Bricks to Blocks: Policy, Bureaucracy, and Private Sector

The Government of Bangladesh has been adopting various policies for sustainable development of the country and to deal with the challenges posed by climate change. One such policy is to shift from the use of fired clay bricks to hollow concrete blocks and interlocked soil stabilized blocks in all public constructions by 2024-25. The policy intends to not only reduce the environment impacts of public construction projects but also influence a shift in the private sector by setting new norms in construction works. However, implementation of such a policy heavily relies on the efficiency of the bureaucracy, which is often unable to fully materialise the good intentions of policies into actions. This exploratory research is intended to understand the current status of the implementation of this policy and whether there is any bias towards maintaining status-quo by public officials that can be a constraint for the policy implementation.

The researchers will collect primary data using key informant interviews and a cross-sectional survey. For the key informant interviews, the researchers will interview engineers and other officials from relevant government agencies, such as the Ministry of Water and Environment and the Public Works Department. The interviews will focus on the processes of policy implementation across different ministries, the participants’ view on different procurement-related policy decisions, and the challenges in implementing the specific policy being studied. In addition to the interviews, the researchers will conduct a survey of contractors with experience in public construction work to gauge awareness about the policy, opinion on the cost and quality of the new construction materials, and the perceived barriers to greater adoption of these materials.

This research will directly contribute to the policy of clean production materials usage in public procurement. Since the policy is already in place, the descriptive findings from research on the status of its implementation and the potential bottlenecks of achieving the results can be expected to contribute to the actions of the relevant authorities.



Munshi Sulaiman

Save the Children

Rohini Kamal

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development

Syeda Salina Aziz

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development