Profile:Dr. Sajjad Zohir

PhD in Economics (University of Toronto),
Former Prof. of Economics, BRAC University,
Former Senior Research Fellow, BIDS,
Executive Director, Economic Research Group (ERG)

Dr. Sajjad Zohir is the Executive Director of Economic Research Group (ERG). He was a Senior Research Fellow at BIDS until he resigned to set up, with others, ERG as a private initiative for public good. He had also been a Professor of Economics at BRAC University. Dr. Zohir’s engagement for greater social good and for professional policy supports may be traced in such engagements as, Member of the Advisory Committee to the Finance Minister (1996-99), General Secretary of the Bangladesh Economic Association (1998-2000), member of several technical advisory committees with BBS and the Planning Commission, member of the Panel of Advisers during sixth five year plan, member of the Regulatory Reform Commission (2007-09), Trustee of the BKGET (fund for supporting research in agriculture, 2008-14), etc. Dr. Sajjad Zohir graduated in Economics from Dhaka University and he obtained his PhD from University of Toronto, Canada with a distinction. Dr. Zohir worked in several countries. He led teams on MDG costing in Nepal and Pakistan as a resident international consultant for UNDP and UNOPS. He had also worked with UN agencies in evaluating and designing projects in Cambodia and Mongolia. He had been a research fellow at IFPRI, IDS-Sussex, and at University of Manchester; and had coordinated the Bangladesh Growth Programme of the International Growth Center (LSE) when it was housed at ERG. Dr. Zohir has also provided consultancy services to the World Bank, IFC, Dfid, IFAD, UN-ESCAP, SDC, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, UNDESA and IFPRI. He has numerous publications in international economic journals and books; had been an editor of the Bangladesh Development Studies (economic journal of BIDS); a member in editorial boards of several journals; regularly writes columns in national dailies; and participates in the public debates through electronic media.

Executive Director, Economic Research Group, October, 2014- till now
Professor in Economics, BRAC University, January 2013
Research Director, Economic Research Group, 2008 – October, 2014 (part-time since January 2013)
Co-coordinator of the Bangladesh Growth Research Program of International Growth Center (IGC), LSE, during 2011-12.
Executive Director, Economic Research Group, 2005 – 2007
Senior Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Dhaka, Bangladesh. November 1997 – December 2006.
Adjunct Professor (part-time), North South University, Dhaka, Fall 2002 and Winter 2003.
Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka, Bangladesh. January 1989 to November 1997.
Course Coordinator and Lecturer in Advanced Economic Theory, Advanced Training Program, jointly organized by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and WIDER, Bangladesh; 1989 to 1993
Teaching Assistant/Instructor, Department of Economics, University of Toronto; 1983-86; 1987-88.
Research Associate, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. February 1979 to December 1988 (was on study leave during 1981-86 and 1987-88).

Short Term Professional Engagement
Visiting Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., USA, January 2002 and in April-May 2003. Collaborated in updating the Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for Bangladesh and in finalizing a report on WTO and Bangladesh, jointly put together by BIDS (Dhaka), IFPRI (Washington DC) and Wageningen University/LEI (the Netherlands).
Visiting Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., USA, March 2001. Prepared the final report contrasting three alternative models of delivering credit and non-credit services to promote rural non-farm employment.
Visiting Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., USA, June 1998 to August 1998. Completed the report on impacts of alternative technologies in three rural areas of Bangladesh.
Visiting Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, at the University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom, February 1998 to April 1998. Worked on spatial price integration of foodgrain market.
Visiting Researcher, Department of Economics, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, February 1994 to April 1995.
Visiting Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., USA, October- November 1992. Prepared preliminary reports on crop diversification.

Referred Journal Publication
Zohir, S. and I. Matin (2004). Wider Impact of Microfinance Institutions: issues and concepts, Journal of International Development, 16, 301–330.
Zohir, S. (2004). “NGOs in Bangladesh: an overview of the NGO Sector in Bangladesh”, Economic and Political Weekly, 4 September, India.
Shahabuddin, Q. and S. Zohir (1997). “Medium and Long-Term Projections of Food grain Demand, Supply and Trade Balance in Bangladesh”, The Bangladesh Development Studies, Vol. XXIII, Nos. 3 & 4, September-December.
Zohir, S. (1996). “Natural Resources Accounting for Sustainable Development”, Asia-Pacific Development Journal, Vol. 3, No. 2, December.
Zohir, S. (1995). “Problems and Prospects of Crop Diversification in Bangladesh”, The Bangladesh Development Studies, Vol. XXI, September 1993.
Zohir, S. (1994). “Zoning of Bangladesh – an exercise based on existing cropping practices”, The Bangladesh Development Studies, June 1993.
Zohir, S. (1989). “Wage and Labour Market in Agriculture: Some Comments”, The Bangladesh Development Studies, December.
Zohir, S. (1987). “Output Sharing as a Form of Wage Payment during Harvest”, The Bangladesh Development Studies, June.
Zohir, S. (1986). “Determination of Rental Share in a Land-Surplus Economy, The Bangladesh Development Studies, December.

Referred Monograph, Book Chapters

Zohir, S. (2014). Exclusion and Initiatives to ‘Include – Revisiting basic economics to guide development practice, Chapter 3 in Marginality, edited by Joachim Von Braun, Springer, Bonn.
Zohir, S. (2009). “NGOs in Bangladesh”, in F. Khan et al edited, Recreating the Commons: NGO Sector in Bangladesh, the University Press Limited, Dhaka.
Zohir, S. (2007). “Participation of Non-Government Organisations in the Delivery of Social Services” in S Ahmed and W. Mahmud edited, Growth and Poverty: the Development Experience of Bangladesh, the University Press Limited and the World Bank, Dhaka.
Zohir, S. (2006). “A Study on Grameen Uddog, MEDU and Kishoreganj Projects”, chapter 12, in Nurul Islam ed., Reducing Rural Poverty in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities for Microenterprises and Public Employment Schemes, Food Products Press (The Haworth Press), New York.
Zohir, S., Q. Shahbuddin and M. Hossain (2002). “Rice Supply and Demand in Bangladesh”, in Developments in the Asian Rice Economy, edited by M. Sombilla, M. Hossain and R. Hardy, IRRI, Los Banios, The Philippines.
Zohir, S. (2001). “Strengthening Linkages between Rural Credit, Agricultural Extension and Marketing: Bangladesh”, in Grass Roots Synergyin Rural Poverty Alleviation: Why and How, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations, New York.
Mahmud, W., S.H. Rahman and S. Zohir. (2000). “Agricultural Diversification: strategic factors for growth”, in Coming out of the Shadow of Famine: Evolving Food Market and Food Policy in Bangladesh, ed. R. Ahmed et al, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
Goletti, F., M. Jahangir and S. Zohir. (2000). “Prospects of Rice Exports in Bangladesh”, in Coming out of the Shadow of Famine: Evolving Food Market and Food Policy in Bangladesh, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
Chodhury, N., H. Rahman and S. Zohir (1999). “Bangladesh Agriculture and the Uruguay Round: Policies, Commitments and Prospects”, in Implications of the Uruguay Round Agreement for South Asia, ed. B. Blarel, G. Pursell and A. Valdes, South Asia Rural Development Series, The Wrold bank, Allied Publishers and FAO.
Ahmed, Akhter U., S. Zohir, S.K. Kumar and O.H. Chowdhury (1995). “Bangladesh’s Food for Work Program and Alternatives to Improve Food Security”, in Employment for Poverty Alleviation and Food Security, ed. J. von Braun, IFPRI, Washington, D.C.
Shahabuddin, Q. and S. Zohir (1994). Analysis of Markets as Conduits of Macro-Micro Transmission in Bangladesh, MAP Focus Study 4, CIDRAP, Dhaka, December.
Zohir, S. (1994). “Agriculture and Food Policies in Bangladesh and Prospects of Self- sufficiency in Rice Production”, in Development Strategies for Bangladesh, University Press Limited, Dhaka.
Shahabuddin, Q., M. Mujeri and S. Zohir. (1993). “Land and Water Use in Rural Setting in Bangladesh: Impact on Environment”, in People, Development and Environment: complex interlinkages in Bangladesh, proceedings of a national symposium held in Dhaka, IUCN, November.

Referred Research Reports

Zohir, S. et al (2012). An ex ante Assessment of Property/Wealth Tax in Bangladesh, Working Paper, IGC Bangladesh Growth Research Programme, Economic Research Group, March.
Zohir, S. (2010). A Framework for Integrating MDGs in National Development Strategies: review of regional experiences and lessons for accelerated MDG implementation, Working Paper, 28 December, UN-ESCAP.
Zohir, S. et al (2007). Implementation of Policies for Reducing Chronic Poverty: PRS Country Study On Bangladesh, CPRC Background Paper, CPRC-UK, June.
Ahmed, A., S. Rashid, M. Sharma and S. Zohir (2004). “Food and Distribution in Bangladesh: Leakage and Operational Performance”, FCND Discussion Paper No. 173, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., February.
A. Ahmed, S. Rashid, M. Sharma and S. Zohir (2003). A Study on Food Aid Leakage in Bangladesh, IFPRI, Washington, D.C., October. Also published by the WFP in 2004.
Channing, A., P. Dorosh, M. Fontana and S. Zohir (2002). “Opportunities and Challenges inAgriculture and Garments”, TMD Discussion Paper No. 107, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., November.
Zohir, S. (1994). “Trade Review of Bangkok Agrement 1988-92”, ST/ESCAP/1409, United Nations, New York.
Mahmud, W., S.H. Rahman and S. Zohir. (1994). Agricultural Growth through Crop Diversification in Bangladesh, Working Paper on Food Policy in Bangladesh # 7, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
Zohir, S. (1993). Salt Iodation in Bangladesh – Estimates on Incremental Costs, Staff Reference Series: 1/93, UNICEF, Dhaka, January.
Zohir, S. (1990). “Impact of Low Export Prices of Jute at Farm Level in Bangladesh”, Research Report No. 119, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka, June.
Zohir, S. (1990). “Rural Credit Market in Noakhali District”, Research Report No. 106, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka, June.
Selected Seminar & Non Referred Research Reports
Zohir, S. (2013). Regional Difference in Poverty Levels and Trends in Bangladesh: are we asking the right questions, Working Paper, Economic Research Group.
Zohir, S. (2012). A Decision Support Tool for Government Engagements in Market for Essentials the case of Food grains in Bangladesh, prepared for the Food Policy Monitoring Unit, with supports from IFPRI, Economic Research Group.
Zohir, S. and A. Chaudhury (2012). Analytical Study on Companies Act Reform and Informal Business in Bangladesh, Working Paper, Economic Research Group.
Zohir, S. (2008). “In Search of a Pied Piper – rapid assessment of impact of rat infestation in the CHT region”, paper prepared for the Save the Children – UK, 22 May.
Zohir, S. and M. Patel (2007). Changing Policy Environment in Mongolia: Role of UNCT in a Country at Crossroads, prepared for IDS-Sussex and sponsored by UNDGO.
Luppino, M. G. Gazewsky, S. Zohir and B. Khondker (2004). Estimating the Impacts of the Jamuna Bridge on Poverty Levels in Bangladesh using SAM and CGE Models: a comparative study, presented at the EcoMod Input-Output and General Equilibrium: Data, Modeling and Policy Analysis Conference, September.
Zohir, S. (2003). “MFI Competition, Overlapping and the After-Effects”, paper prepared for DFID-Bangladesh, May.
Zohir, S. (2002). “Less Favored Areas and Temporal Food Security: observations from Bangladesh”, paper presented at the WUR-IFPRI workshop on Development Strategies for Less Favoured Areas, held at Arnhem, the Netherlands, 12-13 July 2002.
Zohir, S. et al (2001). “BIDS Study on PKSF’s Monitoring and Evaluation System”, final report October, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka.
Zohir, S. (2001b). “Prospects of Microfinance in the Hilly Region of Bangladesh”, paper presented at the World Mountain Symposium 2001, Switzerland.
Zohir, S. (2001a). “Impact of Reforms in Agricultural Input Markets on Crop Sector Profitability in Bangladesh”, paper prepared for SAPRI-Bangladesh.
J. Das, S. Zohir and B. Baulch (1997).. “The Spatial Integration and Pricing Efficiency of the Private Sector Grain Trade in Bangladesh”, Report Prepared for DFID under RNRSS Crop Post-harvest Programme jointly by BIDS, Dhaka, Bangladesh and IDS, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.
IFPRI-INFS-BIDS (1998). “Commercial Vegetable and Polyculture Fish Production in Bangladesh: Their Impacts on Income, Household Resource Allocation, and Nutrition”, Vols. 1 & 2, draft final report, November.
Ahmed, A.U., D. Puetz, S. Zohir and N. Hassan (1996). “Joint Evaluation of European Union Programme Food Aid Stage Two – Bangladesh: an extended study”, final report prepared for the European Development Council Working Group of Heads of Evaluation, March.
Zohir, S. (1993). “Input-output Coefficients in Crop Production Activities in Bangladesh with results on relative financial profitability at farm level”, Working Paper No. 1, BIDS-IFPRI Agricultural Diversification Project, June.

Trustee, Bangladesh Krishi Gobeshona (Agriculture Research) Endowment Trust, formed by the Government of Bangladesh to manage a Fund for supporting research on agriculture in Bangladesh; 2008-14.
Member, Technical Advisory Committee, A2I initiative on ICT index, housed at BBS; 2013-14.
Chairman, Financial Excellence Limited, an organization providing advisory services and training to various agencies in the financial sector; February – September 2011.
Member, Panel of Economist, an advisory group formed by the Presidential Order to support formulation of the Sixth Five Year Plan in Bangladesh; August 2010 – June 2011.
Member, Regulatory Reform Commission, an independent Commission to initiate reforms, formed by the Government of Bangladesh.
Had been the lead person in preparing a proposal for modernization of land information system and computer-based registration; 2007 – January 2009.
Resource Person, South Asian Network on Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE).
Had been a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of SANDEE. Member of the first Technical Advisory Committee during 1999-2000; and as a Resource person till 2005.
Member, Governing Body, Economic Research Group, a not-for-profit research network registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Company; 2004-14.
Member (and Ex-General Secretary), Bangladesh Economic Association; Was the General Secretary of the Association during 1998-2000.
Had been the Executive Editor, The Bangladesh Development Studies, a quarterly economic journal of BIDS. Was Associate Editor during 1994-2002; Editor of a special issue in 1995, and the Executive Editor during 2003-04.

Dr. Sajjad Zohir

Executive Director,
Economic Research Group (ERG).