2 March 2017
Our recent policy workshop with leading Bangladesh experts on growth, education, health and women’s empowerment has received lots of coverage in the Bangladesh media. Here are some photos of the event and links to articles in the English and Bangla press. Read more about the event and the research.
27 February 2017
I recently reviewed The Politics of Inclusive Development for The Journal of Development Studies. I thought it was a really compelling set of conceptual and empirical explorations, and I highly recommend it. This is a slightly amended version of the Journal review.
It’s become an increasingly common refrain in development aid circles that ‘politics matters’. As chronicled by Carothers and de Gramont (2013), the journey from a purely technocratic to a more political understanding of development, and of the role of foreign aid, has been a slow and incomplete one. Nevertheless, it is now becoming widely accepted that there are important political dimensions of development, and indeed that development is itself an inherently political process. Thus, the important question is no longer whether politics matters for development and poverty reduction, but rather how, and what the implications are for development actors of various kinds. Unfortunately, our broader understanding that politics plays an important role has outpaced research unpacking the nature of political dynamics that would support more inclusive patterns of development.
By Pablo Yanguas.
23 February 2017
On 3 February I attended a fascinating workshop at the University of Sheffield hosted by frequent ESID collaborator Tom Goodfellow. Under the title ‘Ethical dilemmas and cognitive dissonance in international development’, the event brought together scholars from across the social sciences, policy researchers, as well as current and former practitioners. It was a day full of genuinely new and thought-provoking ideas, of the kind that we don’t often have in academic debates on aid and development more generally. So much so, that the visible excitement of participants outpaced our ability to put together a coherent agenda for future research. Still, this is a set of questions with direct relevance to development practice, and the links to psychology and moral philosophy are welcome additions to the chiefly economistic or sociological debates within Development Studies. Continue Reading →
Dr Mathilde Maitrot
22 February 2017
Global Challenge Research Fund Postdoctoral Fellow, Mathilde Maitrot reports from the ESID and BIGD Policy Workshop in Dhaka
Close to five decades have passed since Bangladesh was allegedly termed a ‘basket case’ by the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger – (it was actually his aide who coined the term.) In 2017, the country is now more commonly referred to as a ‘paradox’, a ‘development ‘surprise’ or a ‘miracle’. These terms point to an apparent anomaly between the country’s recent success in terms of economic growth and human development/MDG targets compared to the low quality of its political institutions. With Price Waterhouse Cooper’s recent forecasts of the economic and political order in 2050, projecting that Bangladesh will be one of the three leading emerging economies driving global growth, it looks as though, assuming the country’s political dynamics support growth, Bangladesh could become the 23rd largest economy by 2050.
On 16 February 2017 in Dhaka, ESID and our BRAC University partner BIGD organised a one-day policy workshop where members of civil society, academics, private sector representatives and public intellectuals discussed the usefulness of adopting a political settlement framework to shed light on this so-called ‘development paradox’. Our discussion was structured around four key studies on the politics of inclusive development in Bangladesh: economic growth, health and education services delivery and outcomes and domestic violence law. Continue Reading →