Department of Social & Policy Sciences

New book published on extreme poverty, growth and inequality in Bangladesh

Wed May 17 10:17:00 BST 2017

“Extreme growth and inequality in Bangladesh book cover showing a girl washing some clothes

- The book builds upon research from the Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme.


We are pleased to announce the publication of an edited collection entitled Extreme Poverty, Growth and Inequality in Bangladesh . The book builds on the experience of a programme set up to engage specifically with the extreme poor.

Colleagues at the Centre for Development Studies, led by Dr Joe Devine, were responsible for devising and supporting the lesson learning and advocacy strategy for the programme. An important part of this strategy was to use research and lessons to persuade the Government of Bangladesh to give greater policy priority to the extreme poor. The papers of the book were an important part of this successful process.

The book comes at an interesting moment in Bangladesh’s history. The country has achieved lower middle income status by supporting a successful growth strategy, reducing poverty levels and making improvements in other key human development indicators. Yet, one fifth of its large population remains in extreme poverty, and levels of inequality increase.

Whether Bangladesh can continue to be successful and address the needs of its extreme poor and most disadvantaged citizens, is the question that lies at the heart of this book. Through a set of carefully selected papers, the book attempts to understand the specific character and trajectories of extreme poverty in Bangladesh, examine policy options and scenarios where the needs of the extreme poor can be addressed, and explore the lessons that emerge from this new knowledge. While there is no panacea to eradicate extreme poverty, there are opportunities that can improve the lives of those who live in extreme poverty. This book identifies some of these opportunities, highlighting the need for bold and progressive policy decisions that favour the extreme poor. It is possible for Bangladesh to make serious efforts to eradicate extreme poverty but it will have to make difficult decisions to achieve this.