A new research project looking into the challenges, hopes and aspirations of young people with disabilities in Bangladesh has been launched by BRAC University and non-governmental organisation, Sightsavers.
The project was launched through a ceremony held in Dhaka on Tuesday, said a press release.
The project, “British Academy Youth Futures Research”, will capture the experiences of young people with disabilities living in urban and rural settings in Bangladesh. It will be led by a group of newly-appointed young peer researchers who have disabilities and will be trained and supported to shape national policy on disability inclusion.
Prof. Dr. Md. Golam Rabbani, Chairperson, Neuro-Developmental Disability Protection Trustee Board was present as the chief guest at the programme while Provash Chandra Roy, Director at National Foundation for Development of the Disabled Persons, and Shobnom Mustary, Deputy Director, Ministry of Social Welfare attended the event as special guests.
Amrita Rejina Rozario, Country Director of Sightsavers Bangladesh, said: “We are delighted to have been able to launch this new research that will try to understand the experiences, aspirations, and challenges of youths with disability in their livelihood in Bangladesh and, to explore the inclusion of young people with disabilities into policy dialogues around the implementation of SDG8: decent work and economic growth.”
“The research will not only make a real difference to understanding the experience of young people with disabilities in Bangladesh but will also be led by the people who understand these experiences the best. By employing young researchers with disabilities, we hope to get an authentic insight and also empower them to help shape and contribute to the policy decisions that affect their lives”, said Prof. Dr. Malabika Sarker from BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health who chaired the event.
Although Bangladesh continues to maintain impressive economic growth and is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), challenges remain in addressing the increasing economic inequality, gender inequity, youth unemployment and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labour market.
Speaking as the chief guest, Prof. Dr. Md. Golam Rabbani said, “Research is an important component for societal development and there is no alternative to research for development.” He hoped that this research, once complete, will help understand aspirations of youth with disabilities in relation to livelihoods and determine barriers in realising those aspirations.
This study will take the form of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). The project has employed young people with disabilities from Sirajganj, Gazipur and Narsingdi districts as co-researchers, and they will work alongside local and international researchers to gather and analyse data for the study.
ADD International Bangladesh Country Director Shafiqul Islam, Shobnan Mustary, Deputy Director, Ministry of Social Welfare, Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri, Trustee, Impact Foundation, Senior journalist Syed Ishtiaque Reza among others spoke in the launching event.