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Implementation of Policies for Reducing Chronic Poverty PRS Country Study: Bangladesh

Sajjad Zohir, Abantee Harun, Naser Farid, Iftekharul Huq

Background Paper for the Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09

Bangladesh’s IPRSP was finalised in June 2003 and the full PRSP was finalised in January 2006. The broad objective of the Bangladesh study is to assess progresses made in implementation of policies (in PRSP) aimed at reducing chronic poverty. All policies and programs (often not explicitly backed by a written policy), which are deemed either directly or indirectly to have reduced chronic poverty are within the scope of the current study. In the process the study identifies areas where improvements may be made in policy and policy processes relevant for reducing chronic poverty in the country. In realising the broad objective, the study team undertook a mapping exercise, identified policy space meant for the chronic poor, assessed in selected areas if these were implemented, and assessed possible determinants of implementation. The study involved desk reviews and analyses of secondary data. The team also undertook field studies through interviews and FGDs for selected programs/projects in selected areas. The study was undertaken during October 2006 till February 2007, with additional inputs obtained till May 2007. These were difficult times for Bangladesh – the elected government made way for a caretaker government to oversee the parliamentary election in late October 2006, after several changes there is now a caretaker government undertaking major administrative and political reforms with supports from the military. While one would hesitate to predict on any outcome, there is a broad consensus that politics, policymaking and policy implementation will no more be the same in Bangladesh. In such a context, the findings of the study will hopefully be useful inputs to shaping a new future.

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