On 27 June 2018, the Office of External Affairs of North South University and USAID organized an event titled, “Research with a Purpose: How Youth can Create a Healthier Bangladesh”. The event featured a panel discussion in which Dr. Iftekhar Rashid, Health Systems Strengthening Team Lead of USAID, Ms. Khadija Leena, Associate Professor of NSU, Dr. Shams Arifeen, Senior Director of the Maternal & Child Health of icddr,b, Ms. Yasmin Siddiqua, MEL Advisor of USAID’s Ujjiban SBCC Activity, and Mr. Toufiq Maruf, Deputy Chief Reporter of Kaler Kontho and the President of Bangladesh Health Journalists’ Forum joined as panelists. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Rushdie Ashique, a representative from the USAID. After the introduction of the topic, the panelists asked why it is necessary to conduct research. They used examples like malnutrition and child-marriage to give an idea of a problem. Then, they asked the causes for these problems to the audience members where they got many responses.
Through that, they enlightened the audience members that all the mentioned causes where actually the findings of the research. They stressed that it is research that finds the causes as well as solutions to the problems. Later on, they talked about the different types of research such as, operational research, implementation research, population-based research, lab-based research, etc. These types of research help to improve the health and social practices of people. After discussing the importance of research, the moderator shifted the topic to the role of youth and the connection between research and youth. The panelists explained that the youth can easily adapt to frequent changes and that it is the youth that can bring changes at a large scale. Through interpersonal communication, capacity building, advocacy workshops, and awareness campaigns, the youth can participate and bring changes in various ways by conducting research.
In the end, the panelists urged the audience members to bear in mind two significant points. They are: 1) Research requires a lot of persistence and patience. Without these, one cannot possibly carry out a research. 2) One must have the willingness to question. Even if one knows the answer, use your judgment and find out if it is right. If you can learn to question, then you can try to find out whether or not your hypothesis is correct. Lastly, the panelists shared their gratitude toward NSU for training students to encourage and conduct research.