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The AEDSB Washington Seminar Series


Poverty as Injustice: Policy Agendas for South Asia

Speaker: Prof. Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, Centre of Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh

Moderator: Ahmad Ahsan, Lead Economist, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank

When: Thursday, July 26, 2012; 12.30pm - 2.00pm

Where: World Bank, Main Complex Room MC 4-100, 1818 H Street NW, Washington D.C.

Visitors will first need to collect a pass from the Main Complex (MC) Building Visitor's Center on the corner of 18th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Please allow an extra 15 minutes for this. If you need a pass to attend the seminar, please contact: Mildred Gonsalvez ( mgonsalvez@worldbank.org or 202-458-7156) or Amer Ahmed (sahmed20@worldbank.org or 202-473-6454).



Policies for poverty alleviation across South Asia recognize but inadequately address the sources of injustice which create and reproduce poverty. Contemporary interventions to reduce poverty have thus tended to focus on the symptoms of poverty rather than its sources. The presentation draws upon Prof. Sobhan's most recent book Challenging the Injustice of Poverty: Agendas for Inclusive Development in South Asia(Sage, 2010) . He highlights four areas of structural injustice: (a) unequal access to assets; (b) unequal participation in the market; (c) unequal access to human development; and (d) unjust governance. Any credible agenda to eradicate poverty should seek to correct these injustices which perpetuate poverty and accentuate inequality. This serves as a prelude to spelling out some doable interventions which serve to challenge the injustice of poverty by strengthening the capacity of the poor in South Asia to participate on more equitable terms in the market economy.

About the Presenters

Professor Rehman Sobhan is currently the Chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh. He is also a member of the Board of SACEPS, and Chairman of the Pratichi Trust (Bangladesh) set up by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. Professor Sobhan has published a large number of books, research monographs and articles published in professional journals, relating to the political economy of development, public enterprise and privatization, foreign aid, petropolitics, agrarian reform, South-South and regional cooperation in South Asia, democracy and governance.
Previously he has served as a Professor of Economics, Dhaka University, Member, Bangladesh Planning Commission, Director General, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Visiting Fellow, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford, Member, of the Advisory Council of the President of Bangladesh, Founder and Executive Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Executive Director, South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS), Visiting Scholar, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, Senior Research Fellow, Ash Institute of Democratic Governance, Harvard University. He has held a number of professional positions which include President, Bangladesh Economic Association, Member, U.N. Committee for Development Planning, Member, Governing Council of the U.N. University, Tokyo, Member of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva, Member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association, Member of the Group of Emminent Persons appointed by the SAARC Heads of State to review the future of SAARC and Chairman of the Board of Grameen Bank.