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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Smart Solutions for Bangladesh

Bangladesh Priorities research explored 76 solutions to help Bangladesh, covering themes from poverty and health to education, infrastructure and gender equality. Download our project brochure for complete breakdown...

    Top Three Priorities for Bangladesh

    Using the Copenhagen Consensus process, our Eminent Panel identified top priorities for Bangladesh. Top-ranked policy interventions were investment in tuberculosis (TB) treatment, infant nutrition, and e-government.


    TB kills 80,000 Bangladeshis each year. Halting this death toll would stop nearly one in every eleven Bangladeshi deaths. Research by Dr. Anna Vassall, senior lecturer in health economics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, outlines a cost-effective TB treatment strategy using community health clinics that costs just Tk 7,850 per patient. Treating one person can save multiple lives. In total, each taka will achieve 21 takas of good.  Learn more.

    Digital Bangladesh

    Bangladesh spends more than Tk 720 billion (Tk 72,000 crore) on public procurement annually. Making this process more efficient would avoid delays and cost overruns and increase efficiency. Research by Dr. Wahid Abdallah, a research fellow at the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development and Assistant Professor, BRAC University, shows that each taka spent on digital procurement will achieve 663 takas of good. In addition, research by Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director of the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, finds that creating electronic land records would provide an incredible 619 takas of benefits per taka spent. Learn more.

    Digitizing land records is the type of policy that Bangladesh should prioritize. We need to embrace the digital age and secure property rights for women and men equally to unlock economic opportunities."

    - Selima Ahmad, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and founder

    Infant Nutrition

    Bangladesh has had great success fighting hunger, but there is more work to do. Stunting affects around 6 million Bangladeshi children under age five, decreasing cognitive development, and leading to worse health outcomes, school performance, and productivity. New research by Jonathan Rose, a research advisor with the South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies, examines programs to fight malnutrition by delivering nutrients and micronutrients to young children and pregnant mothers. Rose’s research estimates that if these supplements were delivered to everyone, stunting would fall from 36 percent to an estimated 29 percent—averting stunting in roughly 450,000 children. Learn more.

    More Good Ideas

    Other very high-ranked policy ideas for Bangladesh include:

    • greater investment in transportation infrastructure to mitigate the need for private automobiles, motorcycles, auto-rickshaws and cycle- rickshaws;

    • efforts to increase secondary school education for girls;

    • providing iron and folic acid supplements during pregnancy, to improve health outcomes for mothers and their young children.

    Want to learn more? Download the Eminent Panel’s full findings.

    Making choices is not an easy task. But if we want to get the best possible impact for our limited resources, it is essential to prioritize our options. The cooperation with Copenhagen Consensus Center has been a highly informative and valuable experience, and the results of Bangladesh Priorities will help BRAC specifically and the country in general set our future priorities."

    - Dr. Muhammad Musa, Executive Director of BRAC 

    Scroll down to view the full eminent panel ranking


    Rank Intervention
    1 TB treatment
    2 e-procurement across government
    3 Nutrition & micronutrients, ½-5 year olds
    4 Land records digitization
    5 Bus Priority for Dhaka
    6 Increase secondary education for girls
    7 Iron and folic acid in pregnancy
    8 Psycho-social stimulation for stunting
    9 Immunize children in urban slums
    10 Hypertension medication
    11 Union Digital Center migration services
    12 Retrofit kilns, outdoor air pollution
    13 More services at Union Digital Centers
    14 Treat arsenic for 20% worst affected
    15 Newborn homecare by health workers
    16 Reform VAT and automate collection
    17 Access to contraception
    18 Golden Rice R&D
    19 Expand village courts
    20 RMG factory compliance
    21 Balanced protein energy in pregnancy
    22 Solid waste management in Dhaka
    23 Multi-drug resistant TB treatment
    24 Tobacco tax
    25 Immunize children in remote areas
    26 Facility births with skilled attendant
    27 Shared diesel to replace kerosene
    28 Import coal for more power
    29 Calcium in pregnancy
    30 RMG Palli special zone
    31 Gasifier stove
    32 Ultra-poor graduation programs
    33 Skills training for migrants
    34 Expand broadband
    35 Diabetes treatment
    36 Trade liberalization
    37 Household solar to replace kerosene
    38 Sanitation
    39 Group and teach according to ability
    40 Biomass cookstoves, indoor air pollution
    41 Hand-washing promotion
    42 Stormwater drainage in Dhaka
    43 Transport infrastructure for Dhaka
    44 Treat arsenic for all affected
    45 Boost agricultural productivity
    46 Early warning systems and shelters
    47 Restoration of Buriganga river system
    48 On-the-job management training
    49 Smokeless tobacco cessation
    50 Resettlement to manufacturing cities
    51 Improve teacher accountability
    52 Polders, flood level less than 3m
    53 Padma Bridge
    54 Improve school management
    55 New hybrid kilns, outdoor air pollution
    56 Trade facilitation
    57 Treat and immunize cervical cancer
    58 Seasonal migration stipends
    59 Mangrove protection in Sundarbans
    60 Livelihood programs
    61 Flexible microfinance
    62 Traditional microfinance
    63 Vocational training
    64 Provide BAU inputs like textbooks
    65 LPG cookstoves, indoor air pollution
    66 Unrestricted roads to North East India
    67 Unconditional cash transfers
    68 Unrestricted roads to Bhutan and Nepal
    69 Import and domestic coal for more power
    70 Computer assisted learning
    71 Bond market
    72 Polders, flood level more than 3m