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BRAC Development Institute (BDI) at BRAC University is a resource center dedicated to promote research, provide graduate training and build knowledge to address the challenges of poverty, inequity and social injustice in the global south. BDI takes an inclusive, multidisciplinary approach, across research, teaching and communications, to fulfill its mandate – to constantly challenge conventional knowledge and advance a southern voice in the global development discourse.
BDI, established in July 2008, takes as its starting point the hugely successful and massively scaled up development interventions put forth by BRAC, Grameen, Gonoshasthaya Kendra and many others – in immunization, oral rehydration therapy, family planning, health awareness, legal aid, non-formal primary schooling, microfinance among others. Much of the expertise and knowledge housed at the aforementioned institutions are not being successfully communicated and used due to the lack of an effective collaborative platform. Their contributions to knowledge creation become apparent only when the World Bank, DFID or other donor organizations, or academics from the North decide to write about them. These organizations generally have very limited organic capacities to articulate and disseminate their work and as such, much of the knowledge and lessons learnt fall through the cracks. BDI, by positioning itself at the center of researchers, academics and learners, development organizations, policy makers and donor agencies, intends to fill some of these gaps.