garment industry https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/1765/all en Book review- The Aid Lab: Understanding Bangladesh’s Unexpected Success by Naomi Hossain https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/book-review-aid-lab-understanding-bangladesh-s-unexpected-success-naomi-hossain <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em>Over the summer I read a few absolutely brilliant books – hence the spate of book reviews. This week I will cover two new studies on development’s biggest recent success stories – China, but first Bangladesh.</em></p> <p> <img alt="" height="277" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/aid-lab-cover.jpg" style="float:left" title="The Aid Lab by Naomi Hossain" width="180" />How did Bangladesh go from being a ‘basket case’ (though ‘not necessarily our basket case’ – Henry Kissinger, 1971) to a development success story, claimed by numerous would-be fathers (aid donors, NGOs, feminists, microfinanciers, low cost solution finders)? That’s the subject of an excellent <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-aid-lab-9780198785507?cc=gb&amp;lang=en&amp;" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">new book</a> by <a href="https://www.ids.ac.uk/person/naomi-hossain" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Naomi Hossain</a>.</p> <p> The success is undeniable. Per capita income is up to $2780 from $890 in 1991 (PPP terms). Today, that economic progess is built on 3 pillars: garments (80% of exports, 3m largely female jobs), migration (remittances = 7-10% GDP, about 9m workers overseas, mainly men) and microfinance (which has been used by about half of all households).</p> <p> But perhaps even more interesting, social progress has outstripped economic growth. Infant mortality down from 258/1,000 in 1961 to 47 in 2011; women were having 7 kids in 1961 and are now having 2. In Hossain’s words (she writes well) ‘Bangladesh is the smiling, more often than not sweetly female, face of global capitalist development. Better yet – she often wears a headscarf as she goes about enjoying her new economic and political freedoms, signalling that moderate Islam can couple with global capitalism.’ (And yes, she does acknowledge that there is still a lot of hunger and deprivation).</p> <p> The ‘how’ of Bangladesh’s transformation is reasonably well known. What interests Hossain is the ‘why’. It certainly isn’t down to good governance – ‘it has never been obvious why an elite known best for corruption and violent winner-takes-all politics should have committed its country to a progressive, inclusive development pathway.’</p> </div></div></div> Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:20:00 +0000 Duncan Green 7753 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Complexities of reputation management and policy making in a globalized world: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/complexities-reputation-management-and-policy-making-globalized-world-bangladesh-after-rana-plaza <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="240" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/16237298782_fc7300597d_z.jpg" style="float:left" title=" Solidarity Center/Sifat Sharmin Amita" width="320" />On April 24, 2013, a building called <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Savar_building_collapse" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Rana Plaza</a> in Dhaka came crashing down on thousands of workers, killing more than 1,100 and injuring more than 2,500 individuals. Unlike any other building collapse, this received widespread international attention - and continues to do so - because the building housed factories that sewed garments for many European and American clothing brands. As a result, a chunk of blame for the collapse and deaths was placed on retailers and brands that outsourced their work to Bangladesh, and particularly Rana Plaza.</p> <p> Since the tragedy, these retailers and companies, both big and small, utilized several brand reputation management strategies. This, in turn, impacted the policies of the garment industry in Bangladesh. Primarily, two retailer blocs, The Accord and The Alliance, emerged which have created their own local and international dynamics.</p> <p> <a href="https://bangladeshaccord.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Accord</a> is a legally binding agreement that has been signed by many European and North American companies and allows for factories to be vetted and shut down in case of non-compliance with safety standards. <a href="https://www.bangladeshworkersafety.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Alliance</a>, signed by North American groups such as Walmart and JC Penny, however, does not guarantee any such protections and allows companies to use their own rules with any legal requirements.</p> <p> Interestingly, many companies who are either part of The Alliance or The Accord, choose not to publicise their participation in such agreements on their own websites. This allows them minimize any attention that could turn into criticism while still taking part in initiatives in case there ever is an inquiry from media, regulators, or other interested parties.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:16:00 +0000 Sonia Jawaid Shaikh 7522 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere