Research Partnerships

The FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard have partnered with BRAC to support an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Harvard and Bangladesh examining a range of issues facing vulnerable populations in and around South Asia.

The Partnership provides a platform for collaborative participatory research driven by regional needs. Current projects are focused on the Rohingya forced migration crisis, encompassing a wide range of topics, including outbreak surveillance modeling, social network analysis, economic integration, resettlement policies, public health impact, and others.

BRAC has implemented a multi-sector response since the last Rohingya influx began in August 2017, in close coordination with the government go Bangladesh and other partners through the Inter Sector Coordination Group. BRAC has worked in Cox’s Bazar, one of the key focus areas for this partnership, for the last 35 years. BRAC has a long history of working with the Rohingya in Bangladesh from previous waves of migration and continues to provide a range of services including water, shelter, and healthcare – with some programs reaching over 800,000 refugees

Harvard Leadership
Jennifer Leaning, MD, SMH
François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights
Senior Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights


Tarun Khanna, PhD
Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor
Harvard Business School
Director, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute

Satchit Balsari, MD, MPH
Faculty, Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights

Jacqueline Bhabha, JD, MSc
Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law, Harvard Law School
Director of Research, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Caroline Buckee, D.Phil, MRes
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Director, Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics

Richard Cash, MD, MPH
Senior Lecturer on Global Health
Department of Global Health and Population
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Vasileia Digidiki, MA, PhD
Instructor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Research Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights


Meena Hewett, MA,MArch
Executive Director, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute


BRAC Leadership

Muhammad Musa, MBBS, MPH
Executive Director, BRAC


KAM Morshed, MPF
Director- Advocacy for Social Change
Information and Communication Technology
Partnership Strengthening Unit

Research Team
Rasim Alam
Bangladesh Program Coordinator, Harvard-BRAC Partnership

Shubhangi Bhadada, LLM
Mittal Institute Research Fellow, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute


Abhishek Bhatia, MS
Visiting Scholar, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
Research Fellow, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute


Ayesha Mahmud, PhD
Rockefeller Foundation Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Azad Rahman, MBA, MPA, MPS
Programme Head- Advocacy for Social Change, BRAC

Projects and Publications

FXB Rapid Assessments
In March 2018, researchers at BRAC and Harvard FXB conducted a rapid assessment household survey among 800 Rohingya and host families in Ukhia and Teknaf. The study underscored the alarmingly low levels of vaccination among the Rohingya in Myanmar, the high mortality rate among young men, the larger number of female-headed households in the Rohingya families, and the low levels of literacy and skills among them – all of which impact planning education services and livelihoods integration for the hundreds of thousands that have migrated in the last year.

Our assessment report can be accessed here.

FXB BRAC Focus Group Studies
Our research teams are currently conducting in-depth focus group discussions with the Rohingya to understand their needs, priorities and expectations around integration, repatriation, livelihoods, education and the future for their families and their children. Following a pilot phase that was performed in the April 2018, the study is expected to be released in September 2018.


The Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar: When the Stateless Seek Refuge
Abhishek Bhatia, Ayesha Mahmud, Arlan Fuller, Rebecca Shin, Md. Azad Rahman, Tanvir Shatil, Mahmuda Sultana, K. A. M Morshed, Jennifer Leaning, and Satchit Balsari
Health and Human Rights Journal

The Rohingya people of Myanmar: health, human rights, and identity
Syed Mahmood, Emily Wroe, Arlan Fuller, and Jennifer Leaning
The Lancet

Who Will Act on Behalf of the Rohingya People of Myanmar?
Arlan Fuller
FXB Center Blog

Collaborating Centers

Professor Caroline Buckee, Dr. Ayesha Mahmud and others (in collaboration with Dr. Balsari et al. at the FXB Center) will work with researchers in Bangladesh to pilot a data standardization and interoperability platform on a specific monsoon-related disease outbreak for sharing data during public health emergencies. The first team-wide meeting supported by the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies took place on June 21 and 22, 2018.

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