U S Rokeya Akhter, PhD
Dr. Rokeya Akhter serves as the Executive Director of SAIST since 2020. Besides, she works as a National Individual Consultant, Gender Specialist, SACP Project, Ministry of Agriculture & IFAD. She achieved her PhD from the University of Dhaka in 2017. She also acquired her BSS and MSS in Sociology from the University of Dhaka in 1996 and 1997, respectively. She has numerous research and publications. Notably, Culture of Arbitrariness in Madrassa, published online on July 1, 2016, in Volume 1, issue 1, of SAJSS, South Asian Journal of Social Science, a peer-reviewed journal. She led the need assessment for SBCC strategy for Nutrition Specific Behaviour Changes in 2019. Also, in the same year, she coordinated with the research consultancy firm for the Baseline study for Leadership to Ensure Adequate Nutrition (LEAN Project). Before this, In 2017, her research paper, Rise of Agro Industries, Changes in Food Systems and the Making of a Culinary Culture in Bangladesh that got selected and presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for South Asian Studies held on 19 March 2017, in Sheraton Hotel, Toronto, Canada. In 2015, as the manager of the program WRGE, she Provided due guidance for the Baseline Study of the She Can Project for the safety of women and girls in the cities under Action Aid Bangladesh.
In 2013, she Assisted with data management for a survey on electoral governance and accountability during election campaigns among the candidates for City corporation election, working with The Asia Foundation. In Nov 2012 Conducted an international assessment on Adolescents Empowerment program SAMBAD in Nepal which was the replication of Shonglap, funded by Stromme Foundation Asia; In 2007, she assisted an International Evaluation Team for an annual program evaluation (including gender audit of partner’s program) of Steps Towards Development. She accomplished many professional certificates, some of them are following: 2019 – Nutrition Sensitive Training from both NNS and BIRTAN. Also, in 2019 she was acquired Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. Level 1 Test, Code- xiOzoGy3OG, IPC May 2014. Participated People Against Violence in Elections and BRIDGE showcase facilitated by BRIDGE, Building Resources in Democratic, Governance, and Elections. November 2012, she Participated in the women leadership workshop conducted by Born Global, Norway. In 2011,Leadership and Team building Workshop and Training with SF Srilanka project field visits at Negambo, Hambantota and Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 2010, Advanced Training on "Impact Oriented Project Planning & Monitoring a three days training organized by Karl Kubel Institute for Development Education held at KKID, Mankarai, Coimbatore. In 2008, International Women’s Network Conference on Solidarity for Women's Rights organized by the Local Government of Trento Province of Italy. In 2007,3 days workshop on Gender in Policies: National and International Perspectives, conducted by Women and Gender Studies Department, University of Dhaka. In 2006, 7 days course on Facilitation for Gender Equality, conducted by Steps Towards Development. Moreover, she is the General Member, Association for Asian Studies, Ann Arbor, MI, Washington. she is the Editing Member, Global Dialogue (Bengali Version), Journal of International Sociological Association. She acts as an analyst in the Core Committee of Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) for food insecurity in Bangladesh under FAO.
Juwel Rana, MPH (Dual)
Founder & Director
Mr. Juwel Rana has pursued a dual Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in European Master of Public Health (EMPH) from the University of Sheffield, the UK, and EMPH in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences from the EHESP School of Public Health, France, under the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. He also completed an MSS and BSS in Sociology from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Before joining the Department of Public Health at North South University, Mr. Juwel worked as Research Scholar at the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Amherst, USA.
Mr. Juwel Rana’s major scientific interests are to develop or improve epidemiologic methods related to risk prediction, repeated measures, multivariate analysis, causal mediation analysis, causal inference, mixture analysis, simulation study, big data, and application of machine learning approaches. He applies these techniques in perinatal epidemiology (early childhood development, developmental delays, and disorders, child mortality), maternal & reproductive health, non-communicable diseases, and environmental epidemiology.
He published more than 23 research papers in peer-reviewed journals such as The Lancet, The Lancet Public Health, Neuroepidemiology, Alzheimers & Dementia, Scientific Reports, International Journal of Environmental Research, Exposure and Health, Reproductive Health, BMC Medicine, Frontiers in Medicine, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology. He serves as the managing editor of South Asian Journal of Social Sciences (SAJSS), regional editor of Global Dialogue, member of reviewer board in respective journals of the field, including International Journal of Environmental Research, Scientific Reports, BMJ Environmental & Occupational Medicine, Public Health Nutrition, Brain and Behavior, and PLOS One. He is an active member of different professional networks such as The Society for Epidemiologic Research and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.
Research Coordinator (Assistant)
Sahadat Hossain, MSS
Sahadat Hossain is a skilled and dedicated Research Assistant, currently working with SAIST. With a passion for advancing scientific knowledge, he thrives on collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to tackle complex challenges. His proficiency in Research Techniques, Analytical Tools, and Statistical Software enables him to contribute effectively to data collection, analysis, interpretation, and report writing. His professional career started with working as a ‘Research Project Assistant’ under Pathfinder International’s Sukhi Jibon project. As part of the project work, he works at the root level and contributed to questionnaire design, data collection, analysis, and report writing. Prior to this, he completed a three-month internship as a ‘data analyst assistant’ at Pathfinder International, as part of his master’s degree completion.
Sahadat Hossain completed his both Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSS) and Master of Social Sciences (MSS) degree from the Department of Population Sciences, University of Dhaka. With his compassion for serving the community through practical research, Sahadat aspires to be a public health specialist. His area of research interest revolves around Sexual and Reproductive Health and Population Aging.
Ashraful Kabir, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Ashraful Kabir pursued his doctoral degree from the School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia. He is an organized, meticulous public health practitioner with over 10 years’ experience in epidemiological and behavioral research and teaching. He is diversely skilled with knowledge across most functions, including research design, data curation and analysis, reporting, and publication. Mr. Kabir is an analyst with a broad and deep understanding of various research methods and approaches. His research focused on health system management, service delivery, and policy development in the domains of non-communicable diseases, maternal & child health, primary health care, and infectious diseases.
Mr. Kabir held investigator and consultant roles in several international organizations, including Children Without Worms, United Nations World Food Programme, Management System International, GIZ GmbH, and ICDDR’B. He developed various research projects and adopted qualitative, quantitative and epidemiological approaches both at community-level and hospital levels. He published over 15 first-authored papers in high-ranked journals, including PloS One, BMJ Open, PloS NTD, BMC Public Health etc.
Mr. Kabir has a strong interest in epidemiological methods; fascinated to contribute to new research projects in Bangladesh, Australia and elsewhere.
Ridwan Siddique, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Ridwan Siddique is a Scientist in the Energy Systems and Climate Analysis Group at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). His main research areas are regional and global scale hydroclimatic modeling, analysis and prediction of extreme events, uncertainty quantification and climate risk assessment. Dr. Siddique's current research activities examine weather and climate impacts on renewable energy and electric power sector to facilitate climate resiliency and adaptation planning.
Before joining EPRI, he worked for the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and United State Geological Survey (USGS) Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NECASC). His dissertation was focused on improving short- to medium-range weather and flood forecasts and quantifying their associated uncertainties. He also has experiences working with different federal, state and private organizations like NOAA, NASA, Massachusetts State Office of Energy and Environment, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and Idaho Power on climate analysis and research collaborations.
Dr. Siddique received his PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in Civil Engineering with a major in Hydrology and Water Resources and minor in Computational Science. He earned his MS from University of Texas at Arlington and BS from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.
- Siddique, R., A. Mejia, N. Mizukami & R. Palmer, 2021. Impacts of global warming of 1.50C, 2.00C and 3.00C on hydrologic regimes in the northeastern U.S. Climate 2021, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9010009
- Siddique, R. & R. Palmer, 2021. Climate change impacts on local flood risks in the U.S. northeast: A Case Study on the Connecticut and Merrimack River Basins." Journal of the American Water Resources Association 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12886.
- Siddique, R., A. Karmalkar, F. Sun & R. Palmer, 2020. Hydrological extremes across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in a changing climate. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 32, 100733
- Sharma, S., R. Siddique, S. Reed, P. Ahnert & A. Mejia, 2019. Hydrological model diversity enhances streamflow forecast skill at short‐ to medium‐range timescales. Water Resources Research, 55, 1510– 1530. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR023197
Amm Quamruzzaman, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Amm Quamruzzaman teaches interdisciplinary research methods, introduction to social theory and cultural analysis, health and development, the globalization of rights, values, and laws in the 21st century, quantitative data analysis and visualization, and climate change from an interdisciplinary perspective at the Interdisciplinary Studies Field (ISF), University of California Berkeley. He also supervises Senior Thesis research, a capstone experience and final product of the ISF major students. Professor Quamruzzaman received his MSS in sociology from Dhaka University in Bangladesh, an MA in sociology from Queen’s University in Canada, and a PhD in sociology from McGill University. At McGill, he taught courses such as research methods, introductory sociology, sociology of culture, health and development, development and underdevelopment, technology and society, social movements, and identity and inequality. His research interests include comparative health policy analysis, healthcare migration, degrowth, deglobalization, climate change, social movements, identity politics, social inequality, development, and governance. He published in top journals and authored several books.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2010. The Militia Movement in Bangladesh: Ideology, Motivation, Mobilization, Organization, and Ritual. Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.
Quamruzzaman, Amm and UK Committee for UNICEF. 2006. Project Chittagong Hill Tracts: Field Notes. UK: UNICEF.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2020. “Exploring the Impact of Medical Brain Drain on Child Health in 188 Countries over 2000-2015.” Societies 10(4): 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc10040073.
Sachetti, Florencia Caro, Amm Quamruzzaman et al. 2020. “Women in Global Care Chains: The Need to Tackle Intersecting Inequalities in G20 Countries.” T20 Policy Brief; https://t20saudiarabia.org.sa/en/briefs/Pages/Policy-Brief.aspx?pb=TF4_PB2.
Michaelowa, Axel, Amm Quamruzzaman et al. 2020. “Ensuring that Covid-19 Recovery Policies Support the Transformation to a Climate Neutral Society.” T20 Policy Brief; https://t20saudiarabia.org.sa/en/briefs/Pages/Policy-Brief.aspx?pb=TF11_PB7.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2017. “Governance of Infrastructure Provisioning and Healthcare Services for Enhancing Health Service Utilization.” Sociological Insights for Development Policy 2(5): 1-2; https://sociologyofdevelopment.com/policybriefs/.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2017. “Infrastructure Provisioning and Health Service Utilization in Africa: Does Governance Explain the Gap?” Sociology of Development 3(1): 47-69; http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/sod.2017.3.1.47.
Quamruzzaman, Amm and Matthew Lange. 2016. “Female Political Representation and Child Health: Evidence from a Multilevel Analysis.” Social Science & Medicine 171: 48-57; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.10.025.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2015. “Rituals of Violence in Armed Movements: Evidence from Bangladesh.” McGill Sociological Review 5(July): 43-56; https://www.mcgill.ca/msr/msr-volume-5/rituals-violence-armed-movements.
Quamruzzaman, Amm, José Mendoza Rodríguez, Jody Heymann, Jay Kaufman, and Arijit Nandi. 2014. “Are Tuition-Free Primary Education Policies Associated with Lower Infant and Neonatal Mortality in Low- and Middle-Income Countries?” Social Science & Medicine 120: 153-159; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.016.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2013. “The Pursuit of Happiness: An Analysis of Aggregate Difference in the Distribution of Happiness in the United States.” McGill Sociological Review 3(February): 55-72; https://www.mcgill.ca/msr/volume3/article4.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2010. “The Militia Ideology in Bangladesh.” SSRN Journal; DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1569796.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2009. “Graveyards and Urbanization: The Case of Dhaka City.” SSRN Journal; http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1414122.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. 2013. Book Review of “Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East,” McGill Sociological Review 3(February): 95-97; https://www.mcgill.ca/msr/volume3/bookreview2.
Quamruzzaman, Amm. “Economic Growth or Good Governance: Which is More Important in Reducing Poverty and Insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa?”
Endres, Philine and Amm Quamruzzaman. “Primary Care Deserts: The Effect of Primary Care Physician Shortages on Health in California.”
Quamruzzaman, Amm. “Equity and Health Implications of the International Migration of Healthcare Professionals in 20 Resource-Poor Countries.”
Lange, Matthew, Emre Amasyali, and Amm Quamruzzaman. “The Legacies of an Empire Divided: British Colonialism, Precolonial Institutions, and Nation-Building.”
Lange, Matthew and Amm Quamruzzaman. “Explaining National and Ethnic Identification in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
2019 “Healthcare Migration and Child Health in the Sending Society: A Multilevel Analysis.” Presented in the Canadian-Australian Health Sociology Conference, Vancouver, BC.
2018 “British Colonialism and Nationalist Violence: Integrating Colonial and Precolonial Explanations.” Co-presented in the American Sociological Association annual conference, Philadelphia, PA.
2017 “The Impact of the International Migration of Doctors on the Sending Society.” Presented in the workshop on Global Migration, Gender and Professional Credentials: Transnational Value Transfers and Losses, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.
2016 “Ethical Dilemma Concerning the Migration of Health Professionals.” Presented in the International Sociological Association’s International Conference: Migration in Turbulent World, Doha, Qatar.
2015 “Governance for Health: Infrastructural Power and Healthcare Service Delivery and Utilization in Africa.” Presented in the American Sociological Association annual conference, Chicago, Illinois.
2015 “Economic Growth or Good Governance: Which is More Important in Reducing Poverty and Insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa?” Presented in the Canadian Sociological Association annual conference, Ottawa, Ontario.
2015 “Female Political Representation and Child Health: Exploring a Causal Link.” Presented (with co-author Matthew Lange) in the 4th annual conference of the ASA Sociology of Development section, Providence, Rhode Island.
2015 “African Governance for Health: How does Infrastructural Power Affect Healthcare and Public Health Service Delivery and Utilization?” Presented in the Sociology Graduate Publication Workshop at McGill University, Montreal.
2010 “Why shall I not resist? The Militia Motivation in Bangladesh.” Presented in the Sociology Graduate Student Symposium at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.
2010 “The Militia Ideology in Bangladesh.” Presented in the History across Disciplines workshop at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
2009 “Graveyards and Urbanization: The Case of Dhaka City.” Presented in the Sociology Graduate Student Symposium at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.
2016 “Barriers to Health Access: Structural or Infrastructural?” A talk given in the seminar organized by McGill Students’ Chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), McGill University, Montreal.
2015 “Women in Politics and Women’s Access to Healthcare.” A talk given in the panel on “Women’s Access to Healthcare: Policies and Issues,” hosted by the McGill chapters of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) and of the Student Association for Medical Aid (SAMA), McGill University, Montreal.
2014 “Governance for Health in the Global South.” A talk given in the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Equity Committee’s annual conference, Montreal.
FELLOWSHIPS, SCHOLARSHIPS, AND AWARDS
2017 Fonds Québec de recherche société et culture (FQRSC) postdoctoral fellowship on “When Emigration Hurts: Exploring the Impact of International Health-Professional Migration on Health Service Delivery.” Declined due to accepting another full-time appointment.
2016 Arts Undergraduate Society Teaching Excellence Award nomination, McGill University.
2015 Samuel Lapitsky Scholarship for outstanding academic performance, McGill University.
2015 Best Graduate Student Paper Award in the Sociology of Development Research Cluster of the Canadian Sociological Association for “Economic Growth or Good Governance: Which is More Important in Reducing Poverty and Insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa?”
2014 Fonds Québec de recherche société et culture (FQRSC) doctoral scholarship, for two and a half years.
2013 Doctoral Fellowship for the CIHR-funded project: “Examining the Effects of Social Policy on Health Equity,” Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, for two years.
2012 Samuel Lapitsky Scholarship for outstanding academic performance, McGill University.
2012 Arts Graduate Student Travel Award, McGill University.
2008 Queen’s Graduate Award, Queen’s University, for two years.
Rakibul Islam, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Rakibul Islam is a clinical epidemiologist with a specific interest in non-communicable diseases in women, and currently working at the Women's Health Research Program, Monash University, Australia. His current projects address sex hormones and their impact on cardiovascular disease risk as well as on cancer, cognition and frailty in older Australian women that has attractive possibilities for pharmacological interventions aimed at prolonging the morbidity-free life span of older women. He is a lead researcher in a large study of the physical and psychological health of young Australian women. Currently, he is also working on a couple of projects on African and Middle Eastern refugees in Australian and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Dr. Islam is a highly experienced women's health epidemiologist with over 80 publications in reputed journals, including the Lancet, the Lancet Diab & Endo, BMJ, JAMA, JCEM. Dr. Islam was an invited speaker in the full-day workshop in Berlin, Germany to develop the first “global consensus position statement on the use of testosterone therapy for women.” His role was to ensure all the leading clinicians from 11 international societies understood the major meta-analysis that he undertook. Hence, he was awarded the Australasian Menopause Society Scientific Prize in 2020, which is highly prestigious.
He earned his PhD from the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia. He completed his first year of post-doctoral fellowship at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia in collaboration with CDC, USA. Dr. Islam has over 10 years of teaching experience in Bangladesh and in Australia. He currently teaches introductory epidemiology and introductory biostatistics for BioMed Honours students at the Monash University, Australia.
Jalal Uddin, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Md Shahin Aktar, MSc
IT and Data Manager
Shahin Aktar is the IT and Data Manager at SAIST Foundation. He first joined the SAIST Foundation in 2016 as a research assistant and worked on many research projects. He oversaw the research team's making of questionnaires, data collection, literature review, sampling, and arranging research-related intensive courses, workshops, seminars, and discursive dialogues, among other things. Shahin Akhtar acquired his BSS and MSS in Sociology from Dhaka International University in 2015 and 2016, respectively, as well as he completed a course on Research Methodology from the Center for Advanced Research in Social Science, University of Dhaka. He is a member of the Regional Editor (Bangladesh) of Global Dialogue, A Quarterly Magazine of the International Sociological Association (ISA).
He opted to pursue a career in information technology because he has had a great interest in programming since childhood. He began to study software programming and earned a postgraduate diploma in Enterprise Systems Analysis & Design using C# under the IsDB-BISEW IT Scholarship. In addition, he completed a professional course in relational database management systems (RDMS), and under the Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP), he completed another professional course in BIG DATA, DATA ANALYTICS AND DATA SCIENCE. Before joining Nextel Communication as a full-struck software developer, he applied for the Microsoft Certification Exam and successfully passed the most challenging Exam with scored 944 out of 1000 marks and obtained the prestigious Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) Certificate. He completed his M.Sc. in Computer Science with a major in Software Engineering at the University of South Asia and currently pursuing an M.Sc. in Applied Statistics and Data Science at Jahangirnagar University. Moreover, he likes to go to new places, has done a lot of cultural exchange programs, and is a mountaineer.
Toufica Sultana, MSS
Director, Knowledge Dissemination
Toufica Sultana co-founded the South Asian Institute for Social Transformation (SAIST). She is also a lecturer (On Leave) at GED Cell, Eastern University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has also served as adjunct faculty at North South University, City University, and taught courses such as Introduction to Sociology, Bangladesh Studies, sustainable development, and Environment and world civilization since 2016. In addition, she has worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan. Though she has been active in teaching since 2016, she has started her professional career as a staff researcher at Research and Evaluation Division (RED), BRAC, and is devoted to contributing to research. Her devotion to research reflects in her quantitative and qualitative research projects in collaboration with Toronto Metropolitan University, McGill University, University of Saskatchewan, and SAIST. Currently, she is working on the effect of maternal education and labor market policies on child supervision in LMICs and mental health service utilization among Canadians.