How Research Data Defines Development
Information and communication technology play crucial roles in innovation
Many exciting numbers define Bangladesh. Its gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by 188 percent over the last decade. From 40 percent in 2005, its poverty level has come down to 21.8 percent in 2018. Bangladesh is doing fantastically against many global indices in terms of inclusive development and business environment, for example. On the other hand, some numbers associated with Bangladesh are not as encouraging. The country remains one of the most climate-vulnerable regions. And its global peace rank has slid down lately, apparently due to the Rohingya refugee crisis that began in August 2017.
Nevertheless, Bangladesh’s development story over the past decade can be called a journey with a vision, where information and communication technology (ICT) has played a crucial role.
Digitalizing Bangladesh: Vision and Reality
Before the 2008 general election, the political party Bangladesh Awami League proposed a concept called the ‘Vision 2021’ in its election manifesto. As the party assumed power in 2009, the vision was translated into a perspective plan for 2010−2021. Both the vision and the plan envisaged Bangladesh becoming a middle-income country by 2021 – the year the nation will celebrate 50 years of independence. It was further realized that ICT-based economic development would be a crucial aspect of attaining that vision. That insight led into the idea of a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ and allowed plans, resources and execution to make it real.
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