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Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh

Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh: Rethinking participation in policy making

Palash Kamruzzaman
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh
    Book Description:

    This book analyses government relationships with international ἀnancial institutions by evaluating the role of citizen participation when national poverty reduction policies are formulated in low-income countries. Based on in-depth research from Bangladesh, the concept of participation is investigated from the contrasting perspectives of theory and practice. The first part of the book explores the rhetoric of participation in development policies, while the second part presents empirical evidence of participation in the formulation of Bangladesh’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper where, at local level, development brokers play an important role. It argues that participatory policies are not enough, that an overhaul is needed in the approach to poverty reduction which will require strong political commitment. This topical book will make essential reading for academics, students and researchers in international development studies and poverty-related fields.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-0570-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. List of tables and figures
    (pp. iv-iv)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. v-vi)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-22)

    This book investigates the promises of participation in theory and practice in recent development thought; especially in its interface with anti-poverty policies. In doing so, it takes the formulation process of Bangladesh’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) as a case study. This work presents the discussion and debate about participation in a national poverty reduction policy in two parts. The first part looks at the theoretical aspects of participation. This explores the emergence of participation in development policies and shows the interconnections of participation more specifically in anti-poverty policies, featuring the PRSP framework from a historical context of the international...

  6. Part One: Participation in theory

    • CHAPTER ONE Participation: an iron hand in a velvet glove
      (pp. 25-50)

      An iron hand in a velvet glovemeans ‘misrir suri’ in Bengali. ‘Misri’ (‘candy sugar’, in English) is a crystallised form of sugar lump and ‘Suri’, in Bengali, means knife. This is a metaphoric representation that a knife is always dangerous regardless of whether it is made of sugar. ‘Misrir suri’ is an idiom in Bengali that indicates a process of coaxing. More specifically, this is used to mean that one will get what s/he wants after fooling the other by sweet-talking. Put differently, this is a form of deceiving. This idiom has kept coming to mind while I looked...

    • CHAPTER TWO Poverty reduction: discourse or a commitment to change?
      (pp. 51-80)

      Different scholars have described poverty in different ways. For example, poverty is perceived as economic, social and psychological deprivation, occurring either among people or countries that lack resources to maintain or provide either individual or collective minimum levels of living. It is also described as something that impairs the ability to provide for minimum nutrition, health, shelter, education, security, leisure or other aspects considered necessary for life. Poverty may also be represented as an exclusionary relationship, including exclusion from an institutional network sufficient to maintain one’s survival (McCarthy and Feldman, 1988; Like-Minded Group, 1990). Lewis (1962) observes that poverty has...

    • CHAPTER THREE Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: another brick in the wall
      (pp. 81-110)

      The executive boards of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggested a new framework for poverty reduction for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) and other poor client countries in December 1999 (IMF and IDA, 1999a). The HIPC countries are expected to prepare Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) to be able to continue obtaining more loans. In PRSPs, national governments must show that they understand the current domestic problems in relation to poverty and must explain how they will create a democratic environment, including all the stakeholders in decision-making and implementation (IMF, 2013). What makes the PRSP approach distinct...

  7. Part Two: Participation in practice

    • CHAPTER FOUR Participation: the evidence
      (pp. 113-142)

      From this chapter until the conclusion of this book, empirical evidence will be presented in order to explore the nature of participation in practice. This chapter will discuss how the idea of participation has been used as a façade to justify an imposed framework for poverty reduction in Bangladesh. In doing so, first, I will assemble claims that was ‘enough’ participation in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) of Bangladesh – claims made primarily by the people who led the process of formulating the policy. To delineate a contrasting perspective, I will then present arguments that challenge such claims. Later in...

    • CHAPTER FIVE Is a comprador class being created?
      (pp. 143-166)

      Having presented empirical evidence on participation in Chapter Four, this chapter will explore the ownership of Bangladesh’s Poverty Reduction Strategy paper (PRSP). It is very important to understand why the government of Bangladesh was keen on labelling the PRSP as a home-grown policy while it was evident that neither the government of Bangladesh nor its people felt the need to produce such a strategy. The claim of including ‘enough’ participation and, therefore, securing ownership demands closer investigation to discern the underlying intention. This chapter critically discusses the underlying reasons for declaring ownership of the PRSP and delineates the emergence of...

    • CHAPTER SIX Think local, act local
      (pp. 167-196)

      While I was analysing my research data for this book, carefully observing the emerging common patterns, the questions that kept coming to mind were: what is more important for poverty reduction? Is it producing a policy with ‘ enough’ participation, and thereby securing loans and other assistance from the donors? Or, is it more important to build and implement policies (combing indigenous and expert knowledge) that are more realistic for existing social problems, taking local socio-economic (including relationships with the donors), cultural and political realities into account? Also, for implementation, how important is it to explore the gaps between theory...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusion
      (pp. 197-214)

      This book has engaged with the reality as well as the theoretical understanding of poverty reduction in Bangladesh’s context. Poverty is a contested notion and it is extremely difficult to embrace a simple definition that would explain diverse dynamics and dimensions of poverty in different societies and contexts. Nonetheless, a US dollarbased ubiquitous method is in place for measuring poverty in most of the poor countries for lending relationships with the international financial institutions (IFIs) and ‘better coordination’ of international aid. I have argued that it is hardly possible to plausibly define poverty in all poor countries by one universal...

  8. References
    (pp. 215-242)
  9. Index
    (pp. 243-250)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 251-251)