PhD Project:

Provision of Microfinance for the Economic and Social Empowerment of People with Disabilities in Bangladesh: Approaches, Processes and Outcomes

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.

Experience:

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

Research Interest:

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

Publications:

  • Sarker, D. (2021). Business challenges for disabled poor women in rural Bangladesh. Rural 21-The International Journal for Rural Development, 55(2).
  • Sarker, D. (2020). Discrimination against people with disabilities in accessing microfinance. AlterEuropean Journal of Disability Research14(4), 318-328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alter.2020.06.005
  • Sarker, D. (2020). Living with Mutism in the socio-economic context of Bangladesh. Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature14(4). Syracuse University, New York.
  • Sarker, D. (2020). How do economically active people with disabilities access microfinance, Australasian Aid Conference, Australian National University, Australia.
  • Sarker, D. (2018). A Research Project on the People with Disability (PwD) and their economic and social empowerment:  the case of Bangladesh, South Asian Journal, United States of America.

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