IRBD reports represent a pioneering research initiative undertaken by the Centre for Policy Dialogue and gives an independent analysis of Bangladesh's development efforts. CPD's first volume on Experiences with Economic Reform: A Review of Bangladesh's Development 1995 was very well received and has been extensively used by politicians, experts, and policymakers to the point where it has by now become an essential reference point as well as a source of influence on public opinion.
In the recent volume, a panel of eminent experts, most of whom contributed to IRBD 1995, now focus their attention on the developments and changes in the economy in Financial Year 1995-1996 where IRBD 1996 continues this in-depth analysis of some of the major issues challenging the economy. The volume presents a wealth of information on the development process and draws attention to the immediate tasks which need to be addressed in the near future if the economy is to graduate to a sustainable growth path. It is hoped that the current volume will be of use to the new government as well as the parliament as they address the formidable task of dynamising the economy and improving the quality of governance in Bangladesh.
This volume, as was the case of with its predecessor, will also be useful to students, experts and policymakers who will be exposed to a challenging analysis of the current state of the economy in Bangladesh, the quality of public expenditure and the long-term impact of policies in areas such as environment and the position of women in society. IRBD 1996 covers thirteen themes which include the Macroeconomy, the Financial Sector, the Fiscal Sector, Poverty, the External Sector, Agriculture (both crop and non-crop), Industry, Education, Health, Population, Gender, Environment, and Quality of Public Investment. The last themes are new to the IRBD and provide a basis for a continuing discussion of these issues in future IRBDs.