March 2021   |  Issue 1
BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health
BRAC University

2020 IN RETROSPECT

Looking back at 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (BRAC JPGSPH), BRAC University adapted to a nationwide lockdown. Activities and measures were undertaken and its work on pressing health challenges affecting disadvantaged communities continued.

With initiatives and lessons learnt from the past year, the year 2021 is nationally and historically of utmost significance. In the 50th year of Independence and the 101 years of the founder of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, BRAC JPGSPH, BRAC University, continues to contribute to meaningful impact in the field of Public Health Education, Training, Research and Advocacy to inform programmes and policies.

BRAC JPGSPH, BRAC University, was founded in 2004 in Dhaka, Bangladesh to address the unmet public health challenges particular to Asia, Africa and South America. The School ensures premier higher education with unparalleled real life teaching and learning focuses on pressing and emerging national and global public health challenges.

IN THE NEWS

Breaking Barriers
Two transgender women awarded with international and national scholarships to pursue their Master in Public Health programme at BRAC JPGSPH, BRAC University; the WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and Amena Azfar &Hurmatunnesa Rob scholarship, respectively.
Farhana Alam, Assistant Director from BRAC JPGSPH, discusses on providing scholarships to transgender (TG) women and the book Umbrella Stigma





By Ice Today.


March 2021










Cooling Down Lethal Living









By
Mahima Rahman Srishty, Communication Assistant.

March 2021










Disability and COVID Project Brief: Livelihood, Food security and Well-being of Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Adity Shayantony Das,
Research Assistant; Fatema Akter Bonny,
Research Associate;
Dr Md Tanvir Hasan, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Centre of Excellence for Urban Equity and Health (CUEH);
Dr Sabina F. Rashid, Professor & Dean, Director of the Centre of Gender and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (CGSRHR).

May 2020
Voices of Masculinity






Identifying the Sexual and Reproductive Health needs of male youth.

Feb 2021









Exploring the Perspectives of Caregivers Living in the Rohingya Camps


By Atiya Rahman, Senior Research Fellow
Nazrana Khaled, Deputy Coordinator;
Raafat Hassan, Research Associate;
Mahmuda Akter Sarkar,
Qualitative Data Manager;
Kaosar Afsana, Professor.

Dec 2020
Addressing Vulnerabilities
in Communities facing
Infectious Disease Threats:
A need for Social Science-driven
Assessments

Peer-reviewed Article.



Jan 2021

The School applies an interdisciplinary integration of Education, Training, Research and Advocacy to diverse health challenges. This includes, factors that influence and impact on health, poverty alleviation, urban and rural health, socioeconomic development, marginalised communities (Rohingya refugees, informal settlements etc.), climate change and environmental health, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, nutrition, gender analysis, gender equity and rights, maternal and child health, urban equity, sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexuality, violence against women and children, human rights and health, health workforce, health equity and health financing, financial inclusion, education, skills development, migration, human rights, programme evaluations, surveillance and implementation science research. BRAC JPGSPH research provides evidence, translates knowledge into action and ensures advocacy to influence policies and programmes on emerging and pressing issues in Public Health.

The School builds capacity and contributes to Public Health by preparing individuals to become public health leaders, practitioners, critical thinkers, researchers, advocates, and stewards in order to enable concrete changes to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations locally, regionally and internationally.

Education

The Master of Public Health (MPH) Programme at BRAC JPGSPH is a one-year full time programme that offers transformative public health learning to develop next-generation public health leaders for 21st century public health challenges. The locus of the MPH program is its experiential community immersive teaching through rigorous urban and rural fieldwork. Since its inception in 2005, there has been over 563 MPH graduates from 34 countries.

563

Graduates from 34 Countries Since 2005
40

Experiential Urban and Rural Field Sites in 13 Districts in 2019
13

International Visiting Faculty
98

National Faculty and Practitioners
24

Academic Partners

16th Cohort MPH Graduates Online: 2020
BRAC JPGSPH, BRAC University held the graduation ceremony of its 16th cohort MPH students consisting of 38 individuals (19 national and 19 international) from 14 countries.

Professor Vincent Chang
Vice-Chancellor, BRAC University attended as the Honorable Chief Guest. He congratulated the 16th cohort on graduating and praised BRAC JPGSPH for successfully conducting the whole ceremony online, amidst an ongoing pandemic.
Dr Henry B Perry
Senior Scientist, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, delivered the keynote speech at the convocation ceremony. He congratulated the faculty for putting up an efficient and interactive system of conducting the whole programme online
Dr Jon Rohde
One of the founding members of BRAC JPGSPH, BRAC University, was invited as Special Guest. Dr Jon Rohde congratulated and urged the new graduates to use the experience they gathered at this premiere education institute to bring positive changes in the field of global Public Health.

17th Cohort MPH Class Online 2021

13

Number of Countries
19

Number of International Students
24

Number of National Students
27

Number of Female Students
14

Number of Male Students
2

Number of Transgender Students
What Makes the MPH Programme at
BRAC JPGSPH Unique
  • Experiential Community-Immersive Learning
  • Global Public Health Faculty And Practitioners
  • Global Classroom
  • Innovative Learning Methodologies
  • Employable Professional Skills Development
  • Diverse Innovative Solutions
  • Real-World Contextual Learning
  • Competency-Based Learning
  •  
    MPH Online Learning 2020
    BRAC JPGSPH, BRAC University through its use of online resource tools such as Zoom, Moodle, Google Classroom and BuX remained committed to continuous learning, offering MPH real time online learning from March 2020. 38 students from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and United Kingdom continued the programme online.
     
    Our Global MPH Family       
    "My MPH experience at BRAC JPGSPH taught me that we strive to solve the problems people face as a whole, and not the individual one."
    In 2019 the School was
    featured by Johns Hopkins University as a Top School in the Region
     
    WHO features the School as one of the top 6 in the region (2007)
     
    Learn more about our MPH programme
     
    Developing Midwives Project (DMP)
    Developing Midwives Project offers a 3-year long diploma course with a midwifery curriculum which follows the standards set by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and approved by the Bangladesh Nursing & Midwifery Council (BNMC). The Diploma has been approved by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh (MoH&FW). The Diploma in Midwifery education is designed with a two-pronged approach i.e. developing faculty for midwifery education and producing qualified midwives simultaneously.

    TRAINING

    Centre for Professional Skills Development on Public Health (CPSD)

    The School’s international training hub established in 2007, Centre for Professional Skills Development on Public Health (CPSD) strengthens and upgrades the requisite professional skills utilised by practitioners, policymakers, development partners, government officials, public advocates, faculty, researchers and frontline health workers.

    Approximately 5,000 health and development professionals have received training from the School and in joint collaboration with BRAC, icddr,b, partner institutions and development partners. BRAC JPGSPH extensively and exclusively offers over 50 training, workshops, and seminars annually.

    CPSD provides practical skill based training for relevant public health priorities and needs and encourages solution oriented thinking to address practical ‘real world’ challenges. The workshops are codesigned critical competencies for professional training to ensure relevant capabilities are developed, in addition to ensuring, interactive teaching and learning this includes, innovative tools for in-person, field-based and online learning and participant centered learning to promote critical thinking. Immersive learning by visits to field sites, such as rural urban communities, health facilities (public, ngo, private), organisations (public, ngo, private) are also a part of these workshops. CPSD's diverse expert facilitators include, practitioners, policy makers and multi sectoral actors (i.e., government, ngos, ingos, civil society, private sector)

    Online Training 2020

    Since April 2020, BRAC JPGSPH has been hosting a series of webinars every week to address the public health emergency related to the virus, through sharing of useful resource material, dialogues and in-person meetings, locally and globally to a wider audience, including BRAC University, health organisations, key stakeholders, partners, and networks. Faculty and staff from the School are also being invited to webinars hosted by national and international organisations.



    37 Webinars were Led and
    Co-Led by BRAC JPGSPH with other Organisations and Institutions to date.
    Faculty of the School were also Invited to Present at Global Panels.

    Capacity Building Training on “Evaluation of Development Programme” for Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) Officials

    Date: 6-8 December, 2020
    Online Capacity Building Training on “Qualitative Research”






    Date: 25-26 August, 2020
    Online Skills Development: Basic Quantitative Research Methods, Data Analysis and Report Writing




    Date: 16-21 August, 2020
    WHO Training Platform
     
    COVID-19 Training for BRAC JPGSPH
    Support Staff

    Highlights of Upcoming Activities

    The Centre for Professional Skills Development on Public Health (CPSD) under BRAC JPGSPH and Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW) signed an agreement, with a grant from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

    12 short courses and 1 pilot course will be undertaken by CPSD to train 300 participants by 2022

    Research

    The School's Five Centers of Excellence and a Humanitarian Research Hub (2018) aim to investigate pressing and emerging public health issues to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged populations. A team of faculty and researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and professions comprising of epidemiologists, medical anthropologists, anthropologists, biostatisticians, development economists, health economists, statisticians, health policy and health system experts, implementation researchers, nutritionists, doctors and social scientists, are part of the dedicated Five Centers of Excellence and a Humanitarian Research Hub with a proven track record and in-depth insights.

    The research at the School focuses on transforming evidence into action for change by combining grounded research and analysis to inform the Government, Key Stakeholders (i.e., non-governmental organisations, international agencies), Civil Society and Donors. Through the School’s extensive global and national partnerships and networks, evidence is developed to support programmes and policies, nationally and globally.

    Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity (ARISE)
    is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) with a total of 11 partner organisations from 5 countries. The study explores the range of experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic for people living and working in informal urban spaces, with focus on their health and well-being, and how intersections of governance and accountability, specific policy directions, and social inequalities shape these experiences.
    Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW)
    Is a multi-stakeholder civil society advocacy and monitoring network where BRAC JPGSPH serves as the Secretariat. BHW reports identify the most pressing challenges in the health sector at particular points of time and publish insightful situation analyses leading to practical recommendations, based on evidence from existing secondary resources and primary research.


    Bangladesh Health
    System’s Response to
    COVID-19 during First Nine
    Weeks: A Rapid Study on
    the Key Building Blocks
    Pins and needles at the time of a pandemic: Learning from the RMG
    workers through a rapid
    survey


    Prevalence and Associated Factors of Depression among Adolescent Boys and Girls in Bangladesh: Findings from a Nationwide Survey

    5 Research Centres of Excellence

    The Centre of Excellence
    for Gender Sexual and
    Reproductive Health Rights
    (CGSRHR)

    CGSRHR is dedicated to research, policy, advocacy and training activities in the arena of gender, sexual and reproductive health rights, sexuality and rights in Bangladesh and in the Region.


    The Centre of Excellence on
    Universal Health Coverage
    (CoE-HS&UHC)

    The Centre aims to accelerate evidence-informed, equitable and sustainable action towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The centre has 3 core activities: Generating Essential Evidence; Developing Core Competencies and Advocacy.
    The Centre for Urban Equity
    and Health (CUEH)

    Through research, training
    and partnership building,
    the Centre for Urban Equity
    and Health (CUEH) fosters
    innovation on how to
    redress urban health
    inequities within
    Bangladesh and around
    the world.

    The Centre of Excellence on
    the Science of
    Implementation and
    Scale-Up (CoE-SISU)


    The Centre aims to bridge
    the knowledge gap and
    identify implementation
    strategies which will help
    the Government and key
    stakeholders to address
    challenging and complex
    issues in delivering quality
    health services in remote
    areas and the socio-
    economically deprived
    communities in
    Bangladesh.
    The Centre for Non-
    Communicable Diseases
    and Nutrition (CNCDN)


    The Centre for Non-
    Communicable Diseases
    and Nutrition has a vision
    to prevent, control, reduce
    mortality and
    complications NCD and
    malnutrition in Bangladesh
    through prevention,
    treatment and control.








    Humanitarian
    Research Hub

    Since 2018, BRAC JPGSPH continues to conduct research on Rohingya refugees across 3 of its Centres of Excellence in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; in efforts to comprehend the gaps in public health service delivery and identify challenges to improve well-being of the Rohingya community.

    Urban Health Innovation Challenge 2021: Healthy, Safe and Inclusive Cities

    BRAC JPGSPH in collaboration with World Vision aims to engage urban youths in developing innovative simple solutions to combat sexual harassment and increase sexual and reproductive health services and information in slums.

    ADVOCACY

    To Influence Programmes and Policies

    The School actively engaged during the public health emergency of COVID-19, including sharing evidence with mainstream media, government advisors, citizens’ platform-Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW) and many other civil society bodies, on current needs of disadvantaged populations. Actively aggregating and sharing of useful resource materials, locally and globally to a wider audience, including BRAC university, health organisations, key stakeholders, partners, and networks which include seminars, online dissemination events, policy dialogues, internal blogs, articles published in newspapers, social media campaigns, sharing daily COVID-19 updates, etc. from February 2020, onwards. This also includes a seminar with speakers from Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), social media campaigns, circulation of daily COVID-19 updates as well as blogs and news articles both internally and externally.

    Activity Highlights

    COVID-19 Vaccination: Some Gender Perspectives

    Gender(ed) experiences of COVID-19 pandemic in different contexts.

    February 2021

     
    Research Dissemination Event: "Young People’s Voices during COVID-19: How the Pandemic Affected Adolescents in Urban Slums and Low-Income Settlements in Dhaka"

    The rapid research focused on the impact of the pandemic and countrywide lockdown on the lived realities of adolescent boys and girls living in slums and low-income settlements in Dhaka.

    December 2020
    Exploring Adolescence: A Story of Growing Up

    Based on the findings of two evaluation studies done for Right Here Right Now, funded by Rutgers with partnered organisations, Arrow, Choice for Youth and Sexuality, Dance4Life, IPPF, Hivos and Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Net., the video focuses on sexuality, physical and mental changes during puberty, personal hygiene care of adolescent boys and girls.

    March 2021
     
    Birth & Death Registration

    Funded by UNICEF, the video aims to explore critical implementation drivers and barriers of the birth and death registration system in Bangladesh.

    November 2020
    Sussex Development Lectures: Covid-19 and Development: Implications for Preparedness and Response in Future Pandemics
    A look at what the varied experience of COVID-19 means for rethinking future approaches to pandemic preparedness and responses.

    January 2021
    Development of Integrated Nutrition Messages for Schools
    A discussion on development and proposal on a set of impactful nutrition messages, encompassing issues such as healthy diet, nutrition, immunity, food safety, hygiene and sanitary practices and more.

    March 2021
    International Women’s Day 2021
    Celebrating women in leadership roles by acknowledging their social, economic, cultural and political achievements, in a post COVID-19 world.

    March 2021

    The BRAC JPGSPH Newsletter is a Quarterly Publication.
    Catch Our Next Issue in May, 2021 !

    For any additional queries or information, please contact:

    Supriti Sarkar
    Assistant Manager, Knowledge Management, Communications Team E-mail: supriti.sarkar@bracu.ac.bd
    Rafee Muhammad Tamjid
    Assistant Manager, New Media, Communications Team
    E-mail: rmtamjid@bracu.ac.bd
    Copyright © 2021 BRAC JPGSPH. All Rights Reserved.
    www.bracjpgsph.org