The Current Situation
Bangladesh has made great strides in reducing hunger. From 2000/02 to 2014/16, prevalence of undernourishment fell by half, from 20.8 percent to 15.1 percent—a sign of strong, yet incomplete progress.
Child undernutrition, manifested in stunting or low height for age, is still high. The proportion of children under 5 years of age affected by stunting in Bangladesh dropped from 48 to 36 percent between 2005 and 2014. However, prevalence of child stunting varies by demographics: In 2015, it was more prevalent in rural areas (37 percent) than urban areas (31 percent), and among the poorest quintile (49 percent) compared to the wealthiest quintile (19 percent).
Compact2025 activities in Bangladesh
Compact2025 is committed to partnering with Bangladesh and relevant stakeholders for the acceleration of the end of hunger and undernutrition by 2025. To achieve these outcomes, Compact2025 has undertaken several strategic activities:
- Governance Innovation Unit (GIU) Capacity Training, March 2018
- Knowledge and Innovation Partnership, October 2017
- Compact2025 Bangladesh Forum, October 2017
- Roundtable Discussion: Accelerating Progress in Bangladesh, May 2016
On May 5, 2016 a country stakeholder roundtable discussion was held in Dhaka, bringing together relevant actors to initiate Compact2025 work in Bangladesh. A scoping study was developed to inform Compact2025 initiatives in the country and provides an overview of the current food security and nutrition challenges and opportunities in the country. The study formulates key relevant strategies, policies, and programs in place. It also assesses knowledge, policy, and implementation gaps that impede progress.
The Roundtable Discussion held in May 2016 resulted in the creation of 5 key recommendations for the progression of Compact2025 activities and outcomes in Bangladesh. These recommendations are:
- Make strategies, policies, and programs more nutrition-driven
- Empower women, smallholders, and consumers
- Fine-tune, consolidate, and operationalize policies
- Improve coordination and engage with non-traditional partners
- Fill data and knowledge gaps
On October 4th, 2017 IFPRI and the Governance Innovation Unit (GIU) of the Prime Minister's Office of Bangladesh agreed to the establishment of a Knowledge and Innovation (K&I) Hub in the country. The Governance Innovation Unit (GIU) of the Prime Minister’s Office will act as the platform for the K&I Hub, which will support the GIU’s research and analytical capacity, conduct joint research on priority areas and advocate for evidence-based policies and programs for ending hunger and undernutrition.
IFPRI’s Policy Research and Strategy Support Program (PRSSP), in partnership with Compact2025 and USAID, also organized a workshop on “Eliminating Hunger and Malnutrition: Are Sustainable Solutions in Sight?” with experts coming together to discuss and debate the work needed to address poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in the country. Researchers presented new evidence drawing from the Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) dataset, which provides comprehensive household panel data. The workshop identified knowledge gaps and opportunities for accelerating progress to end hunger and malnutrition in Bangladesh.
Having timely access and correctly interpreting data are key ingredients for sustainable development. As a first step in a new partnership, from March 4-15, 2018, IFPRI researchers under PRSSP designed and facilitated a two-week customized quantitative data analysis training using the STATA statistical software for 8 government officials in the GIU of the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office.
IFPRI’s initial training will provide the basis for further sophisticated analytical trainings on assessing the impact of programs, evaluating performance in achieving SDGs, and food policy analysis. Altogether, these trainings aim to sharpen the critical thinking and practical skills needed to poise Bangladesh to rise above today and tomorrow’s development challenges and accelerate progress to progress to end hunger and malnutrition in Bangladesh.
Leadership Council and Technical Advisory Committee Members in Bangladesh
- Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Leadership Council
- Matia Chowdhury, Minister of Agriculture, People's Republic of Bangladesh, Leadership Council
- Mushtaque Chowdhury, Vice-Chairperson, BRAC, Technical Advisory Committee
Relevant Resource and Information
IFPRI. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2019
Gillespie, Stuart; Bhavani, RV; Dangour, Alan; Poole, Nigel; van den Bold, Mara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2019
Countries/Regions:SOUTH ASIA; INDIA; BANGLADESH; PAKISTAN; AFGHANISTAN;
Seymour, Greg; Masuda, Yuta J.; Williams, Jason; Schneider, Kate. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2019