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Dr. Debashis Sarker has received his PhD from the School of Social Science (Sociology), University of Queensland, Australia. His PhD thesis studied the relationship between access to microfinance and the social and economic empowerment of people with disabilities.

Academic Qualifications:

  • Advanced research training at Warocque School of Business and Economics, and Center for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi), University of Mons, Belgium.
  • Advanced master in ‘European Microfinance Programme’ at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the University Libre De Brussels, Belgium.
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Certificate course on Disaster Management from BRAC University, Bangladesh.


For more than a decade or so, he worked in different organisations including research, commercial, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), investment Fund, FinTech etc. Before starting his PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia, he was working over the last seven years with one of the largest NGOs in the world-BRAC ( ) and worked in its financial and social inclusion program in Bangladesh. Working as a Senior Manager, he led multiple teams and diverse programs and projects including microfinance, client protection and financial literacy, microfinance call center, staff and capacity development, and initiating microfinance project for people with disabilities, developing leadership culture among microfinance staff, micro-life insurance, climate-resilient housing project and coordinating with multiple stakeholders including the World Bank, IMF, ADB. He also worked as a Digital Finance Researcher at ICT division at Finance in Motion, an investment management firm at Frankfurt, Germany. Moreover, he worked for ActionAid Australia as a community leader, research consultant at Voconiq in Australia and actively engaged as a Business Advisor at M-PAYG-a Denmark and Kenya based FinTech Company. On professional, academic and personal purposes, he travelled many countries including United States of America, Australia, Malaysia, Kenya, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Check Republic, Spain, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore and Bangladesh. For example, he visited Kenya in Africa for exploring the best practices for digital financial services to ensure greater financial inclusion of people who are living in poverty.

Research Interest:

His research interests include financial and social inclusion, microfinance, poverty, access and inclusion, social and economic empowerment of people with disabilities, SDGs and UNCRPD in relation to the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities, social policy, ethics in microfinance. 


  • Sarker, D., & Khan, M.A. (2023). Adjustments to and innovations in the implementation of qualitative research with people with disabilities: the case of Bangladesh. Development in Practice, 1-11.
  • De Souza, D., Pablo, Z., Shevlin, M., von Fürstenberg, M. T., Banks, J., Sarker, D., Alejandra Rios Urzua, A.R., Camedda, D. & Aston, D. (2023). Preconditions influencing the development of post-secondary training programs in universities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 49 (1)1-12.
  • Sarker, D. (2022). Experiences of people with physical disabilities when accessing microfinance services in Bangladesh: A qualitative study. Alter. European Journal of Disability Research, 16 (3), 41-55.
  • Sarker, D., Shrestha, S., & Tamang, S. K. B. (2022). “We'll starve to death”: The consequences of COVID19 over the lives of poor people with disabilities in rural Nepal. Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 16(2), 96-103.
  • Sarker, D. (2021). Business challenges for disabled poor women in rural Bangladesh. Rural 21-The International Journal for Rural Development55(2).
  • Sarker, D. (2020). Discrimination against people with disabilities in accessing microfinance. AlterEuropean Journal of Disability Research14(4), 318-328.

Blog Publications:

Conference presentations:

  • Sarker, D. (2020, February). How do economically active people with disabilities access microfinance.  Paper presented at the Australasian Aid Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. 
  • Sarker, D. (2020, February). Empowerment of the economically active people with disabilities: Mapping the social, cultural and economic barriers. Paper presented at the Development Studies Association of Australia (DSAA) conference, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. 
  • Sarker, D. (2020, April). How do economically active poor people with disability experience social, cultural and economic constraints: A Case Study from Bangladesh.  Paper presented at the 20th annual Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability Conference, Society for Disability Studies and The Ohio State University, United States of America.
  • Sarker, D. (2020, September). Women with disabilities in a male dominated prejudiced society: The case of Bangladesh. Paper presented at the University of New South Wales Arts & Social Sciences Postgraduate Conference 2020, Sydney, Australia.
  • Sarker, D. (2020, October). Experiences of people with physical disabilities in accessing microfinance, Paper presented at the Unequal conference, New York, United States of America.
  • Sarker, D. (2020, October). Challenges in conducting qualitative research with people with disabilities in low and medium income countries. Paper presented at the 2020 post graduate research community conference, the School of Education, The university of Queensland, Australia.
  • Sarker, D. (2015, June). Discrimination against persons with disabilities for getting access to microcredit: Evidence from literature. Paper presented at Harvard Academic Conference, Harvard University, United States of America.
  • Sarker. D. (2015). Discrimination against persons with disabilities for getting access to microcredit: Evidence from literature. Paper presented at the 4th European Microfinance Research Conference, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Areas of research