BIGD organises Seminar on Aid and Developmental Transformation in Bangladesh

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Naomi Hossain (left) and the participants included Syed Saad AndaleebSultan Hafeez Rahman,
Wahiduddin Mahmud, Dr. Naila Kabeer (from right) with other participants 

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University, organized a Seminar on Aid and Developmental Transformation in Bangladesh on 26 July, 2016 in the BIGD Conference Room In the seminar, Dr. Naomi Hossain, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University, UK discussed her forthcoming book titled The Aid Lab: Understanding Bangladesh’s Surprising Success. The book will be published by the Oxford University Press, UK in February 2017.

In her discussion, Dr Hossain shared that, no longer the world’s ‘basket case’, Bangladesh has become a celebrated example of how aid can bring about development under the most testing conditions. According to Dr. Hossain, rather than open markets providing the motor for development, a social contract to protect the masses against natural disasters and other crises emerged out of the tragedy of the 1974 famine. This social contract helped the state build popular legitimacy and laid resilient foundations without which human development was impossible. Aid supported – but it did not create – these conditions. Lessons from Bangladesh’s disaster-studded history matter more than ever, at this time of climate change and global economic shocks.

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The Seminar was chaired by Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director of BIGD. Among others, Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor, BRAC University; Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud, Prominent Economist; Dr. Naila Kabeer, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); Simeen Mahmud, Head (Ad Interim), Gender Cluster & CGST, BIGD; and Dr. Mirza Hassan, Research Fellow of BIGD also spoke at the seminar.