BANGLADESH: Head of Social Innovation of PMO a2i Mr. Manik Mahmud to be Strategic Advisor to the Good City Foundation for Social Inclusion and ESG Governance

Emerging Knowledge
4 min readApr 12, 2022


Landscape of Bangladeshi city (source: remotelands)

APRIL 2022 — Bangladesh has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies since the 2010s, being classified among the Next Eleven emerging market middle income economies and a frontier market by the Goldman Sachs. In the first quarter of 2019, Bangladesh hits the world’s seventh fastest-growing economy with a real GDP or GDP at constant prices annual growth rate of 8.3%. By the economic advantages due to its large young populations in labour-intensive industries, the South Asia’s manufacturing power hub started facing more social and environmental challenges as the poverty gap is more divided while environmental pollutions and GHG emissions deteriorate. How could the South Asia’s power hub continues to strive economic gain while maintaining the social prosperity at environmental balance upon the Bangladesh’s interpretation of climate urgency?

With the missions to provide comprehensive and locally contextualised capacity building supports to the city leaders in emerging Asia and Africa, Good City Foundation is honoured to have Mr. Manik Mahmud, Head of Social Innovation Cluster of a2i Programme, a Prime Minister Office Initiative under ICT Division and Cabinet Division in Bangladesh, to support the Foundation’s efforts as Strategic Advisor.

Together with the support of the City Partner of Bangladesh, Mr. Md Sahariar Hasan, and the a2i by Mr. Mahmud, the Good City Foundation looks forward to the larger policy advisory and city leaders’ capacity building impact through cross-learning and knowledge transfer in key projects such as the Future City Summit, Smart City Working Groups (with Sri Lanka and Indonesia) and partnership project of Bangladesh Startup Investment Summit. The 7th Annual Meet of the Future City Summit would highlight stronger collaboration with the a2i with Mr. Mahmud as the advisory to incorporate more on climate and social inclusion agenda to the discussion of future cities and urban sustainability.

“Good City Foundation hooked with multiple governments, civil society organisations , professionals and change makers to bring city development in different parts of the world avoiding the most common of developed cities. And Mr Manik is one of they Key members of a2i who brought the Digital Bangladesh Vision in reality. Together they can build effective strategies for LDC to grow fast.” — Mr.Md Sahariar Hasan, National Consultant, Access to Information (a2i) Programme of Bangladesh Government and the Founder of Bloodman. (City Partner of Good City Foundation)

Mr. Manik is the Head of Social Innovation Cluster of a2i, a Government of Bangladesh run programme with technical support from UNDP. In this capacity, Manik leads the formation of an innovation ecosystem within the whole of society through massive human resource development programme to ensure decent employment, foster innovation and R&D culture within academia and industry, establishing digital entrepreneurship model, a Human Development Media and an eLearning platform.

He primes the collaboration and partnership among public and private sectors for policy formulation, institutional reform and economic opportunity to pave the way for the youths and workers to get gainful employment in future job market aligning the Government Manifesto 2018, SDG 2030 and building developed nation by 2041. He capitalized his 21 years of experience by forming of an innovation culture in Bangladesh Civil Service through massive capacity development, policy formulation, and institutional reform with the partnership of Cabinet Division and all ministries of Bangladesh Government. The ‘Empathy Training’ has enabled the government officials to develop prototypes for service innovation with their resources and inventiveness, and now it has been government wide institutionalized.

He has successfully promoted the use of social media among the government officials for policy dialogue, co-creation, idea sharing, and introduced it as a platform for citizen’s grievance redressal. He was responsible for piloting the Community e-Center on 2007 supported by UNDP Bangladesh, and that has been scaled-up on 2010 in all Union Parashads named ‘Union Digital Center’ as the largest public and private service delivery outlet. He has a master’s degree.

“ Starting as a dream of few of us and now spreading globally, the growth of Good City Foundation and Public Private Partnership by Youth development program has been a wonderful journey to take pride in. Having the new strategic advisors onboard has bolstered the capacities of the team to take on bigger challenges to solve some of the most pressing issues of the emerging world.” — Mr. Shadman Sadab, Director of Public Private Partnership by Youth in the Foundation.

Previous Engagements of Mr. Mahmud in Good City Foundation

Mr. Mahmud has been engaging with the Good City Foundation through leading the panel discussion of South Asia Climate Forum in the 6th Annual Meet of the Future City Summit and participation as mentor for groups of Indonesian city leaders in the Bootcamp Accelerator for Mayor Offices in Southeast Asia (BAMO) in 2021.

South Asia Climate Forum Panel Discussion in the Future City Summit Annual Meet 2021 with Mr. Manik Mahmud, and other key representatives from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Mr. Manik Mahmud’s support and participation in the Bootcamp Accelerator for Mayor Offices in Southeast Asia (BAMO) in 2021 for sharing the experience of social inclusion projects with technologies and innovations in Bangladesh as mentor.



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