Ongoing Projects

Project title: Internationalization and Virtual Exchange: Borderless between EU and Asian Countries/ HARMONY

Funding source: European Union (ERASMUS+ grant)

Lead investigator: Rafael de Miguel González

Co-investigator: (ULAB) Prof Din M Sumon Rahman, PhD

Project duration: 4 Year (2020 – 2024)

Partner Universities:

  • University of Zaragoza, SPAIN
  • European Policy Development and Research Institute, SLOVENIA
  • Varna University of Management, BULGARIA
  • Mykolas Romeris University, LITHUANIA
  • Daffodil International University, BANGLADESH
  • University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, BANGLADESH
  • The University of Danang, VIETNAM
  • Quang Binh University, VIETNAM
  • Vellore Institute of Technology, INDIA
  • Narsee Morjee Institute of Management Studies, INDIA
  • University of Hyderabad, INDIA

Description: Connectivity contributes to economic growth and jobs, global competitiveness and trade, and people, goods, and services to move across and between Europe and Asia. The relationship between the European Union and Asia is of global significance and the ties are likely to increase in the coming years. With this in mind, different target groups and their needs were identified. This project aims to build efficient and sustainable connectivity between Asia and Europe, by working with different target groups and meeting the needs of each group in improving the internationalization of higher education and knowledge.

Project title: The Asia Foundation South Asia Small Grants Program (SASGPP): BEING SAFE, BEING CYBERPOSITIVE

Funding source: Asia Foundation Bangladesh

Lead investigator: Prof Din M Sumon Rahman, PhD

Focus Area (Five Sites): Jashore, Barisal, Satkhira, Bhairab, Sreemangal

Project duration: 1 Year (November 1, 2020 – October 31, 2021)

Description: “Being Safe, Being Cyberpositive” targets teenage internet users outside urban centers of Bangladesh, where there is a critical dynamic between access, awareness, and risk. It is an exciting journey into rapidly evolving cyberspace with an age cohort who are growing digitally leaps and bounds in every sense of the word, adopting new technology and pioneering forms of communication and self-expression at a pace this country has never seen before. Digital technology can bridge gaps, helping marginalized children access groundbreaking opportunities. At the same time, it also exposes children to harm both online and offline, affecting those who are already vulnerable the most. Digital technology and interactivity pose significant risks to children’s safety, privacy and well-being.

Even though the impacts of digitalization on children’s well-being are not universally agreed on, adolescents today are “digital natives,” whose future depends on being able to navigate cyberspace with competence. Currently, Bangladesh has 7,400,000 students enrolled at secondary level education in diverse educational institutions. The unique internet consumption habit of this sizable population needs to be understood and addressed in its own right. With this in mind, this project hopes to empower teenagers beyond major urban centers with the skills and information they need for cyber safety using a cyberpositive approach.

Our approach to the baseline study is a purposeful mixing of methods in data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of the evidence. An essential step in the mixed methods approach is data linkage or integration at an appropriate stage in the research process. We opted for this data integration to seek a more panoramic view of the research landscape, viewing the internet user experience of teenagers through diverse research lenses.

Project title: Capacity building of Bangladeshi web portals and human rights organizations at the peripheral level to increase safety and combat misinformation

Funding source: Facebook

Lead Investigator: Prof Din M Sumon Rahman, PhD

Focus Area: A baseline assessment of around 60-100 web portals operated mostly from remote areas of Bangladesh.

Project duration: 8 months (21 April 2021- 21 December 2021)

Description: CQS is organizing a series of workshops to build the capacity of Bangladeshi Web Portals and Human Rights Organizations at the peripheral level to increase online safety and combat misinformation. The widespread sentiment of Social Media Websites being the sole producers and circulators of rumors and misinformation is hard to dispute but undoubtedly demands a broader understanding of its underlying nuances. Therefore, we would like to conceptualize this knowledge intervention to devise a series of workshops that will better equip the grassroots HROs and regional web portals to address safety and misinformation concerns.

This project will achieve its goal by doing a baseline assessment of around 60-100 web portals operated mostly from remote areas of Bangladesh. This will be done using a structured questionnaire survey, which will be backed up by 20 in-depth interviews and 10 online assessments/netnographic observations of selected web portals following a cluster purposive sampling framework. This study would cover web portals published from districts like Khulna, Kushtia, Satkhira, Jessore, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, Brahmanbaria, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, and Bogra. The project team will contact them using snowball sampling and explain the benefits of the workshop. As they are convinced about the potential knowledge input from the workshops, an online assessment questionnaire will be sent to them as a pre-requisite of the workshop registration. Our team will also explain to them why the baseline assessment is important. The outcome of the baseline assessment will then be used to design workshop content, which will mainly be built up from publicly available resources including those available on Facebook’s Help Center and FJP on misinformation and safety.

Our workshops will make them aware of-

  • The systematic process of verifying facts online
  • How to approach critical thinking in the information ecosystem
  • Available tools and resources to verify information
  • How to report misinformation, and
  • Basic measures to protect privacy and security online.