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 government 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.
As Bangladesh is 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. In order to do that, we need to transform our huge population into human capital and to upgrade the productivity of our both skilled and unskilled workers as well as the capacity of both private and public sector institutions. Currently, government taking initiatives to enhance 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 of our development. A mature private sector has rightly contributed to the developmental effort ever than before. 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 this hour.
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 behavior 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. The road to a developed Bangladesh by 2041 has to go through a competent bureaucracy, as the experience of East Asia and advanced economies have demonstrated. In order to achieve that, we are embarking on a voyage by carrying the inspirations and 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.