National Institute of Population Research and Training

National Institute of Population Research and Training originally established as the National Institute of Population Training (NIPOT) in July, 1977 for imparting management training to the mid-level programme managers of the national family planning programme. With the growing needs felt for demographic, social, bio-medical, and evaluative research on training and operational problems of the programme, a Research Unit was added to NIPOT in 1979 and the expanded institute was renamed as the National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT). In 1980, the responsibility of operational management of 12 Family Welfare Visitors' Training Institutes (FWVTIs) and 20 Regional Training Centres (RTCs) previously known as District Training Teams were transferred to NIPORT from the Directorate of Family Planning. In 1983, it was also given the partial responsibility of management training of the mid-level programme managers of Health Directorate involved in Mother and Child Health Family Planning (MCH-FP) programme.

To guide the overall training and research activities, manpower development planning, and to devise training priorities and policies, a Management Advisory Committee (MAC), headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) was constituted in April, 1985. Moreover, to strengthen the research activities, a National Steering Committee for Population Research (NASCOPOR), headed by the Secretary, MOHFW with representatives from appropriate organisations and relevant professionals was constituted. This committee is responsible for providing policy guidelines, identifying priority research areas, reviewing research needs and coordinating research activities. Population and MCH-FP related research grants are coordinated and research proposals are approved by NASCOPOR. NIPORT acts as a secretariat of this committee.

A Training Coordination Committee headed by DG, NIPORT was also formed in 1990 to coordinate the training activities conducted by various organisations/ institutes in the field of MCH-FP.

The overall goal of MCH-FP programme in Bangladesh is to improve the family welfare by birth spacing and by better health status particularly of mother and children. The role of NIPORT is to enhance the coverage and quality of health and family welfare services through organising training and undertaking appropriate researches. The specific functions of NIPORT are: (i) to improve knowledge and skill of programme managers, paramedics and field workers under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in order to ensure the quality of MCH-FP services to the people; (ii) to undertake training-related research to improve the quality of training; (iii) to conduct, monitor and coordinate operations and MCH-FP programme related research/survey to strengthen the programme; (iv) to coordinate with government and NGOs involved in conducting population/MCH-FP related training; and (v) to disseminate the research findings to policy makers, programme managers and researchers.

NIPORT is headed by a Director General who is assisted by heads of three units- Training, Research, and Administration. A total of 1015 employees are working under NIPORT.

During 1995-9 NIPORT trained 28,921 personnel and conducted 24 research studies in coordination with other training and research institutions. NIPORT, at present, offers different types of training programmes for different target groups of the national MCH-FP programme from the district and upazila levels down to the grass-root level for developing appropriate managerial and operational skills for officials working at various tiers.

NIPORT headquarters at Dhaka has a modern hostel capable of accommodating 60 participants. The library contains more than 4,000 books and monographs, where about 2,000 are on population, maternal and child health, and family planning of Bangladesh. Apart from the collection of books, reports and journals, the library holds two computerized database and professional database (PDBA). It publishes a quarterly 'NIPORT BARTA' (Newsletter) both in English and Bangla to disseminate information on research and training activities of the institute. [SM Humayun Kabir]