Current Projects

BUILD's Undertakings

Project

Provide Policy Advocacy Support Through Structured Public-Private Dialogue to Enhance Competitiveness of Selected Manufacturing Sectors

Client​

International Finance Corporation

The objective of the assignment is to support the Sector Competitiveness for Bangladesh (SCA4BD) project through policy advocacy for reforms related to competitiveness, export, investment, etc. that will significantly improve the investment and export competitiveness of Bangladesh in selected non-RMG sectors. BUILD would conduct research, develop reform recommendations, organise structured public-private dialogue, and conduct monitoring and follow up for reforms implementation to accomplish the objective.

BUILD would carry out policy advocacy on the COVID-19 response and recovery for the priority sectors and update the Strategic Export Roadmaps developed for Leather Goods and Non-Leather Footwear; Plastic and Light Engineering sectors. It would help identify, pursue and access international markets for the locally produced Medical and Personal Protective Equipment (MPPE) products. Gaps in the quality certification and standards provided by the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) for export potential products will be identified. BUILD would perform a brief analysis of areas identified in Women Business and Law and develop policy recommendations for Bangladesh.

BUILD would work closely with Private Sector Development Policy Coordination Committee (PSDPCC), a high-level committee at the Prime Minister’s office, for effective policy coordination. It would coordinate with key government ministries, agencies, private sector chambers and associations, as well as think tanks and academia.

Project

Assessing Adaptation Investment Opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Southwest Coastal Bangladesh

Client​

Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)

The project seeks to explore climate change vulnerabilities, current gender-sensitive adaptation practices and potential adaptation investment options for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in selected districts of Southwest Bangladesh – Satkhira, Bagerhut and Khulna – which are especially vulnerable to the hazards of climate change.

To assess the major investment needs for adaptation of MSMEs and mobilise investment, BUILD would associate with key stakeholders, including government organisations, private sectors, as well as civil society organisations, to accumulate existing knowledge of stakeholders. BUILD would hold divisional and district level consultations and conduct several Key Informant Interviews (KIIs). The data would be analysed and synthesised to identify the selected sectors’ key adaptation investment needs and opportunities. Policy bottlenecks or awareness gaps hindering investment would also be identified. The project would result in a range of knowledge products, including policy briefs, infographics, and case studies on the research and stakeholder engagement issues.

Project

Harnessing the Private Sector in Creating Economic Opportunities for Climate Migrants

Client​

PROKAS; British Council; UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

This project intends to create more employment opportunities in secondary cities like Mongla by facilitating investments into high-potential business opportunities so that climate migrants from vulnerable regions can find livelihood opportunities in these cities.

BUILD carried out brief sectoral assessment, sector prioritisation and then developed business plans for selected high-potential sectors. Some of the major sectors identified include agri-business, waste recycling, and drinking water. However, in the context of COVID-19, a major priority has been to support businesses in Southwest Bangladesh to recover and grow in the aftermath of the pandemic.

BUILD would assess financial blockages and identify other barriers to businesses in the wake of the pandemic. BUILD would also seek to enable business resilience through technical assistance to enable business resilience. High-level policy advocacy would be held to facilitate business’ access to concessional finance, with a special focus on the cottage, micro and small entrepreneurs, as well as women-owned businesses.

Project

Provide Policy Advocacy Support Through Structured Public-Private Dialogue

Client​

World Bank Group

The project aims to conduct policy advocacy for business-enabling reforms by conducting research, developing reform recommendations, organising structured public-private dialogues, and monitoring and following up for reforms implementation under the support of the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BICF) program.

BUILD would identify areas for reform in consultation with stakeholders. It would review, validate and expand upon the BICF analyses on the reform areas. Based on the identification of the most effective design for dialogues, BUILD would arrange a series of high-level dialogues with public and private stakeholders in order to facilitate reforms pertaining to the objective of the assignment. The stakeholders would include key government ministries, agencies, private sectors, chambers, associations, think tanks and academia. BUILD will also have to work closely with Private Sector Development Policy Coordination Committee (PSDPCC) at the Prime Minister’s office.

The project seeks to achieve at least six reforms that will significantly improve Bangladesh’s investment and export competitiveness, including those affecting women. The reforms will focus on economy-wide regulatory issues impeding local and foreign investments; sector-focused issues related to competitiveness, export, trade connectivity, logistics; regulatory and procedural issues faced by women-in-businesses.

Project

Measuring the Administrative Burden of the Company Registration Process in Bangladesh

Client​

The Feed the Future Bangladesh Improving Trade and Business Enabling Environment (FtFBITBEE) supported by USAID

This study aims to obtain detailed data on constraints encountered in the process of interaction with public and private sector stakeholders at all stages of company registration and post-registration. BUILD is conducting a study assessing the various stages, including name clearance, obtaining a company registration certificate, trade license, TIN, VAT registration, and so on.

The seven main focusing areas of the project are reduction of the time for business registration, reduction of the number of company registration steps, reduction of the total cost, increasing the number of newly registered businesses, increasing the transparency of business registration processes, standardising and unifying existing procedures at the national level, and improving the country’s ranking on Doing Business index.

BUILD has implemented a survey on different business organisations regarding their company registration process during March-April 2021. A focus group discussion was also held to validate survey findings. BUILD is currently preparing a detailed study report and looks forward to disseminating the study findings for policy uptake.  

Project

Impact of COVID-19 on the Manufacturing Sector in Bangladesh

Client​

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

As the Bangladesh economy is grappling with the challenges posed by the COVID-19, the government has come up with a series of stimulus and measures to buoy up the private sector, the central pillar of growth for the country. It is essential to inform the government’s policies with concrete data from the field level to ensure effective economic recovery measures. In that context, BUILD is conducting a perception survey on the ‘Impact of COVID-19 on the Manufacturing Sector in Bangladesh’ with support from the UNIDO Dhaka Office. The survey aims to collect responses from the manufacturing organisations on the ongoing and perceived future impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

The survey result will be used to inform government responses aiming to support businesses during the crisis. The survey is a follow-up to the first impact assessment survey conducted in June-July 2020. The questionnaire has been sent online to the different manufacturing industries in different districts of the country. The questionnaire mainly focuses on the current and expected impact of COVID-19 on the manufacturing sectors in the country. The survey also focuses on the considered and taken measures for dealing with COVID-19 by the manufacturing firms.

Project

Linking Stimulus, Domestic Demand, and Employment: Assessing the Challenges and Devising Policy Strategies

Client​

International Labour Organization (ILO)

This study focuses on the assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy of the country. The impact of the stimulus packages announced by the government in the first phase would be analysed linking to demand, investment and employment generation. The current state of the private sector will be analysed using different variables. At the same time, the needs and requirements that should be addressed in the second phase of the stimulus package would be identified.

A focus group discussion has been organised on 23 May 2021 to gather insights on the current situation of the private sector. Relevant stakeholders such as large industries, CMSMEs, policymakers, academicians, etc. have participated in this discussion. In collaboration with Policy Exchange, BUILD has been working on data analysis and documentation for preparing the study report. Based on the study’s findings, policy advocacy will be conducted focusing on the formulation of an effective second stimulus package linking with demand, consumption, employment and investment. 

Project

Road Map for Reform in Public Procurement Policies to Overcome COVID-19 Situation and Increasing Access to Public Procurement for Women Entrepreneurs

Client​

ITC SheTrades

The objective of the project is to know the actual extent of women’s participation in the public procurement system and identify barriers that are the reasons behind women’s low level of engagement in this platform,

Activities included the development of a concept note, consultation meeting with the Director General (DG) of the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) and other officials. BUILD and ITC jointly organised dialogues on “Engaging Women Entrepreneurs in Public Procurement” and “Gender-Responsive Public Procurement in Bangladesh: A New Methodology”. In February and March 2021, BUILD conducted a series of key informant interviews with relevant institutions to assess the situation and determine the barriers faced by WEs as tenderers participating in public procurement. Based on the findings, recommendations were proposed by BUILD that went on to be endorsed for implementation in the March 2021 dialogue. The CPTU is responding to prepare a roadmap for a gender-responsive Public Procurement, implementing a project for gender-responsive PPR and started the process of the gender-segregated database for women-owned businesses.

Project

Textile Sustainability Platform

Client​

International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group

The Textile Sustainability Platform (TSP), a public-private dialogue platform, aims to strengthen environmental sustainability and resource use efficiency in the textile sector of Bangladesh under the Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) program. Since its inception in May 2014, the Textile Sustainability Platform​ (TSP) platform has served as a dialogue and advocacy forum composed of stakeholders from the government, private sector, and non-governmental organisations. The TSP has driven results such as contributing towards a supplementary duty increase for Zero Discharge on Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) and forming the Green Transformation Fund by the Bangladesh Bank.

Under this project, BUILD would extend research, technical, and secretarial support to the TSP. This would encompass conducting small-scale studies, developing relevant recommendations, help convene the TSP meetings, and receive inputs and endorsement from the platform. BUILD would submit the recommendations endorsed by TSP to the Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee (SGG) of BUILD chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change as well as the President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). The SGGWC will consider and make policy decisions based on the recommendations.

Project

Asia and Middle East Economic Growth

Client​

Chemonics International, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chemonics, the implementer of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) ‘s Asia and Middle East Economic Growth (AMEG) project to coordinate their approach to activities promoting regional connectivity in South Asia.

Under this MOU, BUILD would serve as a key partner for AMEG on regional activities and help identify opportunities for enhancing regional connectivity and trade, facilitate connections with Bangladeshi stakeholders, and provide feedback when necessary. AMEG will identify opportunities for collaboration with BUILD, develop scopes of work, and enter into agreements that include specific areas of cooperation. AMEG and BUILD helped carry out a two-day Task Force Workshop in India in April 2017 to design a demonstration pilot for enhancing regional connectivity. This task force and pilot activity seek to bring together public and private sector stakeholders to demonstrate the viability and positive impact of allowing express shipments through land ports between Bangladesh and India.

Project

Climate Change and Environment Resilience

Client​

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

BUILD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the private sector to make safe investment and sustainable business on 13 August 2015. A project was initiated in 2016 to promote national capacity and enabling environment for business resilience, better service delivery to the poor and the vulnerable, and redressing grievances.

The project also aims to form and strengthen a PPD Platform for Sustainability and Resilience towards green growth and development and establish a strong partnership for research-backed advocacy for the private sector to simplify the environment-related policy regime. Under the collaboration, BUILD formed the Sustainability and Green Growth Working Committee as a PPD platform. BUILD team also conducted two studies on harmonisation of CSR policies and management of water quality by businesses. UNDP and BUILD continue to engage on sustainability and environmental issues around the SGGWC platform.

Project

eRegulations: An Online Step-by-Step Guide for Exporters

Client​

International Trade Centre, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

BUILD has undertaken an initiative to document licenses and certificates for the export sector, based on its past experience of assessing regulatory documentation requirements for various sectors. BUILD is creating an online step-by-step guide for exporters using eRegulations, an electronic tool developed by United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). BUILD partnered with Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) in order to implement this project under the guidance of the Ministry of Commerce (MoC). International Trade Centre (ITC) and UNCTAD are providing technical and financial support for this initiative.

Non-tariff measures (NTMs) are a significant hindrance to international trade and market access, especially for the exporters and importers in developing countries like Bangladesh. Administrative procedures in the home country regarding export are often very complex, and information required to meet the technical and other regulations is not always available. The project aims to increase the transparency of administrative procedures for businesses to facilitate export by creating a step-by-step guide for exporters.

Project

Expert PPD Support to Selected Reform Initiatives With the Various Ministries and Agencies

Client​

International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group

The project mainly aims at supporting business-enabling reforms through holding timely and evidence-based public-private dialogue. The Private Sector Development Policy Coordination Committee (PSDPCC) at the Prime Minister’s Office is a key forum for such policy reform discussions. BUILD undertook issue-based research, developed recommendations, organised structured dialogues at the PSDPCC and other committees, and conducted targeted advocacy for reforms. Following decisions at the PPDs about policy reforms, BUILD conducted rigorous follow-up with relevant ministries and agencies to monitor and evaluate progress as well as impact.

BUILD also provided technical PPD support to the Board of Investment’s sectoral initiatives by facilitating the consultation sessions as well as recommending issues for consideration. BUILD conducted effective and result-oriented PPDs for finalising the proposed Industrial Policy 2015. The government formally accepted some sectoral reform proposals. Besides facilitating the PPD channel, BUILD also introduced a feedback mechanism through SMS as well as engaged key counterparts from academia and think tanks.

Project

Divisional Stakeholder Consultations for New Industrial Policy

Client​

International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group

The project sought to conduct dialogue and consultation with the divisional level stakeholders to collect their views and opinions on critical issues to formulating an effective policy for industrialisation that can create wide-ranging benefits and establishment of industries across the country. Ministry of Industries and BUILD jointly arranged five divisional stakeholder consultations at Chittagong, Sylhet, Barishal, Rajshahi and Rangpur as well as a few expert consultation sessions engaging more than 500 stakeholders, experts, university faculty, thank tanks, chamber leaders, and media personalities. The programmes contributed to the finalisation of the National Industrial Policy 2016. Representatives of district chambers and members were invited to these consultations to raise local issues. The salient points of the recommendations that emerged out of the consultations were: ensuring one-stop service at the Ministry of Industries for supporting entrepreneurs, a rationalised and harmonised definition of industries, ensuring non-discriminatory policies and tax holiday benefits for both local and foreign investors, special incentives and marketing strategy for women entrepreneurs, and special incentives for environmentally-friendly industries.

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