Can Bangladesh Take Advantage of the Digital Age?

View the lecture here

Increasing digitization of the world is transforming nations, and consequently their economies. BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) organized the lecture titled, ‘Can Bangladesh Take Advantage of the Digital Age’, where esteemed Professor Stefan Dercon discussed the possible challenges and opportunities the digital age has in store for the developing nations around the world.

Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford, Stefan Dercon is also the Academic Director of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development at Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford, and former Chief Economist of the UK’s DFID. Dr. Dercon’s research interests concern what keeps some people and countries poor, ranging from the failures of markets, to government and politics, and spanning onto how to bring about change.

The lecture focused on a research and consultation directed by The Pathway for Prosperity Commission for two years, to investigate the effect of current technological change on developing countries. Its findings led to the design of a digital roadmap, explaining the 5 identified priority areas and listing down 26 recommendations to help resolve the barriers to inclusive growth. The report also outlined why countries should develop a shared vision of national digital compact, and emphasized the formation of necessary ‘digital essentials’ for technologies to ensure that citizens are both benefited from the opportunities and protected from potential risks. Moreover, the report pointed out the concern of whether the technologies reach everyone such as the poorest and most marginalized communities. The lecture also deliberated practical steps that needs be taken by all stakeholders in a country like Bangladesh, including- the policymakers, businesses, and civil society- to tackle the obstacles of this new era.