• IPF | Institute of Public Finance Bangladesh
  • Centre of Excellence for PFM Training, Research and Capacity Building

Guidelines for Conducting Research by IPF

Guidelines for conducting research.pdf

1. Publishing Research Topics and/Policy/Working Papers: As per one of its core mandates, the Institute of Public Finance Bangladesh (IPF) will take initiatives to publish 3-5 peer-reviewed research articles each year in reputed journals as well as some policy/working papers to be published in its/FD’s website.

2. IPF research: All papers, made by IPF, must be recognized as IPF research. IPF research papers will be a combination of research done by own IPF experts (in-house) as well as commissioned work in collaboration with FIMA/BIGM/BIDS and /or other partner organizations. A call for papers from relevant government entities may also be considered. The research papers may also include review articles or review papers, based on other published articles. While these papers may not necessarily report original research but generally summarise existing literature on a topic in an attempt to explain the current state of understanding on the PFM topic, these are also considered valid. Review articles will include:

  • A narrative review explains the existing knowledge on a PFM topic based on all the published research available on the topic.

  • A systematic review searches for the answer to a particular question in the existing scientific literature on a PFM topic.

  • A meta-analysis compares and combines the findings of previously published PFM related studies, usually to assess the effectiveness of an intervention.

3. Relevance of Research: IPF research needs to be pertinent and address and examine the critical issues affecting the fiscal and macroeconomic management of Bangladesh. The fundament of the research must be on well-defined questions that have the potential to positively impact the policy 1. decisions of the Ministries/Divisions, particularly of the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh. However, it may address new and emerging national, regional and international development challenges, and advance knowledge on economics and finance. More importantly, IPF research needs to address critical knowledge gaps in the literature and in extant development practice.

4. Prioritization and funding of IPF research: Before funding any research, IPF should carefully prioritise the research agenda because a well-designed and strategic research topic not only addresses the relevant, unanswered and forward-looking questions but also avoids repetition of efforts and wastage of public money on redundant research. In the planning process, research topics should well be narrowed down and practical matters such as the cost of research, timelines and capacity to carry out the required work need to be carefully considered when setting any research agenda. IPF should outline timelines, budget, and other necessary resources of IPF in its strategic planning process. Requests from developing partners and other stakeholders to conduct research within a tight timeframe need to be realistically assessed, and where a strict deadline poses a risk to the quality of the research, re-negotiated. It is more beneficial to carry out fewer strategically-focused, high quality research projects than a large number which may not have sufficient resources to achieve an impact.

5. Selection of Research Topics and/or Policy/Working Papers:

  • There should be a Research Advisory Committee for Identification of Broad Area/Theme of Research Topics/Policy Papers headed by an Additional Secretary (members: A professor of Dhaka University, a representative of BIDS, two FD officials who have research experience or dissertation writing in foreign university) with a Director/Deputy Director of IPF as member secretary.

  • The Research Advisory Committee will plan a list of theme/topics considering the provisions outlined in sections 2 and 3 and place it to the four-member Expert Panel, comprising reputed/expert persons having both academic and quality knowledge about fiscal and economic management as well as working experience in the aforesaid field for consideration, for consideration. The Expert Panel shall be nominated by the GC and one member of the Panel shall be selected as the Head of the Panel (Currently Dr. Mohammad Tareque, Former Senior Secretary FD will act as the Head of the Panel and Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, CPD, an Additional Secretary, FD and DG, IPF will act as members of the Panel). The Panel shall finalise it in consultation with the Chairman of the GC.

6. Eligibility of Researchers: For commissioned research, there should be a team of two to three researchers for each selected topic, as agreed and decided by both the parties (the IPF and the hired one), of which one shall be a professional researcher and one/two government officials. The professional researcher must have experience in empirical research and have publications in peer-reviewed journals. He/She will act as the Lead Researcher and the other two researchers, termed as Co-researchers, should be drawn from the Government, preferably from FD, who have working experience in fiscal and economic management as well as theoretical and quantitative analytical experience.

7. Selection of Institutions/Researchers: The Lead Researchers may be selected individually and/or from institutions (universities or research organizations/think tanks) who/which will express interest for engaging in research.

8. Inviting Expression of Interests from individuals/institutions: IPF will call for Expression of Interests (EoIs) by advertising in a local daily English newspaper and professional media.

9. Procedure of Selection: The IPF in consultation with Expert Panel (outlined in Section-3(ii)) will evaluate the EoIs and select the Lead and Co-Researchers from individual/institutions as defined in section 2.

10. Research Proposal/ Concept Note: Individual/institution (universities or research organizations/think tanks) interested in conducting research must submit a research proposal/concept note to IPF while expressing the interest to conduct a research. (See Annex A for an example of what to include).

11. Presentation of the Concept Note/Research Proposal: After expressing interest to conduct IPF research, professional researcher has to present the Concept Note/Research Proposal and questionnaire (if any requires for data collection) before the Expert Panel and DG of IPF. DG, IPF in consultation with the Expert Panel can fully approve it or ask for modification.

12. Ensuring the quality of the research: DG shall ensure the quality of the research with the assistance of the Expert Panel and if necessary, DG may invoke help from or employ/appoint some other experts to ensure the quality of the research.

13. Peer Review and Publication of the Article/Research Paper: After the completion of the research work, IPF will submit the manuscript of the research article or paper to reputed international journals for peer review in the field of economics and finance. When the article or paper is published in the journals, IPF will make it publicly available.

14. Budget for Research Team/ Individual Researcher: The selected research team/ researcher shall be paid an honorarium in two/three instalments. The disbursement process of the honorarium should be devised in such a way that the final installment will not be paid before the peer-review and final acceptance of the research by the IPF.

15. Duration of the Research Project: The researchers shall endeavor to submit the works of research /study/ evaluation within six months of awarding of the Notification of Award (NoA) and IPF will discourage the extension of research time beyond one fiscal year of its issuance time of NoA.

15. Duration of the Research Project: The researchers shall endeavor to submit the works of research /study/ evaluation within six months of awarding of the Notification of Award (NoA) and IPF will discourage the extension of research time beyond one fiscal year of its issuance time of NoA.

Annex A: Recommended Components of a Research Proposal/Concept Note Box 1:

Research proposal/concept note content
The research proposals/concept notes of research projects should outline the following concerns:

  • -Introduction

  • -Research Problem

  • -Justification or rationale of the research/Value addition of the research;

  • -Brief literature Review;

  • -the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study;

  • -the empirical specification of the research (strategy-qualitative or quantitative, design, definitions of Concepts/Variables, data collection, data analysis);

  • - Expected result and expected policy implications;

  • - Any issues related to research ethics;

  • - Any significant resource requirements or resource issues;

  • -A draft budget;

  • - A time table for the proposed research (Gantt Chart).

1 Research papers or articles may include Original Research, Review Articles, Short reports or Letters, Case Studies, Methodologies etc.

2 Journals may include the Fiscal Studies, International Review of Economics and Finance, Economic Policy, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic and Management Strategies etc.