Connecting Regions of Asia.

Bangladesh Model In Poverty Alleviation


Bangladesh is one of the 17 countries that has successfully reduced poverty and ended malnourishment in the last two decades.

WhiteBoard , the country’s first policy-driven magazine, says the list includes China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Kyrgyz Republic, Greece, and Kosovo.

Leading economist Dr Binayak Sen, in his article in “WhiteBoard,” said both measures of GDP per capita and GNI per capita to judge the growth performance of an economy.

“Of all the 17 countries, the growth decelerated in 16 countries in the late 2010s compared to early 2010s, except for Bangladesh,” the article says.

Apart from these two indexes, Bangladesh has also displayed remarkable strides in minimising growth volatility.

“The growth rate of an economy may fluctuate over decades. If the annual growth fluctuates too much, then it affects poverty levels. Bangladesh along with China, Vietnam, and Indonesia are the most successful countries which displayed the least growth volatility,” said Binayak Sen, the director-general of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), the state-backed development think-tank.

He said Bangladesh also fared moderately well in curbing inequality. 

Reflecting on the country’s transition from agriculture to a manufacturing economy, Sen said: “Nearly all the successful cases in poverty reduction listed above have experienced a declining share of agriculture in their GDP from 2000-2019. Agriculture’s share in GDP almost halved in China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Vietnam over the past two decades. In contrast, the progress was much slower in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, indicating lesser vibrancy.”

Bangladesh made significant advancements in labour income as well.

“In all the countries included in the list of successful performers, labour income seems to be a key driver. Rising wages and salaried employment led to many successful cases. 

“Between 2001 and 2019, the share wage and salaried workers in total employment has increased dramatically in China from 39% to 55%, from 36% to 48% in Indonesia, and from 21% to 46% in Vietnam. Bangladesh also experienced a considerable increase from 33% to 41%, while not as dramatic as others, but still way ahead of Sri Lanka and India. 

“The rise of wage employment was a major poverty reduction factor in Bangladesh,” Sen added.

Bangladesh has also ensured an accelerating rate of female enrolment in secondary schools in different countries – from 14 in 1990 to 78.3 in 2019, he mentioned.

“For Bangladesh, the structural shift out of an agricultural economy was a fundamental determinant of its poverty reduction performance. Since 1990, during this transition, the manufacturing sector has consistently grown. This makes the country unique among other South Asian players like India and Pakistan where the manufacturing sector didn’t have this uninterrupted long-run expansion.

“This expanding manufacturing element has not only improved female workforce participation but also served as a bedrock of the country’s poverty-reducing success story in recent history,” he concluded.

WhiteBoard, a policy-focused quarterly, is published by the think-tank Centre for Research and Information or CRI to generate ideas for a comprehensive debate on critical national issues.

Bangabandhu’s grandson and CRI Trustee Radwan Mujib Siddiq edits the magazine.

The first issue of the magazine extensively covered the policies and strategies adopted by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur.

The quarterly features detailed analysis from globally acclaimed researchers, academics, and experts, providing a vision towards the country’s sustainable progress.

Courtesy –

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