Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) is an independent, non-profit, non-government, policy, research, and implementation institute working on sustainable development (SD) at local, national, regional and global levels. BCAS addresses sustainable development through four interactive themes: (a) environment-development integration, (b) good governance and people’s participation, (c) poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods, and (d) economic growth, public-private partnership and sustainable market.
It was established in 1986, and over the 20 years, it has grown to become a leading research institute in the non-government sector in Bangladesh and South Asia. It works using interactive approaches and multiple methodologies. BCAS has been registered with the Social Welfare Department as well as NGO Affairs Bureau of Government of Bangladesh. Dr. Atiq Rahman, Executive Director has beeen awarded “ Champion of the Earth” for year 2008 by the UNEP.
At present BCAS has over hundred full-time and some part-time staffs working in different capacities. It has a core active management unit guided by a board of directors. BCAS has two dozens of senior professionals and scientists, more than three dozens of mid-level professionals and researchers. It has 6/7 programmes working on Natural Resources Management (NRM), Environment and Development, Renewable and Conventional Energy, Social and Economic Issues, Trade and Sustainable Development, Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction Strategies, Global Change and Human Dimensions, Policy Analysis and training, Governance and Advocacy, Publication and Outreach.
2. Integrating Knowledge at Different Levels of Decision Making
BCAS has also recognized that sustainable development decision making takes place at different levels from individuals and local communities (micro level), sub-national ecosystem, planning administrative units based (meso level), national level (macro/multi country regional level (super macro- semi mega) or at international and global levels (mega level). Knowledge of information developed at different levels need to be integrated into policy and programme to make knowledge useful and effective.
3. Executive Director and the Management Teams
The Executive Director manages the organization on behalf of the Board with the close support of three directors (Administration, Finance and Projects), a number of committees and a rapid response core group. Key management tasks include establishing and managing regular relationship with the Board and other partners, logistic and support agencies. Other management activities include:
• Monitoring of all activities and reporting to the Board of Directors;
• Finance mobilization, accountability and transparency;
• Project mobilization, management and delivery;
• Delivery of all commitments of desired quality, timing and within allocated budget;
• Representing BCAS in outer forum;
• Human resource mobilization, professional skill development and building leadership and future management personnel; and
• Institution building and sustainability of BCAS.
A small team of three leading members supports the Executive Director for rapid response and immediate and urgent decision making as well as assuring continuity of activities chain, with whom Executive Director interacts on a very regular basis. This brings in different perspectives and assists in making quick decisions.
When inter-group, crosscutting services groups input is required or multiple disciplines or complex projects arise, a few from a larger set of BCAS members are consulted to assist ED and the core team in decision making. This enable greater participation and ownership and yet responses and decisions can be rapid.
BCAS has been working under four themes. Many of BCAS activities are often crosscutting across the themes and this is encouraged. BCAS tries to take an integrated and systems approach to many of its projects. BCAS encourages multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in its approaches of running programmes and projects. The core themes are:
(a) Environment Development Integration;
(b) Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Livelihoods;
(c) Good Governance and People’s Participation; and
(d) Economic Growth, Public Private Partnership and Sustainable Market.
4. Sectoral Divisions and Programmes
BCAS has been working in a larger number of projects over varying sizes (over 500 in last 20 years). But there is a need to have some degree of separation into functional or sectoral divisions/programmes. This is for efficiency of delivery, effective reporting and accountability. These divisions are as follows;
1. Environmental Governance and Management
2. Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Livelihoods
3. Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
4. Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
5. Clean Technology and Indigenous Knowledge
6. Renewable and Sustainable Energy
7. Social Studies, Participatory Research and Planning
8. Global Governance and Human Dimension
9. Sustainable Market and Public-Private Partnership
10. Human Settlement/Urbanization
11. Heritage, Cultural Studies and Documentation
5. Other Information
BCAS has a panel of experts for different fields of BCAS activities. If required for the project, BCAS will pool the following panel of experts any time.
Dr. A. Atiq Rahman, Executive Director BCAS
Mr. Mujibur Rahman, Senior Fellow, BCAS
Mr. Liaquat Ali, Senior Fellow, BCAS
Prof T.A. Chowdhury, Professor of Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET)
Prof. Muhtasham Hossain, Bangladesh Solar Energy Society (BSES) and associated with BCAS
Dr. Dwijen Mallick, Research Fellow, BCAS
Dr. Salem Monem, Research Fellow, BCAS