How bad governance impedes poverty alleviation in Bangladesh
In 1995/96, 47.5 percent of the population of Bangladesh were still living below the poverty line. This paper argues that the persistence of poverty in Bangladesh originates less in the lack of resources than in the failures of governance. These failures consist of a lack of a developmental vision, absence of commitment, and weak capacities at the administrative, technical and political levels. As a corollary of these failures, different areas of policy-making have been appropriated by special interest groups pursuing sectional concerns at the expense of a set of national goals. Under these circumstances, those programmes aiming at poverty reduction suffered from rent seeking at various levels. This has been compounded by the absence of accountability of public servants either to their superiors or to the community they are meant to serve. The report concludes that better results could have been achieved through improved governance and bypassing those elements of state power which stand in the way of serving the poor.