A Champion for Think Thanks in the Global South: Interview with Southern Voice’s Debapriya Bhattacharya

Interview by Xanthe Ackerman, first published on the Brookings Education and Development Site:

“I recently sat down with Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya and spoke to him about the process for coming up with the post-2015 development agenda. Dr. Bhattacharya is the convener of Southern Voice, a consortium of 48 think tanks located in the Global South.  He is also a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in Dhaka and the former Bangladeshi ambassador to the WTO and UN Office in Geneva.

Bhattacharya stressed that the inputs to the post-2015 discussions mainly come from the Global North.  Southern Voice helps to fill the gap in participation by leveraging member organizations’ research and analysis. Southern Voice stresses the need to focus on outcomes in education, and also to improve productivity and economic growth.”

Read extracts from the interview below:


Xanthe Ackerman: What compelled you to form Southern Voice?

Debapriya Bhattacharya: : Individuals and countries from the Global South do not participate equally in the post-2015 debates. Eighty percent of all written inputs into the post-2015 development agenda are submitted by individuals and institutions located in the Global North.  Developing country governments need to have more voice, yet national governments have a capacity deficit that hinders participation in the post-2015 debates. The think tank members of Southern Voice work to fill this gap by offering research and analysis, such as a report we wrote to inform the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  Many of the think tank members of Southern Voice have been monitoring and evaluating the Millennium Development Goals over the last decade and are well versed on the MDGs and the operational strengths and weaknesses of the framework.”

Read the full interview here.

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