Can Bangladesh become a welfare state

17 Jul 2017 by Göran Jonsson, Sr. Programme Adviser, UNDP Bangladesh

The National Social Security Strategy approved by the Cabinet in 2015 points to a strong political commitment of Bangladesh to become a welfare state. The welfare state has potential to provide economic security, advance opportunities and ensure wellbeing for all and should, therefore, be of shared interest to citizens of different walks of life. Welfare states come in different shapes, determined foremost by whether universal or selective policies are chosen. However, common to all is that the State as a provider of social security assumes responsibility for guaranteeing a minimum level of welfare to its citizens. This happens to be the majority view in Bangladesh and it is also a mandate of the state as laid down in the country’s Constitution. Poverty reduction has become a unifying moral issue in political discourse and culture. These are good starting points. A welfare state is based on principles of public responsibility for those falling behind, with certain demands on scope and quality of the social security system. Setting standards for what it would take for Bangladesh to become a welfare state, the Core Diagnostic Instrument (CODI), recently developed by a consortium of global development agencies to assess effectiveness of national social security systems, … Read more

Celebration of International Youth Day

12 Aug 2015

Drishty Chittagong won the International Youth Day debate by effectively arguing that good governance and strong implementation of policies must accompany employment opportunities in order to address issues such as drug use by youth.
Wednesday August 12th marked the annual celebration of International Youth Day. This year’s theme of “civic engagement” was spot on for the UNDP’s pilot project, Youth Empowerment for Development (YED). Over the past six months, UNDP has been testing approaches to encourage young people’s engagement with policy and decision makers starting with strengthening and amplifying youth voices. Centering around “civic engagement”, IYD activities in Chittagong included a youth fair, which highlighted opportunities for young people, a debate on youth unemployment and a dialogue with councilors from Chittagong City Corporation (CCC). Building on the success of the CCC election dialogue, the dialogue offered a rare opportunity for young people to directly interact with elected councilors from CCC.  It was very clear that young people have a strong desire to play a greater role in the running of the CCC and very much wanted to be part of the solution to many challenges the city faces such as the preservation of Chittagong’s remaining hills, traffic congestion and waterlogging. Furthermore, youth asked after the plans CCC had to incorporate the concerns and needs of street children, the hijra community and differently abled residents, including those with vision impairments. As Pauline Tamesis, UNDP Country Director, … Read more

Transforming towards digitalization of Bangladesh Judiciary

09 Jul 2015

Releasing of Timely Justice for All in Bangladesh-Business Process Mapping Publication by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Bangladesh in the workshop.
A well-functioning judiciary is a crucial determinant of a country's economic performance. It promotes efficient production and distribution of goods and services by securing, among other things, the enforcement of contracts. Conversely, weak contract enforcement could lead firms adopting inefficient technologies (for example those that minimise dependence on other firms), with detrimental effects on productivity. It is widely understood that a judiciary effective in enforcing the rule of law would not only be conducive to trade, financing and investment but would also promote social peace and trust. However, judicial systems, particularly in developing countries, continue to suffer from inefficiencies that have a negative impact on socio-economic well-being. Commonly faced lacunae in judicial performance include (a) length of time it takes for cases to be disposed; (b) uncertainty in the progress of judicial proceedings; and (c) difficulty for the common man to access judicial services, particularly related to the cases she/he is concerned with or is a party to. In this backdrop caseflow management as an approach to keep track of cases and ensure their smooth passage through allocation of most appropriate time and resources forms the very backbone of the judicial system. Caseflow management techniques are now widely adopted as a … Read more

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