This week’s Economist contains an excellent article about Bangladesh and it’s progress towards development. It was insightful and interesting in so many different ways, but most importantly it explained how the nation had been extraordinarily successful in improving the welfare of the poor.
The article Bangladesh and Development – The path through the fields explained how development had occurred in Bangladesh without spectacular increases in average incomes, but through ground roots initiatives and a little innovation. It would be a ideal case study for any IB Diploma student as it clearly compares and contrasts relevant health and education indicators, but also goes on to explain the development strategies that have worked in the country. Download a PDF copy of the article here.
The article used statistics (top table) to clearly show how Bangladesh has streaked ahead of both India and Pakistan in terms of nearly all development indicators. Some of the drops are amazing, such as a 10 year increase in life expectancy over the past 20 years, and the decreases in infant and child mortality rates. In many ways the article also highlights the issues the India and Pakistan continue to face and ignore.
The article also illustrates how the two concepts, economic growth and economic development can be decoupled. Last week in a class, I spoke about the differences between the two concepts with the aid of a venn diagram shown below. The example of Bangladesh shows a huge focus on increasing access to healthcare and education for all people, but especially women and young girls. The information in the article could also link into an exploration of GapMinder World or the use of Infographics to show patterns in the data. Click on the links above for some ideas for using each of these in class.