Independent Review of Bangladesh's Development (IRBD)

CPD considers establishment of domestic ownership over development agenda to be one of the most important prerequisites for successful implementation of policy reforms and good governance in the context of Bangladesh. CPD is of the opinion that proactive engagement of the civil society and stakeholders in the process of policy design and implementation could pay high dividends in terms of successfully addressing the developmental challenges in Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s major documents that review periodic economic performance include the World Bank’s Country Economic Memorandum (CEM), the response of the GOB to the CEM, and GOB’s Annual Economic Survey. However, the task of designing an endogenously derived independent review of Bangladesh’s developmental efforts demands much more. Such a review, which is governed neither by the need for self-validation, nor by the delimiting perspective of the CEM, was a novel idea in Bangladesh when it was first floated by the CPD in 1993 for bringing out IRBD. It was also a time when the civil society in Bangladesh was gradually beginning to emerge as a force to reckon with after decade long military rule. The emergent civil society also needed to make its presence felt by putting forward alternative policy suggestions. CPD accepted the challenge of preparing such an Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development (IRBD) every year. It was decided at the very beginning that the underlying vision, design and execution of the IRBD would remain, from beginning to end, a home grown effort.

The objectives of the IRBD include the following:  

  • Undertake an independent review of the performance of the Bangladesh economy by conducting in-depth analyses focusing on issues of critical importance to the economy.
  • Bring together stakeholders in Bangladesh's development by stimulating a culture of dialogue and discussion on various important developmental issues which are put under scrutiny in the IRBDs.
  • Encourage informed debate on critical developmental issues in Bangladesh.
  • Provide policy inputs to decision-makers.
  • Build and stimulate endogenous capacity to design and implement domestic policy agendas.
  • Disseminate the findings of the IRBD amongst experts, policymakers, donors, the business community, NGOs and other groups in the civil society of Bangladesh through in-house, regional and national dialogues and through regular interface with the media.


The IRBD envisages a number of outputs, including the following:  

  • Produce annually an IRBD report providing an objective analysis of the performance of the overall economy as well as that of particular sectors.
  • Gradually build up a database that would include both published national data and data generated by primary investigations undertaken for the purpose of producing the IRBD.
  • Establish a tradition of effective intellectual cooperation with experts outside Bangladesh (both non-resident Bangladeshis as well as foreigners who are interested in issues which are important for Bangladesh's development) through discussion and dialogues, exchange of information through the internet and other modes of networking.

IRBD Outputs

Annual Volumes

Other IRBD Outputs


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