A series of activities including expert consultations on various researches being undertaken as part of the CPD-CMI Research Cooperation Programme were held on 7-8 November 2012 at the CPD Office. CPD has been carrying out a number of studies in cooperation with Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Norway since 2010.
An Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Strengthening Fiscal Autonomy and Financial Accountability of Local Government in Bangladesh with Special Reference to Pourashavas/ Municipalities was held in the morning of 7 November 2012 to discuss the study design of the research. In the EGM, Dr Debpariya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, CPD and Professor Mobasser Monem, Department of Public Administration, University of Dhaka jointly presented the rationale, scope, research questions and survey design of the study. The study particularly focuses on pourashavas and municipalities and intends to look at the level of devolution of power from the central to the local governments with regard to flow and use of fund, resource generation of the local governments including foreign aid, and performance regarding effective use of fund and mechanisms for ensuring financial accountability of the local government.
EGM on Digging in the Dirt?: Extractive Industry FDI and Corruption was held in the afternoon of the same day. Dr Arne Wiig, Senior Researcher of CMI presented the study findings to initiate the discussion. The research question of the study was – Does corruption attract or deter foreign investment in the extractive sectors? The study carried out econometric analysis of FDI inflows in the extractive industries of 80 countries, during the period 1996-2009, in relation to the FDI-corruption nexus.
Relevant academics, researchers, and business reporters participated in the EGMs and shared their views with the authors regarding their presentations.
On 8 November 2012 morning, an EGM on Political Parties of Bangladesh was held to discuss the preliminary findings of the study. Professor Rounaq Jahan, Distinguished Fellow, CPD presented selected findings from the study being carried out under the programme. The presentation was followed by a discussion on the findings which was participated by a distinguished panel of experts including H E Ms Ragne Birte Lund, Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy; Barrister Moudud Ahmed, MP, Member, National Standing Committee, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Former Minister for Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs; Professor A M Hasanuzzaman, Department of Government and Politics, Jahangirnagar University; Dr A T M Shamsul Huda, Former Chief Election Commissioner; Dr K M Mahiuddin, Associate Professor, Department of Government and Politics, Jahangirnagar University; Mr Arne Wiig, Senior Researcher of CMI; Mr Arup K Biswas, Senior Advisor, Development Affairs, Royal Norwegian Embassy; and Ms Nilufar Ahmad, Senior Gender Specialist, Social Development Department, World Bank, Washington, D.C. along with senior CPD researchers.
The series of activities ended with the Third CPD-CMI Semi-Annual Meeting which was held on the 8 November afternoon. The meeting discussed the progress and work plans of different projects being implemented under the programme and the future possibilities and prospects of the programme.