Why the Conference?

Understanding of poverty in Bangladesh and indeed in many developing is still largely derived through a rural prism,
though urban poverty is an increasingly significant phenomenon. Urbanization has seen unprecedented growth of slums
and informal settlements. In this emerging context, the challenge of urban poverty was already recognized in the
framing of the MDGs of which target 7D was “Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum
dwellers by 2020.” SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities continues this global prioritization.
Notwithstanding the inclusion into agenda priorities, ground realities indicate that urban poverty and indeed
urbanization as such is yet to attain the required level of policy engagement. Failure to address urban poverty may not
only jeopardize the hard-won gains on poverty reduction but also exacerbate urban chaos and anomie. The timing
therefore is right to take an in-depth look at the dimensions and dynamics of urban poverty in order to facilitate better
understanding and adoption of a comprehensive and long-term strategy on urban poverty. Since 2009, PPRC, with
support from the World Bank, and more recently in partnership with BBS, has been conducting a series of research on
urban statistics and urban poverty in Bangladesh. The conference will draw upon these research as well as contributions
from partners as well as national, regional and international experts and advocates. The end goal is to establish
analytical clarity on the contemporary challenges of urban poverty and identify intervention entry points that hold the
highest strategic promise.