This is my contribution to the conversation about Bangladesh at 50, a collection of pieces that asks ‘Are We Rich Yet?’ https://www.becomingbangladesh.net/. The essays are about the tragedies & the comedies of a country fast rising into its own. There are cyclones & famines but also celebrities, airports, palaces and a pair of diamond shoes.
What we learned from the photography of Rana Plaza
This is a collaboration with the brilliant photojournalist Ismail Ferdous in which we reflect on his experiences of photographing the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013. The piece explores the role of visual evidence in advancing claims to accountability.
As part of a larger reform of its social protection system, Bangladesh expanded coverage of its nearly 30 year old conditional cash transfer programme, so it now goes to all students at public primary schools. It is also sent by mobile money. This paper explores the political economy of these changes, looking at why the government of Bangladesh decided to cut out the political middleman and give cash directly to 10 million mothers on condition their kids showed up to school and passed exams. The research was conducted with the Development Research Initiative group, with support from the Effective States & Inclusive Development research programme at Manchester University. As always, feedback is very welcome.
As a contribution to a new open access book about the SDGs, The Palgrave Handbook of Development Cooperation for Achieving the 2030 Agenda, a new chapter on women’s empowerment in Bangladesh available here.
I research and write about global development, often about Bangladesh. I currently work as a Research Professor at the Accountability Research Center at American University in Washington DC, on leave from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England.
I have researched elite perceptions of poverty, food and fuel riots, disaster politics (cyclones, famine, industrial disaster), workers’ rights, women’s empowerment and the role of civil society in development.
This site hosts some of my publicly available work, and links to places where you can find details of the rest.