On July 16, National Defence College (NDC) hosted a webinar for its 2020 course members with BEI’s senior staff. This year’s course members include 82 senior officers and officials from Bangladesh, as well as, 25 countries from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. On behalf of BEI, Prof. Shahab Khan, Research Director, made a presentation on the “International Security Environment: Post 2020”. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session where NDC course members fielded questions to BEI senior staff represented by Amb. Farooq Sobhan, Distinguished Fellow and Board Member, Amb. Humayun Kabir, Acting President, Mr. Humayun Kabir, Director-General and Mr. Faiz Sobhan, Senior Research Director. The vote of thanks was delivered by the NDC Commandant, Lt. General Sheikh Mamun Khaled.
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) organized a day-long national roundtable on “Youth in Preventing Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Experiences from North Bengal” on October 02, 2019 at Hotel Lake Castle, Gulshan-2, Dhaka. The roundtable had three different sessions discussing three different themes: “Empowerment of the Youth”, “Mobilization of the Stakeholders for Social Resilience” and “Sustainability of the Project Outcome”. An overview presentation of the 30 months long project funded by “Global Affairs Canada” was given by Ambassador (Retd) M. Humayun Kabir, Acting President of BEI in Ist session. 10 students (04 females and 06 males), 06 change agent teachers and 06 coordinators from different colleges, madrasahs of different upazilas of the project participated and shared their extensive experiences during series of activities of the project in three sessions of the roundtable. Honorable foreign minister H.E. Dr. A K Abdul Momen was delighted the roundtable as chief guest. Within other invitees High Commissioner of Canada H.E. Benoit Préfontaine, High Commissioner of England H.E. Robert Chatterton Dickson, Ambassador of Norway H.E. Ms. Sidsel Bleken, H.E. Ms. Rensje Teerink, Head of Delegation, European Union to Bangladesh, Ms. Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Representative and Country Director, Bangladesh, Dr. Benazir Ahmed, Director General of RAB Forces, Mr. Rob Stoelman, project manager of UNDP Bangladesh, several representatives from diplomatic missions in Bangladesh, security experts, academicians, Violent Extremism practitioners, representatives from donor agencies, students, journalists had delighted the day long roundtable by their presence. Open floor discussion of each event uncovered and brought some reality, challenges and prospects for upcoming study on radicalization and violent extremism and new phases of activities in future as well. Among the officials of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), Ambassador (Retd) Farooq Sobhan, Distinguished Fellow and Member, Board Governors, BEI, Ambassador (Retd) M. Humayun Kabir, Acting President of BEI, Mr. Mohammad Humayun Kabir, Director General of BEI, Ambassador (Retd) Suhrab Hossain, Advisor, BEI, Mr. Faiz Sobhan, Senior Research Director of BEI were also present.
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) in partnership with the International Country/City Management Association (ICMA) has undertaken 19 key informant interviews (KIIs), 9 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and a Perception survey participated by 365 students since September, 2019. The purpose of the project is to understand local drivers and dynamics of radicalization as well as other factors contributing to the problem of mental health among youth in Bangladesh. The project covers both North and South City Corporations of Dhaka. The total numbers of individual respondents was approximately 470 from Universities, Colleges and Madrassas. The age group of the respondents ranged from 18 to 23 years of age. For the key informant interviews, the stakeholders included academics, C/PVE experts, religious leaders, psychological service providers as well as local NGOs.
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) is currently implementing a project on the “Role of Youth in Peace Building” at two renowned universities- Dhaka University and Rajshahi University. Under the project BEI has arranged one grooming session for the participants of radio program held in 17 July 2019, programs with two community radios- Radio Boral (18 July 2019) and Radio Padma (19 July 2019), a lessons learned meeting with the participation of trainee students and some other involved students of University of Rajshahi on 20 July 2019 at Conference Hall, University of Rajshahi. On July 18 and 19, 2019, nine students and one teacher from Rajshahi University have participated and shared their understanding, thoughts and discussed different concepts regarding radicalization and violent extremism such as- democratic values, rule of law, narratives and alternative narratives. The participants also answered some live questions came directly from listeners. On July 20, 2019, “Lessons Learned Meeting” was held and Acting President of BEI has presided over the session in presence of Professor Md. Lutfor Rahman, Proctor of RU, student adviser Professor Dr. Laila Arjuman Banu of Rajshahi University. In the meeting, trainee students and other involved students shared their experiences during the six months activities including training program, survey questionnaire, key informant interview, preparing two research papers and a video. The meeting received extensive criticism and various recommendations from the audience presented there.
A delegation of 115 senior military and civil officials from the National Defence College in Dhaka paid a visit to BEI on 04 July 2019 to learn about its work and engage in a discussion on national and foreign policy issues.
The meeting was presided over by Amb. Humayun Kabir, Acting President, BEI, and Rear Admiral M Shafiul Azam, NUP, ndc, psc, Acting Commandant, National Defence College.
Mr. Faiz Sobhan, Senior Research Director, BEI, gave an overview of BEI’s work covering research, advocacy and capacity-building. Later Professor Shahab Enam Khan, Research Director, BEI gave a presentation titled : The Belt and Road Initiative and The Indo-Pacific Strategy: Opportunities and Challenges for Bangladesh where he put the emphasis on Bangladesh perspective.
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute and Anondo jointly organized nine (FGD) and ten key informant interview (KII) under the project “Promotion of Confidence Building in CHT through Empowering Communities and Institutions” in six project upazilas namely Khagrachari Sadar, Dighinala, Rangamati Sadar, Kaptai, Bandarban Sadar and Rowangchari, of the CHT in its evaluation phase. Local Advocacy Group (LAG) members, representative from youth generation, representative from local women leaders, Armed Personnel, representatives from different traditional and government institutions, representatives from different political parties, local community leaders, and religious leaders participated in the meetings. The meetings were held from 17 May 2019 to 28 May 2019. The objective of the meeting was to identify the overall impact of the project on local communities and institutions in CHT done jointly by BEI and Anando for the last two and half years. The findings of the meetings will be used in the evaluation report.
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) organized a two days “Video Campaign and Research Paper Presentation and Discussions” by two groups of trainee students of University of Rajshahi on 26 April 2019 and 27 April 2019 at Deans Complex Conference Hall, University of Rajshahi. On April 26, 2019, an awareness building Video on the thought of youth of Rajshahi University about violent extremism, radicalization has been displayed before audience. In the following day, research paper on “Preventing Extremism Through Achieving SDGs: The Role of Youth in Bangladesh” has been presented by the leader of research paper presentation group on 27 April 2019. Sessions of the both days have conducted by Amb. (Retd) M. Humayun Kabir, Acting President, BEI. Dean of Social Sciences Professor Dr. Md. Fakrul Islam, Proctor Professor Md. Lutfor Rahman, student adviser Professor Dr. Laila Arjuman Banu of Rajshahi University were presented as guests of the second day’s sessions. Both the presentations have got extensive criticism and recommendations by the critics and the audience appeared followed by the screening and presentation to make excellent the research papers.
BEI organized a day long consultation meeting on 20 April 2019 in Khagrachari Parjatan Motel on “Promotion of Confidence Building in CHT through empowering Institutions and Communities”. Additional Secretary of MOCHTA, Region Commander of Khagrachari, ADC Khagrachari, members of civil society, representative from youth and various government and non-government institutions of the district joined this meeting. In the consultation meeting, intensive discussion took place on pressing issues relating to CHT in regards to communal harmony, environmental threat and educational aspects.