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Professor Rehman Sobhan

Professor Rehman SobhanChairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD),
Former Member, Advisory Council of the Caretaker Government (1991) and
Former Director General Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS)

Professor Rehman Sobhan was educated at St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling, Aitichison College, Lahore and Cambridge University where he was awarded an MA in Economics. He began his working career at the faculty of Economics, Dhaka University in 1957 and retired as Professor of Economics in 1977. He served as Member, Bangladesh Planning Commission, in charge of the Divisions of Industry, Power and Natural Resources, and of Physical Infrastructure, as Chairman, Research Director, Director General and Emeritus Fellow, BIDS from and as a Visiting Fellow, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford. He was a Member of the Advisory Council of the President of Bangladesh in 1991, in charge of the Ministry of Planning and the Economic Relations Division. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). He has been the Executive Director, South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS), a Visiting Scholar, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University and a Senior Research Fellow, at the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance, Harvard University. Currently he is the Chairman of CPD.

Professor Sobhan has held a number of important professional positions. He was a Member of the Panel of Economists to review the Third and Fourth Five Year Plans of Pakistan, Editor, Pakistan Economic Journal and Editor, Forum, a weekly magazine by The Daily Star. He served the independent Government of Bangladesh as Envoy Extraordinary with special responsibility for Economic Affairs, during the Liberation War in 1971. He was President, Bangladesh Economic Association, Member, Bangladesh National Commission on Money, Banking and Finance, Member, U.N. Committee for Development Planning, Member, Governing Council of the U.N. University, Tokyo, Member of the Commission for a New Asia, Kuala Lumpur, Member of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva, Member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association, Member of the Group of Emminent Persons appointed by the SAARC Heads of State to review the future of SAARC, Chairman, South Asia Centre for Policy Studies, Chairman of the Board of Grameen Bank, Member of the BIDS Board of Trustees and Member of the International Advisory Committee of the Ash Institute, Harvard University. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Freedom Foundation, Bangladesh, Chairman of the Pratichi Trust (Bangladesh) set up by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and Board Member of SACEPS, Kathmandu.

He has published 27 books, 15 research monographs and 140 articles in professional journals. His principal publications include: Basic Democracies, Works Programme and Rural Development in East Pakistan, Public Enterprise in an Intermediate Regime, The Crisis of External Dependence: The Political Economy of Foreign Aid to Bangladesh, Debt Default and the Crisis of State Sponsored entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, Planning and Public Action for Asian Women, Rethinking the Role of the State in Development: Asian Perspectives, Bangladesh: Problems of Governance, Agrarian Reform and Social Transformation, Aid Dependence and Donor Policy: The Case of Tanzania, Transforming Eastern South Asia, Rediscovering the Southern Silk Route, Challenging Injustice: The Odyssey of a Bangladeshi Economist, Milestones to Bangladesh and The Political Economy of Malgovernance in Bangladesh.


Basic Democracies, Works Programme and Rural Development in East Pakistan. Bureau of Economic Research, Dhaka University/Oxford University Press, Pakistan: pp viii+328, 1968

Rural Poverty and Agrarian Reform in the Philippines. Rome: FAO: pp XII + 115, 1983 Public Allocative Strategies, Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation: A Global Perspective. Dhaka: University Press Limited: pp 138, 1992

Agrarian Reform and Social Transformation: Preconditions for Development. London: Zed Books: pp 160, 1993

Public Enterprise in an Intermediate Regime: A Study in the Political Economy of Bangladesh (with Muzaffer Ahmed). Dhaka: Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies: pp XXIII + 624, 1980

Public Enterprise and the Nature of the State: The Case of South Asia. Dhaka: Centre for Social Studies: pp. VII + 170, 1983

Impact of Budgetary Policy on Concentrations of Income and Wealth. Commission on Taxation and Tariffs, Govt. of Pakistan, 1965

OPEC Resources and Collective Self Reliance for the Third World. Oxford: Centre for Research on the New International Economic Order, 1979

Intra-Regional Trade Expansion Through Fuller Utilisation of Industrial Capacity in the Asian Region. Industries and Housing Division, Bangkok: ESCAP, 1975

International Economic Relations within South Asia: Prospects for Regional Co-operation. Interfutures Project, Paris: OECD, 1977.

Political Dimensions of South Asian Cooperation: The Perspective for Bangladesh. BIDS Research Report No. 75, Dhaka: pp. 1-70, June 1988

Rediscovering a South Asian Community: Civil Society in Search of its Future. Monograph Series: Civil Society No. 2, Published by International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo: pp 59,1997

Transforming Eastern South Asia: Building Growth Zones for Economic Cooperation. Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp XI + 199, 1999

Rediscovering the Southern Silk Route: Integrating Asia`s Transport Infrastructure. Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp XIII + 185, 2000

The Crisis of External Dependence: The Political Economy of Foreign Aid to Bangladesh. London: Zed Press (1982) and Dhaka: University Press Ltd (1993): pp 252.

From Aid Dependence to Self-Reliance: Development Options for Bangladesh (Edited). Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp VIII + 296, 1990

Bangladesh: The Path to Self-Reliant Development (in Bangla).Dhaka: Jatiya Shahitya Prakashani, 1990

Aid Dependence and Donor Policy: The Case of Tanzania with Lessons from Bangladesh`s Experience. Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp 224, 1997

The Future of International Development Assistance: An Asian Perspective. New York: Office of Policy Studies, UNDP

Debt Default to the Development Finance Institutions: The Crisis of State-sponsored Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh (Edited). Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp. 320, 1991

Reform of State-Owned Enterprises and Privatisation (Edited). Dhaka: Pathak Shamabesh, 1998

Privatisation in Bangladesh: An Agenda In Search of a Policy (edited). Dhaka: University Press Ltd, 2005

The Social Background of Enterpreneurship in Bangladesh: An Occupational Profile of Borrowers from the DFIs (with Binayak Sen). BIDS Research Report No. 71, Dhaka: pp IV + 81 January 1998

The Structure of DFI Sponsored Investment in Bangladesh (with Ahmad Ahsan). BIDS Research Report No. 76, Dhaka: pp 1-41, June 1988

Private Foreign Investment in Bangladesh: The Perspective of Donors and Investors (with D. Bhattacharya). BIDS Research Report No. 77, Dhaka: pp III + 71, 1988

Role and Problems of Public Financial Institutions in the Recovery of Loans: Case Studies of Nationalised Commercial Banks (with M.N.E. Fatmi). BIDS Research Report No. 111, Dhaka: pp III + 160. August 1990

Problems of Repayment to the DFIs in Bangladesh: Results of a Field Survey of Selected Enterprises (with Ahmad Ahsan). BIDS Research Report No. 112, Dhaka: pp 1-70 1990

The Development of the Private Sector in Bangladesh: A Review of the Evolution and Outcome of the State Policy. BIDS Research Report No. 124, Dhaka: pp 1-95, December1990

The Economic Performance of Denationalised Industries in Bangladesh: The Case of the Jute and Textile (with S.A. Mahmood). BIDS Research Report No. 129, Dhaka: pp 1-66, June 1991

The Crisis of the Bourgeois State: Selected Papers on the Bangladesh Economy (in Bangla). Dhaka: Jatiya Shahitya Prakashani:pp 204, 1982

Rethinking the Role of the State in Development: Asian Perspectives. Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp 323, 1993

Bangladesh: Problems of Governance. New Delhi: Konark Publishers Ltd: pp XII+295, 1993

Towards a Theory of Governance and Development: Learning from East Asia (Edited). Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp 392, 1998

Crisis in Governance: A Review of Bangladesh`s Development 1997 (Edited). Dhaka: University Press Ltd, 1998

Changes and Challenges: A Review of Bangladesh`s Development, 2000 (Edited). Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp 344, 2001

Good Governance for Structural Change: An Agenda for Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for South Asia. United Nations, ESCAP, 1999

Planning and Public Action for Asian Women. Dhaka: University Press Ltd: pp 118, 1992

How Bad Governance Impedes Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh. Technical Paper No. 143, Paris: OECD Development Centre: pp 1-57, November 1998

The South Asia Poverty Alleviation Programme: A Review. Report prepared for UNDP, June, 2000 (Under Publication by UNDP, Kathmandu).

Email: rsobhan@cpd.org.bd

Telephone: (880 2) 9133199

Fax: (880 2) 8130951