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The civil service’s “fast food approach†to development policy-making in Bangladesh: critique and agenda for reform

Mohammad Mizanur Rahman and Fahimul Quadir

Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2018, vol. 40, issue 3, 159-174

Abstract: Since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, the international donor community has largely shaped the nature and direction of the country’s development plans. In most cases, successive governments have introduced development policies and programmes within the broad framework of international development co-operation that has frequently overlooked the local context. A significant part of the reason why donors have been able to play a dominant role in setting the country’s development agenda is the inability of the civil service to serve as a challenge to externally-driven models of development. As is explored in this article, civil servants have lacked the capacity and political will to assume proactively a vital role in the policy-making process. This has resulted in a “fast food approach†which has allowed donors to have considerable control over the country’s development. In response, civil service reform needs urgent and high priority attention in line with successful reform initiatives in other countries.

Date: 2018
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