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15 January 2015 [5 December 2014 original post].
Bangladesh’s economy has recorded remarkable economic performance in the new millennium, though its per capita income has remained low. Even more spectacular has been the steady improvement in its levels of many social development outcomes. Popular commentaries have drawn comparisons with India and Pakistan in highlighting the significance of Bangladesh’s development achievements. This phenomenon has been termed the “Bangladesh conundrum”, and has received extensive coverage in international media outlets, such as the New York Times, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal.
But is Bangladesh’s social progress surprising, and if so, then in what respect and to what extent? To answer this question, we must systematically investigate the country’s path to development. Bangladesh’s achievements in several dimensions of social development are indeed surprising when compared to other economies at similar levels of economic development. In a research paper published last month in World Development (Asadullah, Savoia, and Mahmud, 2014), we present these findings by drawing upon data on Bangladesh and over 100 other developing countries for the past four decades (1971–2010). Continue Reading →
15 January 2015.
By Henry Chingaipe.
The Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) Research Programme has commissioned a multi-country study on the comparative politics of public sector reforms (PSR) in Africa, with case studies on Malawi, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda. In this post, I show how the basic research questions apply to the case of Malawi. I highlight the salient political economy parameters that characterise the public sector environment and shape, for good or worse, the design and, more importantly, the implementation of public sector reforms. Continue Reading →
13 January 2015.
Among those engaged in policy and planning of development, there is growing recognition that politics and institutions matter for inclusive development. However, the specific ways in which they shape possibilities, across different types and forms of development, and in different contexts, remains poorly understood. What is needed is guidance about what could be done to make political contexts more responsive to inclusive development.
The newly published book, The Politics of Inclusive Development: Interrogating the Evidence, edited by ESID Research Directors, Sam Hickey and Kunal Sen, and Research Associate, Badru Bukenya, is ESID’s first major academic collection. It draws on a large number of studies provided by ESID’s multidisciplinary, multinational network of partners. The research helps to make the understanding of development more politically savvy, by developing the theoretical apparatus and knowledge base to support better informed development policy and practice.
Highly topical, while also grounded in social science theory, the book provides:
16 December 2014
In their latest ESID working paper, Tim Kelsall and Seiha Heng explain how Cambodia’s political settlement is limiting progressive change within the health sector to certain ‘islands of effectiveness’.
In ‘The political economy of inclusive healthcare in Cambodia’, the authors explain how Cambodia has made significant progress expanding free healthcare to the poor through a multi-stakeholder health financing mechanism called ‘Health Equity Funds’ (HEFs). While HEF operators have helped expand access to healthcare and incentivise staff, they have not been able to address more deeply entrenched challenges, such as ‘under-resourced facilities, underpaid, poorly qualified staff, and a burgeoning private sector’. The authors argue that, despite these islands of effectiveness, ‘the deeper problems are unlikely to be solved without a shift in the political settlement itself’. Continue Reading →
21 November 2014
ESID and Brooks World Poverty Institute are hosting Brian Levy, professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS and the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Development, for a public lecture and a PhD masterclass (see details below). Brian exemplifies the archetype of the practitioner-scholar, earning a PhD in economics, then working at the World Bank for 23 years, and finally taking up academic teaching and mentoring. Here are three reasons why he is a particularly interesting speaker, and why anyone near Manchester should consider attending his lecture: Continue Reading →