Publication: Bangladesh : Attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh, How Likely and What Will it Take to Reduce Poverty, Child Mortality and Malnutrition, Gender Disparities, and to Increase School Enrollment and Completion?
This report focuses on the attainment of five major human development-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Bangladesh - consumption poverty, infant and under-five mortality, child malnutrition, schooling enrollment and completion, gender disparities in schooling. The report stipulates that of these MDGs, Bangladesh has already attained (or nearly attained) the goal relating to elimination of gender disparity in schooling opportunities. Bangladesh is the only country in South Asia (other than Sri Lanka) to have achieved parity in male and female enrollments, not just at the primary level, but also at the secondary level. The analysis in this report suggests that attainment of two other MDGs - in particular, the reduction of consumption-poverty and under-five mortality - is also feasible with a combination of interventions, including sector-specific interventions (such as expanding immunization coverage and reducing pupil-teacher ratios), economic growth, improved coverage of infrastructure, and social safety-net programs (such as the District Education Stipends Program, and the Vulnerable Group Development programs). However, it will be challenging for Bangladesh to attain the child malnutrition-related MDG, as well as the education MDGs relating to universal net primary enrollment, and primary completion. A factor that is likely to be important in explaining Bangladesh's relative success in attaining positive social outcomes is the work of its nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Bangladesh may well be the world's leader in using NGOs as vehicles of development. Yet another factor in explaining the country's success, especially its ability to eliminate gender disparity in enrollment, even at the secondary level, is the use of targeted public interventions, such as the Female Secondary School Stipend Program (FSSS). However, there are problems in attaining the MDGs, i.e., very large regional disparities, and, the problem of governance - in particular, poor service delivery. The report notes there is evidence of significant synergies among the different MDGs, i.e., a reduction in the proportion of underweight children is strongly associated with a reduction of child mortality. At the same, it needs to be realized that the different MDGs are not necessarily internally consistent. For instance, simultaneous attainment of the poverty and child malnutrition MDGs by Bangladesh would result in 30 percent of the population being poor, but 34 percent of the children being underweight. This inconsistency indicates a problem in the manner in which poverty and/or underweight thresholds are established. But the importance of systematically monitoring MDGs outcomes at disaggregated levels, and evaluating the impact of public programs cannot be overemphasized.
Link to Data Set
“World Bank. 2005. Bangladesh : Attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh, How Likely and What Will it Take to Reduce Poverty, Child Mortality and Malnutrition, Gender Disparities, and to Increase School Enrollment and Completion?. © Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/8627 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”