The Financial Express

Int’l Development Conference kicks off

Unbiased, independent research crucial for development, say experts

| Updated: December 01, 2021 21:25:26

Unbiased, independent research crucial for development, say experts

Accurate, unbiased and independent data analysis is crucial for development as methods for proper agricultural marketing, poverty reduction and inequality need to be focused for academic research. 

Speakers came up with the observation at a three-day international development conference titled ‘Annual BIDS Conference on Development (ABCD)’, organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), to disseminate academic research on the country’s development scenario to the world.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave the inaugural note for the event which was read out by Binayak Sen, director-general of BIDS.

There is a need for revisiting the assessment of economic and social performance of Bangladesh at its 50 years of independence, BIDS director-general said in his presentation.

At the time of independence, Bangladesh was lagging behind Pakistan in most economic and social indicators but by the late 2010s, it crossed the level of Pakistan in most economic and social indicators, he read.

Meanwhile, in many social indicators, especially in gender-specific indicators, Bangladesh outperformed India. And, this is true for some economic indicators such as the manufacturing sector’s share in the GDP, female labour force participation and urbanisation rate, he added.

It clearly appears that the major turnaround point for Bangladesh in economic and social progress was in the decade of 2010s, he said in his presentation.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Research Fellow Emeritus Nurul Islam, also former deputy chairman, planning commission presented the keynote paper at the inauguration event.

He pointed that the RMG sector and the remittance inflow are the forefront of Bangladesh's current journey towards development. Remittance is the source of income of the country and it contributes to rural development in Bangladesh.

He termed income inequality an issue that lies with political problems.

 “Accurate, unbiased and unpolitical data analysis and research is important for development and reading the situation properly. Independent research as an important tool for development,” he continued.

He underlined the need for training up the labour forces so that they can attain and take the advantage of the government input and modern technology.     

Planning Minister MA Mannan said that Bangladesh is now quite a different country in terms of its journey towards development.

 “In terms of giving freedom, it is a very fundamental issue here for us to work in organisations like BIDS. The prime minister has given us a wide path to work in an independent manner,” the minister continued.

He also supported independent research urging the people and government agencies to involve themselves in research.

He also said, “The BIDS will unconditionally enjoy the work freedom in future at least as long as I remain planning minister.”

He urged the BIDS to take the economic terms and development scenario to the people living in the village so that they can understand the change and take advantage of the development that has been made.

Women participation in the workforce is among the major factors behind the development scenario in Bangladesh, the minister mentioned.

Dr Mashiur Rahman, Economic Affairs adviser to the prime minister, also spoke at the event as the special guest.

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