Bangladesh Development
Research Center (BDRC)
© 2012 Bangladesh Development Research Center Inc. (BDRC)
Text and graphics may be reproduced in whole or in part and in any form for educational
or non-profit purposes, provided that credit is given to the source. High definition pixel
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December 21, 2010: Dhaka is one of the fastest growing mega-cities in the world
A new UNICEF report was launched on December 21, 2010, stating  (p. 6) that “Dhaka is one of the fastest growing
mega-cities in the world, with slum populations seemingly outpacing the growth of other urban areas. Still, the
country has no comprehensive policy on urbanization or urban poverty reduction.” The report also states (p. 9)
that the “population of slums in 2008 was estimated at between six and seven million people, 30 per cent of the
metropolitan population and about 15 percent of the overall urban population.
LEARN MORE ---> (PDF)
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December 10, 2010: Human Rights Day 2010
Recognizing Human Rights Day (December 10, 2010), the BDRC provides new publications related to human
rights in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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December 8, 2010: Norway clears Grameen Bank
After allegations had been made in the media that nearly $100 million of Norwegian aid was transferred from
Grameen Bank to other parts of Grameen, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that there is no
indication that Norwegian funds have been used for unintended purposes, or that Grameen Bank has engaged in
corrupt practices or embezzled funds.
LEARN MORE --->
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December 1, 2010: World AIDS Day 2010
Recognizing World AIDS Day (December 1, 2010), the BDRC provides new publications related to HIV/AIDS in
Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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November 25, 2010: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Recognizing International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th November 2010) the BDRC
provides new publications related to violence against women in Bangladesh
LEARN MORE --->
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November 20, 2010: Universal Children’s Day
Recognizing Universal Children's Day (20th November 2010) the BDRC provides new publications related to
Children in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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November 18, 2010: Why Bangladeshis migrate
A new book by Prof. A. K. M. Ahsan Ullah examines how migrants go about making the decision to migrate and how
they rationalize their decision post-migration. The book draws on an innovative blend of statistical analysis and
interviews with Bangladeshi migrant workers in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
LEARN MORE --->
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November 14, 2010: World Diabetes Day
Recognizing November 14, 2010 as World Diabetes Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications
specifically relevant for diabetes in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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November 5, 2010: Bangladesh had third highest average annual HDI growth rate
The Human Development Report 2010 (released on November 4, 2010) shows that Bangladesh’s average annual
Human Development Index (HDI) grew at 1.99 percent from 1980-2010. This constitutes the third highest average
annual HDI growth rate for the about 100 countries this data is available. However, for 2000-2010, Bangladesh's
HDI grew less than that of Sub-Saharan Africa.
LEARN MORE ---> (see Table 2 of HDR 2010)
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October 17, 2010: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Recognizing October 17, 2010 as International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the BDRC provides a list of
recent publications specifically relevant for poverty eradication in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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October 16, 2010: World Food Day
Recognizing October 16, 2010 as World Food Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications specifically
relevant for food security in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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October 6, 2010: The untold story of Bangladesh’s turn-around
Organized by the AEDSB, Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh’s central bank, made a presentation in
Washington DC, illustrating Bangladesh’s success with growth acceleration and poverty reduction. At present,
Bangladesh’s per capita income is not far off from the middle-income country-threshold as Bangladesh's per capita
income has grown four-fold since independence. Poverty has been reduced by more than half. Some of the other
breakthroughs and achievements are Bangladesh’s pioneering of micro-credit as a tool for combating poverty and
building up a globally competitive apparels export sector from scratch. Although Bangladesh still faces daunting
challenges of pervasive poverty, threat of climate change, weaknesses in governance, and deficiencies in physical
infrastructure and human development, the progress thus far achieved is worth to be emphasized.
LEARN MORE --->
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September 19, 2010: UN recognizes Bangladesh's progress with MDGs
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received a UN award for Bangladesh's outstanding achievements in attaining the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in reducing child mortality.
LEARN MORE --->
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September 8, 2010: International Literacy Day
Recognizing September 8, 2010 as International Literacy Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications
related to literacy in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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August 21, 2010: Improvements in Bangladesh’s Food Security Risk Index
Based on Maplecroft’s latest Food Security Risk Index 2010, Bangladesh is now categorized as a “high risk”
country. This constitutes some progress as Bangladesh was previously categorized as a “severe risk” country. The
Food Security Risk Index 2010 evaluates the risks to the supply of basic food staples for 163 countries. Developed
in collaboration with the World Food Programme, it uses 12 criteria to calculate the ranking including: the
nutritional and health status of populations, cereal production and imports, GDP per capita, natural disasters,
conflict, and the effectiveness of government.
LEARN MORE --->            See also: Bangladesh's Ranking and Relative Progress
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August 9, 2010: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Recognizing August 9, 2010 as International Day of the World’s Indigenous People the BDRC provides a list of
recent publications related to indigenous people in Bangladesh and some additional information
LEARN MORE --->
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August 1, 2010: Noman Khan wins Ramon Magsaysay Award 2010
A. H. M. Noman Khan, founder and executive director of the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), wins the
Ramon Magsaysay Award 2010 for his pioneering leadership in mainstreaming persons with disabilities in the
development process of Bangladesh, and in working vigorously with all sectors to build a society that is truly
inclusive and barrier-free.
LEARN MORE --->
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July 20, 2010: Bangladesh exported a record US$1.7 billion in June 2010
Bangladesh’s exports increased by 21.2 percent (from US$1422 million in June 2009 to US$1724 million in June
2010, the highest monthly export figure in the country’s 40-year history). The data also shows that the share of
manufactured exports (amounting now to about 95.8 percent of total exports) has increased while the share of
exported primary products has decreased from FY2008/09 to FY2009/10.
LEARN MORE --->
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July 8, 2010: World Bank proposes to double its aid to Bangladesh
The World Bank’s Board of Directors today endorsed a new Country Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh for the
period FY2011-14, which proposes a doubling of financial support for Bangladesh relative to the FY06-09 strategy.
The BDRC had advocated that Bangladesh deserves more aid over the last two years.
LEARN MORE (about the Bank’s decision) --->
LEARN MORE (about the BDRC’s campaign for more aid) --->
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New WHO/UNICEF report highlights Bangladesh’s narrowing of gender differentials
Historically, Bangladeshi boys have been more likely to receive lifesaving interventions than girls have. But in the
past decade Bangladesh has seen gender disparities effectively disappear in the coverage of measles vaccination.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf, then see p. 35)
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June 05, 2010: World Environment Day
Recognizing June 5, 2010 as World Environment Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications related to
environmental issues in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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May 26-27, 2010: Bangladesh Food Security Investment Forum 2010
With the highest population density in the world, little arable land, and extreme weather patterns, Bangladesh has
often struggled to feed its population well. However, the country has also achieved some important successes:
Within three decades, Bangladesh tripled its annual rice production and became food self-sufficient prior to the
2007-2008 food price crisis.
LEARN MORE --->
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May 24, 2010: Hydro-electric project in Tibet could affect water supply in Bangladesh
Chinese hydropower lobbyists are calling for construction of the world’s biggest hydro-electric project on the upper
reaches of the Brahmaputra as part of a huge expansion of renewable power in the Himalayas.
LEARN MORE --->
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May 5, 2010: Bangladesh Development Data
Following the World Bank’s recent launch of its Open Data Initiative, the BDRC compiled the Bangladesh-specific
data from the World Bank's
World Development Indicators (WDI) database and the World Bank's Global
Development Finance (GDF)
database in one MS Excel® (xls) file (size 8850 kb).
LEARN MORE --->        
[See also the BDRC’s resource website on:
Data Sources]
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May 3, 2010: Solar Energy in Bangladesh
Dipal C. Barua shines a light on the importance of solar energy in the May 3, 2010 issue of the Forum (a monthly
magazine of the Daily Star). He writes that Bangladesh has a world class solar PV technology dissemination model
that has effectively demonstrated that solar energy applications can be scaled up massively and rapidly to provide
an affordable and climate friendly energy option for the rural people.
LEARN MORE --->
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April 25, 2010: World Malaria Day
Recognizing World Malaria Day, the BDRC provides some resources and a list of recent developmental
publications related to malaria in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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April 23, 2010: Bangladesh serious about decentralization and corruption
Syed Ashraful Islam, Honorable Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, talking at an
AEDSB Washington Seminar, said that the Government of Bangladesh is serious about decentralization and its
zero tolerance policy for corruption. Four major laws have been passed recently to move Bangladesh’s
decentralization process forward: the Local Government (Union Parishad) Act, the Upazila Parishad Act, the Local
Government (Paurashava) Act, and the Local Government (City Corporation) Act.
LEARN MORE --->
See also: News report by The New Nation
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April 13, 2010: IMF mission projects real GDP to grow at 6 percent in FY2011
Based on the latest IMF assessment, Bangladesh has weathered the global crisis relatively well and its real GDP
for July 2009 to June 2010 (FY2010) is projected to grow at 5 percent. With more supportive external conditions
anticipated in FY2011, growth should rise to around 6 percent.
LEARN MORE --->
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April 7, 2010: World Health Day
Recognizing World Health Day 2010, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications related to health issues in
Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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April 5, 2010: Millions of Bangladeshi farmers gain access to bank accounts
More than 6.4 million Bangladeshi farmers have opened bank accounts as of April 1, 2010 after the central bank
moved to relax rules to help them own such accounts.
LEARN MORE --->
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March 22, 2010: World Water Day
Recognizing World Water Day 2010, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications related to water in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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Regional conference on the role of religious leaders in advancing development
The Asia Foundation and USAID will jointly convene a regional conference in Bangladesh on the role of religious
leaders in advancing development in Asia from March 21 to 24, 2010. The conference will involve the participation
of at least 70 religious leaders, elected officials, and other delegates from 14 Asian countries, together with visiting
USAID and U.S. embassy officials. The conference will serve as a framework for broader regional dialogue,
experience-sharing, and future cooperation, and generate country-specific strategies for follow-up activities that
promote the role of religious and traditional leaders in development.
LEARN MORE --->
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March 8, 2010: International Women’s Day
Recognizing International Women’s Day 2010, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications related to women in
Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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The Threat from Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh
The International Crisis Group released today (March 1, 2010) a new report, stating that the Bangladesh
government has taken steps to dismantle the terrorist group Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), but it should
not take its demise for granted: the organization is regrouping and the possibility of another attack is increasing.
Despite two government crackdowns since 2005, the organization continues to recruit, train and raise funds.
Although JMB is a much weaker force due to the arrest of hundreds of its members and the execution of its original
leadership council, it remains a potent threat with a proven capacity to regenerate.
LEARN MORE --->
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Ensuring Debt Sustainability in Low Income Countries (LICs)
On February 22, 2010, Dr. Bernhard Gunter, President of the BDRC, made a presentation (see PDF) at the
UNCTAD Expert Group Meeting in Geneva. The presentation focused on a review of the projections for LICs based
on the IMF’s WEO of October 2009, a mini-review of the current debt sustainability framework for LICs, and some
recent suggestions.
LEARN MORE --->
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February 21, 2010: Bangladeshi Language Martyrs’ Day
Recognizing Bangladeshi Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day (February 21, 2010) the
BDRC provides recent developmental publications related to Bangladesh’s Mother Language.
LEARN MORE --->
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Is there an emerging East-West economic divide within Bangladesh?
A new World Bank research paper by Aphichoke Kotikula, Ambar Narayan and Hassan Zaman finds that while most
regions in the east have reduced their economic gaps with the Dhaka region since 2000, much of the west and
southwest have stagnated or fallen behind. The paper, which analyzes the latest poverty profile of Bangladesh,
shows that the spatial distribution of poverty seen in earlier decades has changed and that the drivers of poverty
reduction are different in several respects.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)
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February 16, 2010: Donors Endorsed US$9.5 Billion Energy Investment Plan
International donors endorsed Bangladesh's US$9.5 billion investment plan to generate 7,000 megawatts of
electricity by 2013. The Bangladesh Development Forum unanimously endorsed Bangladesh’s plan to double the
present power generation capacity within the next four years. The increase in electricity supply is considered a
necessary condition to achieve at least 8 percent economic growth and thus alleviate massive poverty.
LEARN MORE --->
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February 15, 2010: Campaign to Vaccinate Children Against Measles
More than 20 million Bangladeshi children will be vaccinated against measles over the next two weeks as part of a
campaign backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to try to eradicate the deadly disease in the
South Asian nation. An estimated 50,000 health-care workers and 600,000 volunteers and NGO staff have been
recruited for the immunization project.
LEARN MORE --->
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Dr. Mizanur Rahman won GDN Medal for Research on Development 2009
Dr. Mizanur Rahman, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Accounting & Information Systems (AIS) of
Dhaka University, won the First Prize sponsored by the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance for his outstanding
research on "Regional Integration—Convergence Big Time, or, an Opportunity Wasted." As a part of the Global
Development Network (GDN) 11th Annual Conference, the prize distribution ceremony was held on January 17,
2010, in Prague, Czech Republic.
LEARN MORE --->
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Protecting Bangladesh from Natural Disasters
Academic Press and Publishers Library (APPL) in Dhaka published an important new book entitled “Protecting
Bangladesh from Natural Disasters” by A. M. Choudhury (the former Chairman, Bangladesh Space Research and
Remote Sensing Organisation (SPARRSO), who has spent his whole life on research in this subject). The book
contains material on major natural disasters like tropical cyclones, floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis and
climate change. Each chapter of the book contains also a description of the protective measures needed for each
disaster.
LEARN MORE ---> (see pp. 76-77 of the Annotated CC Bibliography) (pdf)
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January 05, 2010: BDRC publishes its 2009 Research Report
The 2009 Research Report summarizes the BDRC's main research undertaken in 2009.
LEARN MORE --->  (pdf)
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An Analytical Approach to Bangladesh’s Growth Agenda
Prof. Wahiduddin Mahmud recently suggested that economic management in Bangladesh needs to be based on
more serious and in-depth policy analysis, particularly at a time when the country is aspiring to modernize and
globally integrate its economy with the aim of attaining the middle-income status.
LEARN MORE --->
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December 29, 2009 and December 13, 2009: Moderate Earthquakes Hit Bangladesh
  • A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has jolted parts of Bangladesh on Tuesday, December 29, 2009, shortly after 4
    pm local Bangladeshi time. The moderate intensity quake shook the capital, Dhaka, and other districts
    across the country, with its epicenter some 416 kilometers east of Dhaka, near India-Myanmar border.
  • Similarly, on December 13, 2009, a 5.3-magnitude earthquake hit southern Bangladesh, with its epicenter 19
    miles south of Chittagong.
Though the last major earthquake in Bangladesh struck in 1896, Bangladesh saw an increase in minor and
moderate earthquakes in recent years, fueling fears of a forthcoming major earthquake.
See also:
Concerns over earthquake preparedness
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Bangladesh Tops Global Climate Risk Index
Based on the latest Germanwatch report just released in mid-December 2009, Bangladesh was the country most
affected by extreme weather events from 1990 to 2008. Climate change is an increasingly important factor for the
occurrence and intensity of these extreme weather events. Through an ambitious adaptation action framework, the
Copenhagen climate summit can result in a real difference for particularly vulnerable developing countries.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)
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December 11, 2009: Getting Police Reform on Track
The International Crisis Group released today a new report that states that after decades of misuse and neglect,
Bangladesh’s police are a source of instability and fear rather than a key component of a democratic society.
Human rights abuses are endemic and almost all Bangladeshis who interact with the police complain of corruption.
With an elected government in place again, there are now opportunities to reform this dysfunctional force. But
there are also significant obstacles.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)
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Human Rights Day: December 10, 2009
Recognizing December 10, 2009 as Human Rights Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications specifically
on human rights in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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December 01, 2009: World AIDS Day
Recognizing December 01, 2009 as World AIDS Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications specifically on
AIDS/HIV in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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November 25, 2009: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Recognizing November 25, 2009 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the BDRC
provides a list of recent publications specifically relevant for developmental issues on women in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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November 23, 2009: Critical Voices before Run-up to Copenhagen
Shortly before the crucial climate talks in Copenhagen in December, the Bretton Woods Project has provided two
critical voices related to (1) the World Bank’s domination and (2) destructive development.
  • Md. Shamsuddoha and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury argue that the World Bank's record in Bangladesh shows
    that there is no place for it in a just response to climate change, but that it is set to dominate the new fund
    for adaptation in Bangladesh. LEARN MORE --->
  • In another comment, entitled “Destructive development: A case of ecological debt in Bangladesh” Ahmed
    Swapan writes that 'development' has become synonymous with destruction in Bangladesh as many of the
    so-called development projects, financed mainly by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), have huge
    negative impacts on the ground. They have added to the global north's 'ecological debt', which must now be
    repaid. LEARN MORE --->
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November 20, 2009: Universal Children’s Day
Recognizing November 20, 2009 as Universal Children’s Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications
specifically relevant for development issues on children in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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November 16, 2009: ADB Supports Tourism in Bangladesh, India and Nepal
The Asian Development Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a total of $57.5 million in grants and loans for
the South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project, which will develop and improve infrastructure and
services for key tourism sites in the three countries. It will also help increase the capacity of sector agencies to
sustainably manage and protect sites, and will target increased involvement by local communities in tourism.
LEARN MORE --->
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Recognizing
November 14, 2009 as World Diabetes Day,
the BDRC provides a list of recent publications specifically relevant for diabetes in Bangladesh. Based on a small
survey undertaken by the Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and
Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM) the prevalence of diabetes in Bangladesh’s population (of 15+ years) is between 2-
5 percent (which is similar to many other least-developed countries’ prevalence).
LEARN MORE --->
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October 26, 2009: Bangladesh and the Global Economic Crisis
Bangladesh has weathered the negative effects of the global economic crisis so far but lower exports and
remittances growth, and sluggish investment rates could stifle growth, says the World Bank’s latest Bangladesh
Economic Update. "The crisis, however, has affected the pace of poverty reduction, and we expect that about 2.4
million fewer people will be able to climb out of poverty over 2005-10", says Sanjay Kathuria, Lead Economist for
Bangladesh. The 2009 Bangladesh Economic Update, discusses the state of economy, provides insight into the
changing economic environment and examines the impact of the global financial crisis on the state of poverty in
Bangladesh. The report also calls for rebalancing of the policy focus towards structural areas such as economic
governance, market oriented vocational skills and quality secondary and tertiary education.
LEARN MORE --->
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October 17, 2009: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Recognizing October 17, 2009 as International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the BDRC provides a list of
recent publications specifically relevant for poverty eradication in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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October 16, 2009: World Food Day
Recognizing October 16, 2009 as World Food Day,
the BDRC provides a list of recent publications specifically
relevant for food security in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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October 9-10, 2009: Ideas and Innovations for the Development of Bangladesh
The conference on “Ideas and Innovations for the Development of Bangladesh: The Next Decade” has been
launched at Harvard University on Friday morning. The conference was organized by Bangladesh Development
Initiative (BDI), Democracy and Development in Bangladesh Forum (DDBF), and The Ash Institute for Democratic
Governance & Innovation, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The BDRC’s President,
Dr. Bernhard Gunter, presented a paper showing how papermaking from jute constitutes a win-win solution for
Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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October 4, 2009: Introducing Genetically Modified Brinjal in Bangladesh
In this new Working Paper (No. 9 of the Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series), Mst.
Meherunnahar and D. N. R. Paul show that genetically modified brinjal (Bt brinjal, also known as Bt eggplant and Bt
aubergine) has the potential to bump up agricultural productivity in Bangladesh and other countries. They provide
a brief overview of Bangladesh’s vegetable sector and review the key issues of introducing Bt brinjal in
Bangladesh. They summarize the results of recent research undertaken in Bangladesh on the environmental
safety of Bt brinjal and conclude that Bt brinjal could make a significant contribution to Bangladesh’s agricultural
sector and more broadly, Bangladesh’s economy and living standards.
LEARN MORE --->
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Bangladesh to host a center for climate change adaptation knowhow
Bangladesh is set to host a new “International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCD)” which will
focus on research and training in climate change adaptation activities. The center’s official launch is planned for
late November. Following various short training courses, the center is planning to offer a Master's degree in climate
change and development in September 2010. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has
contributed British Pound 500,000 to the center.
LEARN MORE --->
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September 8, 2009: International Literacy Day
Recognizing September 8, 2009 as International Literacy Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent publications
related to literacy in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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Eldis launches Bangladesh Group
Eldis, a website that aims to share the best in development policy, practice and research, has launched this
Bangladesh group as a space for all those with an interest in Bangladesh to share news, discuss ideas, compare
our experiences and learn from each other.
LEARN MORE --->
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August 9, 2009: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Recognizing August 9, 2009 as International Day of the World’s Indigenous People the BDRC provides
a list of recent publications related to indigenous people in Bangladesh and some additional information.
LEARN MORE --->
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USAID Seeks Application for an Education Project
The United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID) in Dhaka, Bangladesh seeks applications for a
Cooperative Agreement from qualified organizations to implement a project entitled “Promoting Talent Through
Early Education (PROTEEVA) in Bangladesh“. Through this award, USAID/Bangladesh seeks to prepare children
for school, as well as prepare the schools for the children. This school readiness program will provide opportunities
for five year olds by providing one year of pre-primary school education and after school educational activities for
pre-school and primary school students. The project will also work with the teachers and stakeholders of primary
education at the community and national levels to ensure greater accountability and adaptation of best Early
Childhood and Development (ECD) practices at the policy planning level. This program is a follow-on activity to
USAID’s current Early Learning for School Success (SUCCEED) program. The expected duration of the project is
five years¸ depending on performance and availability of funding. The total two year cost of the project is estimated
to be approximately $12,000,000 to $14,200,000.
LEARN MORE --->
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July 13, 2009: Towards an MDG-consistent Debt Sustainability Framework
At a joint UN/UNDP seminar in New York, Bernhard Gunter, President of the BDRC, presented empirical evidence
showing a robust relationship between achieving the MDGs and having a higher capacity to carry debt. The study
used the same probit regressions that have been used to justify the debt sustainability framework introduced by
the Bretton Woods institutions in spring 2005. Even after controlling for good policies and institutions, the capacity
to carry debt shows a statistically significant positive relationship with social development.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)             [Click for Mediaglobal news report]
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Questioning the Impact of Microcredit or Questioning the Art of Econometrics?
Despite the overwhelming evidence that microcredit has reduced poverty in Bangladesh, from time to time, some
economists try to grab the development community’s attention by questioning the impact of microcredit in
Bangladesh. This was the case in the July 7, 2009 Development Update of the Center for Global Development
(CGD) in Washington, DC, which stated in the headline “Microcredit Impacts Questioned”. The CGD’s update then
refers to a new study by CGD research fellow David Roodman and Jonathan Morduch and states: “Bottom line:
evidence that microcredit reduces poverty is even scarcer than previously understood.” However, what the authors
of this new study confuse is “questioning the impact of microcredit” with “questioning the art of their fancy
econometrics”. The evidence for this confusion is provided in
Roodman’s blog of June 18, 2009, where Roodman
reports on the study’s finding that “lending to women makes families poorer” and he then continues “but I just told
you how much credence we put on such claims about cause and effect.” In other words, the bottom line of this new
study seems to be that it is not worth the paper it is printed on.
LEARN MORE --->
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How do you see development?
How can you portrait the human face of the development processes? How do you show that development initiatives
and programmes improve the lives of people? The Global Photography Campaign on Humanizing Development
aims to promote and showcase visual examples of people winning the battle against poverty, social exclusion and
marginalization by bringing light and life into the above questions. Everyone can and is strongly encouraged to
participate in this global effort and contribute with a photograph.
LEARN MORE --->
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July 5, 2009: AHN Media reports record $9.68 Billion Remittances in FY 2008/2009
Despite the ongoing economic crisis, Bangladesh’s expatriates sent home a record US$9.68 billion in the fiscal
year (FY) that ended on June 30, 2009. This implies a nominal increase of 22.3 percent compared to FY
2007/2008, when Bangladesh received a record $7.91 billion in remittances.
LEARN MORE --->
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Physical and Psychological Implications of Risky Child Labor: A Study in Sylhet City, Bangladesh
In this new Working Paper (No. 8 of the Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series), Mohammad
Nashir Uddin, Mohammad Hamiduzzaman and Bernhard G. Gunter provide a review of the most recent child labor
literature and analyze then — based on a survey undertaken in Sylhet city — to what extent risky child labor
causes physical and mental discomfort.
LEARN MORE --->
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Development assistance for health does not always go to countries that need it most
A comprehensive study tracking development assistance for health shows that Bangladesh received only $1 billion
in health funding between 2002 and 2007 even though Bangladesh has the seventh highest burden of disease
among countries receiving development assistance. On the other hand, Uganda received $1.4 billion during the
same time period, even though it has a far lower (19th highest) disease burden. See: Nirmala Ravishankar, Paul
Gubbins, Rebecca J. Cooley, Katherine Leach-Kemon, Catherine M. Michaud, Dean T. Jamison, and Christopher
J. L. Murray (2009) “Financing of global health: tracking development assistance for health from 1990 to 2007”,
The Lancet, Vol. 373, No. 9681 (June 20), pp. 2113-2124.
LEARN MORE --->
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Bangladesh expects its economy to grow at 6 percent in FY 2009/2010
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told Reuters on June 9, 2009 that Bangladesh expects its economy to
grow by 6 percent in the next fiscal year (FY) despite the global downturn. He also said that Bangladesh will
announce a bigger fiscal budget for FY 2009/10, relying on a robust farming sector and hoping for higher aid and
investment.
LEARN MORE --->    
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June 5, 2009: World Environment Day
Recognizing World Environment Day 2009, the BDRC provides (1) an updated annotated bibliography on “Climate
Change and Bangladesh” (jointly with Bangladesh’s Climate Change Cell) and (2) a list of recent publications
related to environment and Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->         (1) annotated bibliography                (2) list of recent publications
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People’s Participation in Health Services: A Study of Bangladesh’s Rural Health Complex
In this new Working Paper (No. 7 of the Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series), Mohammad
Shafiqul Islam and Mohammad Woli Ullah focus on Bangladesh’s rural health complex. They show that a large
number of Bangladesh’s people, particularly in rural areas, remain with no or little access to health care facilities.
The study reveals that financial and technical support is very helpful to ensure health service among village
people. It also shows that the Government’s allocation and technical support are not sufficient in the rural health
complex and that the people’s participation is far from being satisfactory. The paper concludes with a variety of
recommendations.
LEARN MORE --->
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The Impact of Development and Growth on CO2 Emissions
A new study uses the example of Bangladesh to illustrate the impact of low-income countries’ economic growth on
global CO
2 emissions in 2050 by using a set of alternative assumptions for GDP growth and improvements in
energy efficiency.  The study will be presented at the 5th bi-annual conference of the United States Society for
Ecological Economics (USSEE) in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2009.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)  
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Cyclone Aila kills nearly 200 in Bangladesh and India
Reuters: Nearly 200 people have been killed by a cyclone that ripped through Bangladesh and eastern India, while
millions remained marooned by floodwater or forced to live in shelters. The death toll in Bangladesh rose to more
than 130 following the recovery of dozens of bodies on Tuesday, while Indian officials said at least 64 people had
died in West Bengal state. Cyclone Aila slammed into parts of coastal Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday,
May 25, 2009.
LEARN MORE --->
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May 18, 2009: Human Rights Watch releases Report on Executions and Torture in Bangladesh
For many years soldiers, paramilitary forces, and police officers have committed grave human rights violations with
impunity. While thousands of people have been extra-judicially killed, tortured, and arbitrarily detained, very few
perpetrators have ever been investigated, charged, convicted, and sentenced for their crimes. The report, entitled
“Ignoring Executions and Torture: Impunity for Bangladesh’s Security Forces” shows that despite repeated
promises to end the culture of impunity, the failure of successive governments to prosecute those responsible has
been constant. The government of Bangladesh should live up to its international human rights obligations by
ensuring that all allegations of abuse are thoroughly and impartially investigated and that those implicated by the
evidence are prosecuted.
LEARN MORE --->
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An Analysis of SAFTA in the Context of Bangladesh
In this new Working Paper (No. 6 of the Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series), Md. Joynal
Abdin focuses on a review of the progress made with SAFTA, what Bangladesh’s prospects are in SAFTA, and how
SAFTA can be made more active. It provides the historical background about the various initiatives within South
Asia, reviews the actual trade data, and reviews the main trade restrictions within SAFTA. It also provides a set of
recommendations based on this analysis.
LEARN MORE --->
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Critical Factors of Women Entrepreneurship Development in Rural Bangladesh
In this new Working Paper (No. 5 of the Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series), Ms. Faraha
Nawaz analyzes the critical factors of women entrepreneurship development in rural Bangladesh. The analysis is
based on recent theoretical ideas that have been supported by empirical research findings. The paper depicts an
analytical framework based on institutional theory, which focuses on three kinds of factors: regulative, normative,
and cognitive. Based on the analysis of these factors, the paper provides many significant policy implications on
how to improve women entrepreneurship development in rural Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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May 3, 2009: World Press Freedom Day
Recognizing May 3, 2009 as World Press Freedom Day the BDRC provides three recent publications related to
press freedom and Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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Syeda Rizwana Hasan wins the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize
The BDRC congratulates Syeda Rizwana Hasan for winning the Goldman Environmental Prize 2009 for Asia for her
work on reducing the impact of Bangladesh’s exploitative and environmentally-devastating ship breaking industry.
She led a legal battle resulting in increased government regulation and heightened public awareness about the
dangers of ship breaking.
LEARN MORE --->
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April 25, 2009: World Malaria Day
Recognizing World Malaria Day the BDRC provides a list of recent developmental publications related to malaria in
Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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April 22, 2009: Bangladesh faces diarrhoea epidemic
The latest data support that Bangladesh is in the grip of what doctors are calling a diarrhoea epidemic.
LEARN MORE ---> (Reuters video)
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April 19, 2009: Bangladesh economy has exhibited resilience so far
Based on the World Bank’s latest update, Bangladesh has exhibited resilience so far and maintained an impressive
growth rate of 5.5 percent in fiscal year 2009, in spite of the global economic downturn. However there are
indications that the global economic recession is beginning to impact the Bangladesh economy. But how is the
changing external and domestic economic environment affecting us? And what should be some of our policy
responses to this looming crisis? The World Bank’s Bangladesh Semi-Annual Economic Update – April 2009,
discusses the state of economy, provides insight into the changing global and domestic economic environment and
outlines policy responses to the global financial crisis.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)
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April 7, 2009: World Health Day
Recognizing World Health Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent developmental publications related to health
issues in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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April 2, 2009: Updated Poverty Maps for Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and the World Bank, in collaboration with the World Food Programme
(WFP), updated the Poverty Maps for Bangladesh. Poverty mapping is an important statistical instrument that can
estimate the poverty incidence at Upazila levels. The new poverty maps released yesterday is based on the
Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) of 2005 and the Population Census of 2001. Bangladesh has
experienced significant poverty reduction over the past two decades.  The poverty incidence declined from 57
percent at the beginning of the 1990s to 40 percent in 2005.  However, a closer look to the recent reduction in the
national poverty rate shows uneven progress amongst different areas and communities.  In fact, there remain
many areas where the incidence of poverty is far larger than the national figures would suggest.
LEARN MORE --->
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March 22, 2009: World Water Day
Recognizing World Water Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent developmental publications related to water
issues in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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World Bank Seeks to Improve Higher Education in Bangladesh
March 17, 2009: The BDRC congratulates the World Bank for approving a US$81 million IDA credit to Bangladesh,
designed to improve the quality and relevance of teaching and research in the country’s higher education
institutions. Among others, the project also aims to integrate Bangladesh’s universities in the globalized world of
knowledge, i.e., aims at establishing a Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN), a high performance
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) network providing connectivity among education and
research institutions in both public and private sectors to enable academics, scientists, and researchers to
communicate with their peers within the country and globally.
LEARN MORE --->
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Breakthrough solutions for transitioning Bangladesh to the 21st century
Bangladesh Development Initiative (BDI), Democracy and Development in Bangladesh Forum (DDBF), and The
Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government are
partnering to organize a two-day international conference (October 9-10, 2009) to examine the development
challenges facing Bangladesh and to foster a culture of innovation geared towards addressing those challenges.
The goal of the conference is to generate creative ideas that would result in breakthrough solutions for
transitioning Bangladesh to the 21st century.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)
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March 8, 2009: International Women's Day
Recognizing International Women's Day, the BDRC provides a list of recent developmental publications related to
women and gender issues in Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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Bangladeshi Language Martyrs’ Day
Recognizing Bangladeshi Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day (February 21, 2009) the
BDRC provides recent developmental publications related to Bangladesh’s Mother Language
LEARN MORE --->
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Saving Bangladesh from sinking due to sea level rise (New Age Op-Ed, Feb. 14, 2009)
Dr. A. M. Choudhury suggests that if Bangladesh can trap ten percent of the sediments coming through its rivers,
Bangladesh can save itself from the curse of sea level rise. This should not be difficult. Some sediment is
deposited anyway and this is how the Bangladesh delta has been built.
LEARN MORE --->
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February 11, 2009: South Asia has the highest rates of malnutrition
and the largest numbers of undernourished children in the world. Addressing the causes of undernutrition is
particularly important as it impedes productivity, economic growth and poverty reduction. The Development
Marketplace invites proposals from all South Asian countries under the theme: “Family and Community Approaches
to Improve Infant and Young Child Nutrition”.
LEARN MORE --->
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February 04, 2009: Dr. Muhammad Yunus to Speak in Washington, DC
Bangladesh's Nobel Peace Prize Winner will talk about his new book, "Creating a World Without Poverty". "In the
last two decades, free markets have swept the globe, bringing with them enormous potential for positive change,"
Dr. Yunus explains. "But traditional capitalism cannot solve problems like inequality and poverty, because it is
hampered by a narrow view of human nature in which people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with
profit" he says.
LEARN MORE --->
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February 02, 2009: Bangladesh Government approved Climate Change Trust Policy
The Bangladeshi cabinet has approved in principle the Climate Change Trust Policy (CCTP) and formed two
committees for managing and proper utilisation of the trust fund. “The Climate Change Trust Policy has been
approved in principle. But the cabinet stressed the need for proper utilisation of the fund to ensure people’s
welfare,” the prime minister’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters after the cabinet meeting on Monday.
LEARN MORE --->
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January 18, 2009: Free access to Journal of Bangladesh Studies (JBS)
In celebration of the 10th year of publication of the Journal of Bangladesh Studies (JBS), the JBS Editorial Board
has decided to provide free and unlimited access to all articles published in the journal with a lag of four issues for
an undetermined period.
LEARN MORE --->
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January 03, 2009: BDRC publishes its 2008 Research Report
The 2008 Research Report summarizes the BDRC's main research undertaken in 2008.
LEARN MORE --->
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Bangladesh’s progress in its HDI falls behind other nations’ progress
Based on the data released by UNDP on December 18, 2008, Bangladesh’s Human Development Index (HDI) has
improved from 0.517 (in 2005) to 0.524 (in 2006). However, this progress lacks behind the progress made by other
nations. Hence, Bangladesh’s ranking worsened from rank 140 in 2005 to rank 147 in 2006.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)
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Nonwood Fiber Papermaking: A Win-Win Solution for Bangladesh
In this new Working Paper (No. 4 of the Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series), Dr. Jahan et
al. provide an overview of Bangladesh’s paper industry and review the availability and suitability of nonwood fibers
for papermaking in Bangladesh, coming to the conclusion that substituting wood with some nonwood fibers in
papermaking could imply a win-win solution for Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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FAO declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibers
Recognizing 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibers, the Bangladesh Development Research Center
(BDRC) presents "Jute — Bangladesh’s Golden Fiber of the Past, also in the Future?"
LEARN MORE --->
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World Economic Crisis: Impact on Bangladesh
In the December 2008 issue of the Daily Star’s Forum magazine, Jyoti Rahman reviews various growth projections
for Bangladesh, the stories behind them, and some implications for the new government.
LEARN MORE --->
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The Global Financial Crisis and What it means for Bangladesh
The CPD's Policy Pager No. 3 (December 2008) summarizes the key points made at a dialogue on “The Global
Financial Crisis and What it Means for Bangladesh” held at the CIRDAP Auditorium on 25. October 2008.
LEARN MORE ---> (pdf)
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World Bank publishes a new poverty assessment for Bangladesh
Bangladesh represents a success story among developing countries. Poverty incidence, which was as high as 57
percent at the beginning of the 1990s, had declined to 49 percent in 2000. This trend accelerated subsequently,
reducing the poverty headcount rate to 40 percent in 2005.
LEARN MORE --->
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Human Rights Day (December 10, 2008)
Recognizing Human Rights Day 2008, the BDRC provides a list of new publications related to Human Rights in
Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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Bangladesh made huge progress in child development
A new Child Development Index, developed by Save the Children UK, shows that Bangladesh made huge progress
in child development, both in absolute and relative terms, in the years 2000-06 (compared to 1995-99).
LEARN MORE --->
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Bangladesh demands debt relief for the first time
December 7, 2008: Bangladesh has demanded cancellation of overseas development assistance (ODA) debts of
the least developed countries (LDCs) when they are affected by adverse impacts of global climate change.
Advocating more aid and debt relief for Bangladesh for some time, the BDRC congratulates Bangladesh for having
taken this step.
LEARN MORE --->
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Mineral Extraction in Bangladesh
In this new Working Paper (No. 3 of the Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series), Dr. Bernhard
Gunter proposes some fundamental and bold reforms of the way the extraction of minerals is managed in
Bangladesh.
LEARN MORE --->
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Children of Bangladesh
Celebrating Universal Children’s Day (November 20, 2008), the BDRC initiated a task on Children in Bangladesh.
The task includes various websites on ten facts, child labor, organizations, and related literature.
LEARN MORE --->
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Bangladesh Deserves More Aid
Bangladesh, a country with 40 million persons living below $1-a-day, deserves debt relief and more aid, especially
as Bangladesh has been one of the most effective countries in terms of reducing poverty over the last decade.
LEARN MORE --->
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