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Barnali Chakraborty

Associate Scientist

Hub for Qualitative Inquiry (Qualinq)

Short Biography

Barnali Chakraborty is trained as a public health nutrition scientist and has approximately 17 years of research experience in this area. Her research interests include exploring the socio-cultural dimensions of food and nutrition in general, and of child growth in particular, using the capability approach. She conducts mixed method studies, including qualitative and quantitative research. Barnali received her MSc in Food and Nutrition from Dhaka University of Bangladesh, and MPH from the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She has a PhD from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. In her PhD trajectory, she pioneered the operationalisation of the capability approach for child growth in hard-to-reach haor areas of Bangladesh using a participatory approach. She is currently employed as an associate scientist at the BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health (BRAC JPGSPH). She coordinates the "hub" on ‘qualitative research and inquiry’ that provides technical support for qualitative research and training . She also supervises the MPH students at JPGSPH in the realm of nutrition science. Before joining the BRAC JPGSPH, she worked at the ICDDRB (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh), UNESCO, Dhaka office, and BRAC, Bangladesh. She is a member of the IUNS (International Union for Nutrition Science) Taskforce on ‘Multidimensional Index for Child Growth (MICG)". Barnali received a number of fellowships and grants for her academic work, such as the Eric Bleumink Fund, Groningen University, the Netherlands, LANSA (Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia), funded by UKAid, and NUFFIC. She has authored or coauthored over 50 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, book, chapter and working papers.

Current Projects

1.	Provision of services to conduct an analysis of nutrition education and SBCC interventions, investment portfolio and document best practices in the IFAD Asia and the Pacific (APR) region (a qualitative study); December 2021-ongoing; Donor: IFAD
2.	A Formative study to inform the implementation research for Balanced energy protein (BEP) supplementation in rural Bangladesh (qualitative); August 2021- ongoing; Donor: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
3.	Co-design and develop the research protocol to assess the feasibility of implementing an integrated community-based MIYCN and PHC service package in selected rural upazilas in Bangladesh (mixed method-qualitative and quantitative); February 2022-ongoing; Donor: Alive and Thrive, fhi solutions

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

Chakraborty B, Yousefzadeh S, Darak S and Haisma H. "We struggle with the earth every day": Parents' Perspectives on the Capabilities for Healthy Child Growth in the Haor Region of Bangladesh. BMC Public Health 2020 Dec; 20 (1):140

Chakraborty B, Darak S and Haisma H. Maternal and child survival in haor region in Bangladesh. An analysis of fathers' capabilities to save the future. 2020 Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5781.

Chakraborty B, Darak S and Haisma H. Operationalising the capability approach for healthy child growth via a participatory method: an illustrative case in haor areas of Bangladesh. (forthcoming)

Mohsena M, Hossain M, Chakraborty B, Bayes A, Rahman ANM. Fragile Environment, Seasonality and Maternal and Childhood Undernutrition in Bangladesh. Journal of Biosocial Science. 2017:1-25.

Van den Bold M, Kohli N, Gillespie S, Zuberi S, Rajeesh S, Chakraborty B. Is There an Enabling Environment for Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture in South Asia? Stakeholder Perspectives from India, Bangladesh,and Pakistan. Food and nutrition bulletin. 2015;36(2):231-47.

Yosef S, Jones AD, Chakraborty B, Gillespie S. Agriculture and Nutrition in Bangladesh: Mapping Evidence to Pathways. Food Nutr Bull. 2015 Dec 1;36(4):387–404

Roy SK , Bilkes F , Islam K Ara G , Tanner P , Wosk I , Chakraborty B, Jolly SP, Khatun W. Impact of Health & nutrition Pilot Project of Rural maintenance	program	(RMP):	CARE,	Bangladesh, FNB	2008 Mar;29(1):67-75.

Roy SK, Hossain M.J, W.Khatun, Chakraborty B, Chowdhury S, Chowdhury R ., Begum A, Monir M and Khanam M. Zinc supplementation in children with cholera in Bangladesh: a randomised controlled trial, BMJ, BMJ. 2008 Feb 2; 336:266-8. Epub 2008 Jan 8 (Online publication)

Roy SK, Jolly S P, Shafique S , Fuchs G J, Mahmud Z, Khaton W, Chakraborty B, and Roy S . Prevention of malnutrition among young children in rural Bangladesh by a food-health-care educational intervention: A randomized, controlled trial FNB 2007 Dec, 28(4) ©, 375-383.

Roy S K, Tomkins AM, Akrauzzman SM, Chakraborty B, Islam KE, Ara G, Khatun W, Jolly S P. Impact of Zinc supplementation on subsequent morbidity and growth in Bangladeshi children with persistent diarrhoea. J Health Popul Nutr 2007 Mar;25(1) 67-74

Other Publications

15.	Chakraborty B. Saving the Future in the Swamp: A Capability Approach to Child Growth in haor areas of Bangladesh. University of Groningen, The Netherlands; 2022
16.	Chakraborty B, and Haque R. Nutrition Interventions for Improved Child Health. In Hossain M, Kairy SN and Bayes A (Eds). Driving Development: A Story of BRAC's Evolution and Effectiveness. Dhaka, Bangladesh: The University Press Limited; 2016

Research Interests

Child Growth Capability Approach Maternal and Child Nutrition Nutrition sensitive farming interventions


  • PhD