Dhaka, Bangladesh, October 5, 2017 – On Wednesday, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) organized the Compact2025 roundtable discussion in Dhaka–an ambitious global initiative that aims to end hunger and malnutrition by 2025. The event brought together more than 50 high-level decision-makers from government and development agencies who discussed and debated critical issues facing Bangladesh, focusing on ways to end hunger and malnutrition.
The Government of Bangladesh and IFPRI expressed their intent to develop an in-country Knowledge & Innovation (K&I) Hub, for which the Governance Innovation Unit (GIU) in the Prime Minister’s Office would act as a platform. Formalizing the relationship between GIU and IFPRI, GIU Director General Mr. Md. Abdul Halim and IFPRI Director General Dr. Shenggen Fan jointly signed the agreement. Activities and programs will include developing the GIU’s research and analytical capacity, conducting joint research on priority areas, and advocating for policies and programs that may help end hunger, undernutrition, and poverty, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Compact2025 vision.
“The GIU always facilitates innovative practices regardless of sector and discipline, and are mandated to build synergies with private and non-government sectors by building partnership in the areas of common interests. In line with that, we have come to an agreement with IFPRI to work together with a view to conduct joint research on priority areas, developing mutual research capacity, and supporting policy advocacy,” said Mr. Md. Abdul Halim, GIU Director General.
In the context of signing the agreement, IFPRI’s Director General Dr. Shenggen Fan commented on the value of building research-policy linkages for improved development outcomes. “I know it is possible to end hunger because there is evidence,” said Dr. Fan. “We have seen that collaboration with decision-makers in the highest policymaking circles is a key driver for accelerating progress in priority areas, including eliminating hunger, undernutrition, and extreme poverty.”
Bangladesh has been selected as a Compact2025 focus country based on its commitment to rapidly ending hunger and undernutrition, and its remarkable progress in achieving these objectives over the past few decades. In this regard, Dr. Akhter Ahmed, IFPRI Country Representative for Bangladesh stated, “Successive governments in Bangladesh have shown a great willingness to pilot evidence-based research, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs, confront shortcomings, and cancel or modify programs as a result. This enabling environment has paved the way for various policy-led successes since independence.”
Various high-level government officials such as the International Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr. Gowher Rizvi; State Minister of Finance and Planning Mr. Muhammad Abdul Mannan, MP; and former Minister of Finance Mr. M. Syeduzzaman participated in the event, along with development experts from Bangladesh and abroad.