Realizing the need for research-based evidence and insights to support continuous innovation and improvement in contemporary public policy and management, BRAC University established the ‘Centre for Governance Studies’ in 2005. Later in 2007, the center was upgraded to the ‘Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) as a pioneering governance research institute in Bangladesh. Alongside research on important governance issues, IGS started offering post-graduate degrees and professional trainings.

In 2008, BRAC University established BRAC Development Institute (BDI) for promoting research and generating knowledge on practical solutions to issues of poverty, inequity, gender, and social justice.

But development is inextricably linked to governance. We cannot achieve sustainable development outcomes without solving relevant governance challenges. Conversely, the focus of governance improvement should be on making development outcomes efficient, effective, and equitable. So, in 2013, the two prestigious institutes, IGS and BDI, were merged into BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) to transform the institute into a regional centre for research on governance and development; to provide a space for academics and practitioners to come together to raise critical questions around governance and development; to provide lessons on good practices; and to advocate for pro-poor policies.

By influencing policy and practice using rigorous research and by building fit-for-purpose capabilities through quality academic programmes, BIGD aims to promote innovation and improvement in governance and development processes, leading to a just and prosperous society.

Over the years, BIGD has developed extensive experience in four thematic areas—economic development and growth, gender and social transformation, governance and politics, and urban development.

BIGD has a special focus on identifying solutions to successful scaleup of policy interventions and development programmes because, efficient, effective, and equitable scale up of interventions/ programmes, even when based on sensible policies and sound theories, is frequently thwarted by major implementation constraints, leading to waste of resources without achieving the intended outcomes.

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