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Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, a macro-economist and public policy analyst, is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) – a globally reputed think-tank in Bangladesh. He is the Chair of Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals – a network of 48 think tanks from South Asia, Africa, and Latin America that has identified a unique space and scope for itself to contribute to this post-MDG dialogue. He also chairs LDC IV Monitor – a partnership of development organisation which seeks to provide an independent assessment of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) adapted at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
He was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the WTO, UN office, and other international organisations in Geneva and Vienna (2007-2009). He was concurrently accredited to the Holy See in Vatican. As Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva, led delegation to various forums of Doha Round including the July Ministerial 2008. Was member of the “Green Room” of the DG, WTO. Participated actively in many high level international conferences; was the Deputy Team Leader to UNCTAD XII and HLM on Aid Effectiveness in Accra (2008).
He was the President of UNCTAD’s governing board as well as the coordinator of LDC Group in the UN System in Geneva. Later he had been the Special Adviser on LDCs to the Secretary General, UNCTAD (2009-2010).
He was the first Executive Director of the CPD (1999-2007). Worked as a Senior Research Fellow at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
He holds an MSc (Economics) with distinction and PhD (Economics) from the Plekhanov Institute of National Economy, Moscow and did his post-doctoral research at Queen Elizabeth House Oxford. He was a Senior Fulbright Fellow at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Washington, D.C. Dr. Bhattacharya held a number of visiting positions including in UN-INTECH (Maastricht), University of Manchester and IDE (Tokyo). He was an Associate Fellow at the Asia Society, New York.
He had been the Bangladesh Team Leader of “Participatory Review of Structural Adjustment Programmes” (SAPRI), a project of the World Bank, national governments and global civil society and also co-authored the global synthesis report. Led the “Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development” for more than a decade which provided critical analysis of the state of the economy on an on-going basis. Spearheaded a participatory citizen’s initiative leading to preparation of a “Vision 2021” document for Bangladesh. Undertook joint research with many leading research institutions including University of Manchester, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, Institute of Development Economies (IDE), Tokyo, Harvard Business School, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Bergen.
Dr Bhattacharya is engaged in high-level policy designing and advising on behalf of the national government and various bilateral and international development agencies at home and in a number of developing countries. He was a member of the Macro-economic Policy Advisory Committee, Ministry of Finance; Banking Sector Reform Committee; Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Panel of Economists for the Fifth Five Year Plan (1997-2002), Ministry of Planning; Member, National Committee on Utilisation of Gas Resources, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and National Committee for Vision 2020, Prime Minister’s Office. Dr. Bhattacharya drafted the Industrial Policy (1999) for the Ministry of Industries. He was a Director of Janata Bank (1996-2000), the second largest bank in Bangladesh. He was a member of the Task Force on “Foreign Aid” constituted under the Adviser (Minister) for Planning in the Interim Government of 1991. He has been a longstanding member of the Advisory Committee on WTO Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Government of Bangladesh.
Dr Bhattacharya has considerable cross-country experience on development issues. Undertook assignments in Costa Rica for CARE International, in India for the World Bank, in Nepal for the UNDP, in Sri Lanka for the British ODA, in Malaysia for the EDI, World Bank, Mongolia for the APO, and Bulgaria and Moscow for UN-DESA. Recently, he elaborated the partnership programme between UNDP China and the Chinese government. He also led a team to do an institutional evaluation of the Policy Research for Development (REPOA), Dar es Salaam.
Prepared the first-ever country-level Trade-Related Technical Assistance Need Assessment for Bangladesh under the multi-agency Integrated Framework. For UNDP, prepared the first-ever disaggregated Human Development Index for Bangladesh and Nepal. Since 2001, has regularly contributed to the preparation of the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
He serves in the boards of a number of national, regional, and international development organisations and networks including the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC). He is the chair of the External Advisory Board of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London for the programme on low-income countries. He is a member of the governing body of BRAC, largest NGO of the world.
Formerly held positions include member of the Task Force on Doha Round of the Brooks World Poverty Institute, Manchester; member of the Advisory Group of the World Bank’s Trade Policy preparation team; member of the founding Panel of Advisory Board of the International Centre for Trade and Development (ICTSD), Geneva; Chairperson of the EU-LDC Network. He is a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Member of OECD DEFINE network. Actively engaged in a number of international and regional networks on development finance, migration, environment and poverty.
Dr Bhattacharya was the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Economic Association for three consecutive terms.
He is a Regional Editor of the Oxford Development Studies; Regional Editor, South Asian Economic Journal; and Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Trade Insights.
Recent Publications (since 2012)
Bhattacharya, D. and Rahman, M. 2012. Global Recovery, New Risks and Sustainable Growth: Repositioning South Asia. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Bhattacharya, D. 2013. State of the Bangladesh Economy in FY2011-12 and Outlook for FY2012-13. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Bhattacharya, D. 2012. State of the Bangladesh Economy in FY2010-11 and Outlook for FY2011-12. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Bhattacharya, D. and Borgatti, L. 2012. “An Atypical Approach to Graduation from the LDC Category: The Case of Bangladesh.” South Asia Economic Journal, 13 (1): 1-25.
Bhattacharya, D. and Dasgupta, S. 2012. “Global Financial and Economic Crisis: Exploring the Resilience of the Least Developed Countries.” Journal of International Development, 24 (6): 673-685.
Bhattacharya, D., Rahman, M., Khan, T.I. and Sadique, M.Z. 2012. “Monetary Policy Statement of January-June 2011: A Critical Appreciation.” In State of the Bangladesh Economy in FY2010-11 and Outlook for FY2011-12. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Bhattacharya, D. and Moazzem, K.G. 2013. Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the Global Value Chain (GVC): Trends, Determinants and Challenges. CPD Working Paper 104. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Bhattacharya, D. and Misha, F. 2013. China and the Least Developed Countries: An Enquiry into the Trade Relationship during the Post-WTO Accession Period. CPD Working Paper 103. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Bhattacharya, D., Dasgupta, S. and Neethi, D.J. 2012. Assessing the Impact of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis on Bangladesh: An Intervention Analysis. CPD Working Paper 97. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Magazine and Newspaper Articles
Debapriya Bhattacharya. 2013. Clean finance for competent candidates, credible elections. New Age, 30 June. (Originally published on 4 September 2006).
Debapriya Bhattacharya. 2013. A Champion for Think Thanks in the Global South: Interview with Southern Voice’s Debapriya Bhattacharya. EDUCATION PLUS DEVELOPMENT (Blog administered by the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.), 8 July.
Debapriya Bhattacharya. 2012. RMG workers must get TU rights. The New Nation, 28 November.