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South-South Ideas: Report on the Potential for Monitoring and Evaluation of Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh (2019)

This research report is the result of a scoping visit to Bangladesh in August 2018 within the context of the early stage of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) programme for special economic zones (SEZs) of the Institute of New Structural Economics (INSE) at Peking University, China. It is the collaborative work of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) and INSE.1

Acknowledging the current lack of systematic understanding of the dynamics at work behind successes and failures of SEZ development, the goal of the INSE M&E programme is to overcome data gaps by creating a normalized, multi-country data set that is collected on an ongoing basis and incorporates quantitative and qualitative data. The data to be collected fall into four broad categories: (a) descriptive statistics on the SEZs and their firms; (b) existing infrastructure; (c) legal, regulatory and management frameworks; and (d) panel case studies to capture the stories behind the quantitative data. These data sets are expected to deliver actionable insights to help governments and their international partners to make decisions and investments regarding SEZs that maximize their benefits, including structural transformation and the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In line with the principles of South-South cooperation (SSC), the indicators within these categories are being developed from the bottom up using actual country experiences investigated through country pilot programmes.

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