Training -Welcome to Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Management

Training Programme on Policy Analysis

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For over a decade now, our growth has been over 6.25 percent, a feat unimaginable a few decades earlier and an outcome that also reflects the government's commitment and choices. Contrary to some popular narratives, the government's policies significantly shaped the quality of growth in Bangladesh. For example, the governments consistently supported cash transfer program, encouraged the participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), designed pro-poor fiscal and monetary policies that touched the lives of those who needed the most. Happily, for us, Henry Kissinger’s ‘Bottom-less Basket’ prediction has been proven wrong, as has been the Kuznets’ theory of rising inequality at the early stages of growth. Although our policies might not have been always holistic or well-coordinated, they were always sincere and mostly consistent; these policies deserve an important part of the credit.

We all know Bangladesh is now at a crossroad of development. In fact, we are witnessing one of the largest manufacturing-led take-off in a democracy. The economy is ready to reap the benefits of its comparative advantages, including our demographic dividend. For that we need to transform our huge population into human capital. We need to upgrade the productivity of our both skilled and unskilled workers; the capacity of both private and public sector institutions. A competent bureaucracy is, therefore, a must for any sustained economic take-off. In fact, no sustained economic take-off has ever taken place without a competent bureaucracy. This is especially more so in a private sector-led growth process in a democracy. Needless to say that this constraint is also more binding during the middle-income transitions. The road to a developed Bangladesh by 2041 goes through a competent bureaucracy, as the experience of East Asia and advanced economies have demonstrated.

We are heartened by the government's urgency in enhancing the skills of the people to maximize the population dividend and its benefit. Along with the general skills development program, the government has also prioritized the training of new cohorts of visionary bureaucrats with knowledge and skills who can better design, implement, and evaluate the next generation of reforms in Bangladesh. It is obvious that the quality of our bureaucracy will critically influence the growth trajectory in the next phase ofour development.

A mature private sector has rightly contributed to the developmental effort ever than before. But during the middle-income transitions, being right may not be enough. An enabling environment for the bureaucracy is a necessary condition for a sustained takeoff. An efficient bureaucracy with practical knowledge combined with open, constructively critical approach that can address the questions of governance and policy development is the need of the hour. Moreover, an effective implementation is contingent on evidence-based policy formulation and evaluation, which are essentially an iterative process. Therefore, a dynamic, innovative and thoughtful bureaucracy is a sin-qua-non for moving to the next higher plane.

It is the earnest hope of BIGM that the policy analysis training would provide a set of conceptual frameworks for analyzing the public policy, and formulating effective strategies for policy design, analysis, evaluation, and advocacy. The concepts, skills, and analytical tools students would learn in the training would rest upon a foundation of economic principles, institutional analysis, and political and social psychology. They would be able to identify, analyze, predict the patterns of behaviour and outcomes, and ultimately enhance policy effectiveness. That in turn would infuse dynamism, innovation, and critical reasoning into the bureaucracy that can respond to the complex world we now live in. 2600 years ago, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, said ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’. We are taking that first step in an unprecedented journey for the 160 million Bangladeshis. We are embarking on that journey by carrying the inspirations and the sacrifices of the past. And with that resolve, pragmatism, and optimism, our top policymakers will train a new brand of trained human ware for a more just, more inclusive, and more developed Bangladesh.