation at BIISS on 27-29 July 1998 with participation of OIC experts as resource persons. A delegation from the OIC visited BIISS during April 17-18, 2000 to work out the details of the second phase of the collaboration. As Bangladesh has ratified the instrument of the Law of the Sea Convention, it is expected that the second phase will cover some of the follow up activities.
Dialogue on Interactions with the Bordering States on India :
The Institute initiated a series of dialogues with scholars and opinion making elites from the bordering states of India with a view to better appreciation of each other's perceptions. The first dialogue was held in Dhaka in February 1997 with participants om West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. A coordination meeting on the future dialogues was held in Calcutta in July 1997. The second dialogue was held in Calcutta during August16-17, 2000. The sub-themes covered in the second dialogue were: trade cooperation, management of borders and transport cooperation. The third dialogue took place in August 2001 in Dhaka.
Degree Programmes in International Relations :
The Institute introduced a fellowship programme, known as BIISS Scholarship on International Relations (BSIR) for M. Phil and Ph. D. in International Relations in collaboration with the University of Dhaka. Funded in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, the programme was aimed at promoting research on international and strategic studies in Bangladesh, and targeted particularly to the young scholars and fresh university graduates. The fellowship included a monthly stipend, book allowances and reimbursement of tuition fees. The selection was made through open competition through newspaper advertisement in November. The tenure of the programme ended but some fellows are still pursuing their degree programme.
At the moment BIISS is a partner in a tripartite programme along with the University of Dhaka and University de Paris Sud (Paris XI) under which a BIISS officer is doing a Ph.D. on Illicit Trafficking of Small Arms and Drug in South Asia.