OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

How Bad Governance Impedes Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh

In 1995/96, 47.5 per cent of the population of Bangladesh were still living below the poverty line. While this represents a decline compared to 62.6 per cent in 1983/84, the absolute number of poor people has in fact increased over the same period. This paper argues that the persistence of poverty in Bangladesh originates less in the lack of resources for its alleviation than in the failures of governance.

These failures consist of a lack of a developmental vision, absence of a commitment that goes beyond rhetoric and that could translate the vision into policies and programmes, and weak capacities at the administrative, technical and political levels to implement such programmes. As a corollary of these failures, successive governments have surrendered ownership over national policy agendas in the field of poverty alleviation to international donors and NGOs. Furthermore, different areas of policy–making have been appropriated by special interest groups pursuing sectional concerns ...


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