whAT we do
PPRC uses a holistic approach to research, utilizing economic, anthropological, political economy, business and sociological insights. With networks into grass root as well as policy circles, we are able to capture changing realities and evolving aspirations. This, incorporated with cutting edge research methods, compelling analytical presentation and strategic policy advocacy, help us to distinguish our work.
PPRC plays a key role at every stage of a project. For the research conducted by the institute, we conceptualize and develop the research design, followed by implementation of the research with a combination of primary and secondary data analysis. The primary and secondary data is processed and analyzed to produce analytical reports, policy briefs and academic publications.
An important aim that the Centre defined for itself from the beginning was not only to undertake activities but to do so with a larger goal of being consequential whether in big or small ways. Pursuing such an aim required clarity in understanding impact. PPRC has been pursuing impact in three spheres:
PPRC’s contribution to innovative research methodologies and approaches spans across multiple themes with particular attention to mixed-method approaches combining quantitative and qualitative instruments. The Centre’s experiences has been collated into several publications that are used as source materials by various stakeholders. The participatory approach championed by PPRC has entailed innovating multiple approaches to stakeholder engagement and conducting consultations, big and small.
PPRC’s unique advocacy style has always involved bridging quality economic research with social activism, leading to what we term as ‘Research Activism.’ This has allowed PPRC to develop linkages both within diverse grass-root circles as well policy and political circles.
Since the onset of Covid-19, PPRC has significantly extended its tool-kit on research methodology, refining the use of telephonic surveys, re-purposing contact databases from earlier surveys and switch to online data-entry that cut down processing time.
Policy Conversation Series With Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman With the aim of promoting policy discourse beyond formal policy circles, ‘Ajker Agenda’ seeks to integrate voices from policymakers, academicians, government officials, students, and grassroots actors in a meaningful manner through economic, sociological, anthropological and political lenses. The first tri-episode series centred on “Rethinking Development Indicators”, while the most recent was on "Turning Points".
1989 – 1998
The PPRC team had its origin in the 62 Village Analysis of Poverty Trends Project (APT) initiated by Hossain Zillur Rahman at BIDS in 1989. The project lasted till 1998 and played a crucial role in influencing poverty reduction strategies in Bangladesh. The Rethinking Rural Poverty book was published by SAGE International (1995) based on the APT project research.
The formal launch of PPRC occurred through the registration of PPRC as a Trust in 1996. The initial Trustee Board consisted of APT researchers and associates from civil society.
The Journey Starts
The formal journey of PPRC began with a governance research supported by the Ford Foundation and self funded research on elections and citizens’ opinions on political trends.
Conference on Poverty: Emerging Challenges
Professor Teodor Shanin of Manchester University and colleagues from South Africa and Professor Ahmed Kamal from Dhaka University at PPRC office.
PPRC team undertook a self funded social rehabilitation initiative of flood affected urban poor in Rishipara, Keraniganj. On the research front, PPRC introduced an innovative urban research methodology: The report card on quality of urban services in Dhaka City.
Nobel Laureate Dr.Yunus inaugurates the new PPRC office.
PPRC Initiates Electoral Research
PPRC undertook investigation into voter list anomalies at the request of the the-then Chief Election commissioner and citizen opinion surveys on the 2001 election. PPRC Chairman Dr. Hossain Zillur speaks to the media at the release ceremony of the study results.
Launch of Local Government Support Group
After nearly a year of mobilizational efforts on decentralization, PPRC facilitated the launch of the civil society platform, Local Government Support Group, with Professor Yunus as convener and PPRC as secretariat. All key decentralization advocates were on the platform.
Partnership with Government
PPRC in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government organized the first ever national orientation workshop for the newly elected Union Parishad chairman and members.
The PPRC team went on a strategic retreat at BARD, Comilla to chart its next focus areas.
Nurturing Young Researchers
Developing research capacity, particularly of younger researchers is a key goal of PPRC. PPRC organized its first interactive methodological workshop. The three day workshop brought established and younger researchers from universities and research organizations around the country. PPRC also awarded research grants to selected young researchers.
Felicitating Nobel Win
PPRC was the core organizer of the largest national reception to Professor Yunus upon his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The PPRC together with partners organized the event on 16th October, 2006 at the BICC just three days after he was awarded the prize.
Book launching event of PPRC’s prominent publication on Bangladesh governance, ‘Unbundling Governance’. Professor Rehman Sobhan, Dr.Hua Du, and Dr. Akbar Ali Khan were present among other prestigious panelists.
PPRC Chairman Inducted into Caretaker Cabinet
PPRC Chairman was appointed Advisor (Cabinet Minister) for Education and Commerce in the Caretaker Government.
PPRC hosted a “Pitha Uthshob” ( winter festival with local delicacies) to celebrate the Bangali New Year. The event brought together partners, friends and family of the PPRC family with pitha, music and cultural programs on the occasion of the Chairman’s rejoining after his stint in the Caretaker Government.
PPRC Studies the Global Recession Aftermath
PPRC’s work involves analyzing both national and international economic scenes. The policy seminar titled “Global Recession and Bangladesh Economy: Macro and Meso Trends” showcased research from a PPRC study in the presence of thought leader and stakeholders.
Scaling up Social Protection Research
The final volume of the two-volume comprehensive study of social safety nets was launched by the State Minister for planning and UNDP country director in the presence of a cross sectional group of high profile stakeholders. The PPRC study led to the international conference on social protection later that year inaugurated by the honorable Prime Minister.
Bringing Urban Economy into Research Focus
PPRC opened a major new research front on urban economics that culminated in the launch of the publication, ‘Bangladesh Urban Dynamics’ at an international conference in Dhaka.
Building Chittagong As A Skill-based Global City
The Chittagong research Initiative was launched by PPRC with initial support from the AK Khan Foundation to provide a research based platform for development issues specific to Chittagong.
Social Protection Book Launch
Social Protection has been one of PPRC’s core theme areas to work on. PPRC, in partnership with UNDP and University of Manchester Poverty Institute, published an international publication on this topic called, ‘Social Protection In Bangladesh.’ The book was authored by a rich body of international researchers – Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Chairman of PPRC, Dr. David Hulme, Professor of Development Studies, Dr. Mathilde Maitrot and Luigi Peter Ragno.
International UHC Conference
PPRC in partnership with Rockefeller Foundation and the World Bank organized a three-day international health conference on “Realising Universal Health Goals”. Public health experts from home and abroad including, economist Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Public Health Dr Somsak Chunaharas, and World Federation of Association of Paediatric Surgeons President Dr DK Gupta, called for stronger efforts in achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in Bangladesh that ensures quality healthcare for all without financial hardships.
International Conference on Urban Poverty
Based on the urban research supported by the World Bank, and partnered by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), PPRC organised a two-day international conference on urban poverty that brought together a wide spectrum of national, regional and international experts and advocates.
Launch of Healthy Bangladesh
Following the international UHC conference in 2015 and a two-year mobilization effort, PPRC facilitated the launch of a new civic platform, Healthy Bangladesh. A pioneering effort under the Healthy Bangladesh platform, PRERONA (meaning “inspiration” in Bangla) is a series of regional dialogues and TV talk shows on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) advocacy. PRERONA was implemented in 11 districts across Bangladesh.
New Location, New Mood
The recent move to a new location has also brought about key changes in line with our ‘New PPRC’ agenda. For PPRC, it is an opportune time to think afresh and scale up its research efforts covering both ongoing agenda such as urban poverty, health, social protection and new areas such as WASH, nutrition and urban governance.