Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

17 May2016

The Evidence on Education Reforms

Published by Project Syndicate

It is almost universally agreed that more education is good for society. But it turns out that some popular educational policies achieve very little, while others that are often overlooked can make a huge difference. Reducing class sizes would seem to be an obvious improvement; but by itself, smaller class size has not been shown to boost educational performance. Likewise, extending the school day seems an easy way to ensure that pupils learn more; but research finds that time spent in school matters considerably less than what happens there.

16 May2016

Healthier mothers for a brighter future

Published by The Daily Star

Bangladesh has had incredible success fighting hunger. In 1990, almost two-thirds of children younger than five were underweight, but less than one-third are today. Recently, Bangladesh even received a “special recognition” award from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation for outstanding progress in fighting hunger and poverty. National rates of malnutrition, however, are still very high, and stunting is a particular concern. When children are chronically undernourished or have to fight many infections early in life, they can become shorter than normal for their age...

9 May2016

The best solutions to the most serious health issues that remain in Bangladesh

Published by Financial Express

Over recent decades Bangladesh has seen amazing improvement across many health indicators. Maternal mortality has decreased 75 per cent, infant mortality has halved, and life expectancy has surpassed that of both India and Pakistan. The progress has been so impressive that in 2013 The Lancet, one of the oldest and most prestigious medical journals in the world, devoted a six-part series to Bangladesh, calling it "a remarkable success story for health."...

9 May2016

An ambitious attempt to work out the best use for scarce resources

Published by Financial Express

Every government minister, senior civil servant or charity official is familiar with the pitch. Spend money on my project, says the supplicant: it will bring such large benefits that you will actually save money in the long run. At this, the official sighs, knowing that another supplicant with an equally bold pitch is waiting outside. How can he pick among competing pleas for bridges, IT systems, deworming medicines and a thousand other things? This week, at a conference in Dhaka, the Copenhagen Consensus will try to answer that question, reports the Economist.

9 May2016

The smartest ways to deal with traffic congestion in Dhaka

Published by The Daily Star

Dhaka is one of the fastest-growing megacities in the world. A population of just 3 million in 1971 has ballooned to 18 million today. This unprecedented urban growth has resulted in a city more densely inhabited than Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, or any other major city (Robert Gallagher). The capital's growth partially represents the progress of the Bangladesh economy, which has grown atover 6 percent annually (7th Five Year Plan). The city's transport system, however, hasn't kept up, and Dhaka now has some of the worst traffic congestions in the world. What are the best ways to deal...

5 May2016

No one ever says it, but in many ways global warming will be a good thing

Published by The Telegraph

ast week, a study in the prestigious journal Nature revealed just how much CO₂ increases have greened the Earth over the past three decades. Because CO₂ acts as a fertilizer, as much as half of all vegetated land is persistently greener today. This ought to be a cause for great joy. Instead, the BBC focused on warning that the paper shouldn’t make us stop worrying about global warming, with threats like melting glaciers and more severe tropical storms. Many other major news outlets did not even report on the study...

1 May2016

Education sector: The smartest investments

Published by Financial Express

It seems like a great idea: to improve education in Bangladesh, we should equip classrooms with computers, moving the next generation to the cutting edge of knowledge. But while such an idea is alluring and has gotten wide traction around the world in the last decade, we need to look at the evidence. And it is surprising. A recent OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) study finds that over the past 10 years, there has been virtually no "appreciable improvement" in student achievement in developed countries that have invested heavily in computers and other...

30 Apr2016

Dear World Bank, poverty is more urgent than global warming

Published by The Australian

The World Bank’s self-proclaimed “new course” towards focusing on global warming over poverty reduction is an alarming development for the planet’s poorest. The planet’s biggest provider of non-private financing to developing countries will increase climate-related aid by one-third, meaning that by 2020 these efforts will amount to about $US29 billion ($38bn) a year. Every single dollar that the World Bank spends will “take account of climate change”...

27 Apr2016

The smartest ways to adapt to climate

Published by The Daily Star

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to climate change. Millions of citizens are already exposed to severe natural disasters like cyclones, flooding, tidal surges, heat waves, and drought, and rising sea levels are compounding the effects of the sinking Ganges River delta. Shifts in global climate will exacerbate some extreme weather and threaten even more of the vulnerable people who live in the country's coastal regions. Moreover, it is clear that poverty is one of the biggest causes of climate vulnerability, so to help we...

25 Apr2016

Digitize land records - Unlock economic opportunities

Published by The Daily Star

Land records in Bangladesh are a bit of a mess—according to the records there is more land owned than actual land exists (according to Anir Chowdhury, Adviser, Prime Minister's Office). The land administration process still follows the antiquated system that British Colonial rulers instituted, from surveys all the way to collection of property taxes. Three different ministries oversee the records system, working independently and with little coordination. If you need to access your own land record, or transfer property after a sale or an inheritance, you will have to visit multiple...