Background of Research
The faith dimensions of development in Bangladesh are deep-rooted, complex, and often under-appreciated. This project aims to explore the faith dimensions in Bangladesh’s development process, leading to broad policy explorations that could help resolve lingering tensions and conflicting approaches, through specific research, operational encounters, and tailored training. The project has three thematic foci spanning the project duration, exploring the intersections of faith with various dimensions of development, from a focus on education in the first year, gender in the second year, to a combined focus on youth and communication, and climate change in the final project year. The project’s thematic foci are well reflected across all four project components namely, research, engagement, policy outreach and publication.
The project employs several research methods in the studies conducted, within the framework of qualitative research designs. The first mapping study undertaken on faith and education used key informant interviews as the primary research method. The second study was a textbook review of a selection of Bangladeshi textbooks using qualitative content analysis method. In the current project year, in-depth interviews will be conducted to explore the role of faith-inspired actors in countering gender-based violence in Bangladesh, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Progress till date:
Two research studies have been completed, offering a review of the contemporary landscape of faith and education in Bangladesh and a content analysis of Bangladeshi textbooks based on themes of social cohesion. Several events have been organised for research dissemination, stakeholder engagement and training. A policy dialogue workshop was held on 17 December, 2019, titled ‘Role of Faith and Faith-inspired Actors in Education’. A public lecture titled “Reconsidering the Ethical in Contemporary Islamic Thought”, by Prof. Ebrahim Moosa of University of Notre Dame, was held on the 1 January 2020. A training program was also conducted by Prof. Moosa and his team, titled “Advancing the Conversation between Science, Theology, and History in Islam” on 2-3 January, 2020 for selected madrasa delegates in Dhaka. The programme was the first event to introduce Professor Moosa’s Madrasa Discourses project in Bangladesh. A policy forum titled “Forum on Faith and Education in Bangladesh: Pathways to Pluralism” was held on 7 January, 2020. The forum was attended by Ms. Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator for Bangladesh along with a number of scholars, development workers and policy makers. Several policy briefs and academic papers are currently being prepared for publication.
Four white papers have been published based on the research studies completed so far:
International Journal of Educational Development:
Two policy Brief have been published:
Three op-eds have been published so far, to further the project’s objectives of research dissemination and stakeholder engagement.
Timeline: May 2019 – January 2023
Dr. Samia Huq, Research Fellow; email@example.com