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The AEDSB Washington Seminar Series


“Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh: Creating Opportunities and Bridging the East-West Divide” Findings from the Bangladesh Poverty Assessment

Speaker: Ambar Narayan and Hassan Zaman, Poverty Reduction Group, The World Bank

When: Monday, April 20, 2009; 12.30 pm. to 2.00 pm (NEW TIME)

Where: Room MC 10-100, The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W. Washington D.C. 20433

If you need a pass to attend the seminar, please contact one of the following:
SAhmed20@worldbank.org (202-473-6454), AAhsan@worldbank.org (202-473-1672), SHye@worldbank.org (202-473-1638) or BSen@worldbank.org (202-473-9397).


Bangladesh has experienced rapid poverty reduction in recent years, reducing the poverty rate by almost 2 percentage points annually between 2000 and 2005. The presenters discuss this and other findings from the  World Bank's 2008 Poverty Assessment report which documents Bangladesh's trends in poverty and inequality since 2000 and the outlook for the future, taking into account shocks to the economy in 2007/08. The report highlights the key factors contributing to this success and the constraints that need to be relieved in order to make further progress. The decline in national poverty rate however masks rising disparities between regions within the country. The report unpacks the factors that have contributed to regional disparity, finding evidence that the lack of integration of the lagging regions with the dynamic regions in the country can be attributed to a number of constraints that demand urgent attention. The work also includes a special focus on the dynamics of the labour market, progress in human development outcomes and the effectiveness of safety nets in mitigating the impact of shocks. It aims to provide concrete policy suggestions so that analysis can be translated into actions which further improve the lives of the poor.

Poverty in Bangladesh (ppt)

About the Presenters

Ambar Narayan is a Sr. Economist in the PREM anchor, Poverty Reduction Group, working on poverty and distributional analysis and impact evaluations of Bank programs. Up until July 2008, Mr. Narayan was in the South Asia Region, where he worked on analytical reports, monitoring and evaluation and safety net programs in countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. He has also been involved in a number of post-disaster emergency operations and impact assessments in South Asia -including Sri Lanka after the tsunami, Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake, and Bangladesh after the 2007 floods and cyclone.

Hassan Zaman is currently a Lead Economist in the central Poverty Reduction Group of the World Bank. In his ten years at the World Bank, Hassan has also worked in the Africa and South Asia regions as a country economist during which time he was involved in a range of policy reform and investment loans. He has carried out analytical work on food prices, public expenditures, poverty, micro-finance and NGOs. Prior to joining the Bank, Hassan worked at BRAC in Bangladesh for four years.