The Country Boats of Bangladesh Social and Economic Development and Decision-making in Inland Water Transport Eirik G. Jansen, Antony J. Dolman, Alf Morten Jerve and Nazibor Rahman ISBN 984 05 1108 4 1989 300pp 215x136mm HB Tk.550.00 US$27.00
This book deals with the country boats of Bangladesh; the traditional non-mechanized vessels that have plied inland and coastal waters for hundreds of years. Country boats, of which there are several hundred thousands in a great variety of shapes and sizes, are known to play a vital role in the transport of goods and people in a country shaped by some of the world’s greatest rivers. Perhaps surprisingly, therefore, few attempts have been made so far to examine the role they play in a desperately poor country, and the contribution they make to processes of social and economic development. Still fewer attempts have been made to identify ways in which this contribution can be safeguarded and enhanced. This book is the first in-depth analysis of the country boat sector. It discusses the decision making environment of inland water transport, focusing upon official policies and attitudes toward the country boats. The book describes the changing river system of Bangladesh and the constraints imposed by natural conditions on inland water transport and country boat construction. Several chapters of the book describe the operational environment focusing on the boats, the boatmen and owners, and the relationships between the main actors of the transport sector. The last chapter of the book elaborates on the significant changes which have occurred in the country boat sector during the late 1980s.
Dr. Eirik G. Jansen has been a Research Fellow at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway since 1975. From 1976-78 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. He has served as a consultant to international agencies and bilateral donors during the last 10 years in Bangladesh. He started to conduct research on the country boat sector in Bangladesh in the late 1970s and he was Project Manager of the Norwegian/Dutch financed Country Boat Study. His published work include: Rural Bangladesh: Competition for Scarce Resources, (Norwegian University Press/Oxford University Press/UPL, Dhaka, 1987). He was a co-author of Rural Poverty in Bangladesh: A report to the likeminded group (North South Institute, Ottawa, 1985), and Bangladesh Country Study and Norwegian Aid Review, (Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, 1986). From late 1987 he is Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Norway/NORAD in Dhaka.
Antony J. Dolman is Deputy Director of the Institute of Social Studies Advisory Service, the Hague. He has served as a consultant to 10 United Nations agencies and several bilateral donors and NGOs. He has written on many subjects related to development. His books include Partners in Tomorrow (with J. Van. Ettinger) (Dutton, 1978), Global Planning and Resource Management (Pergamon, 1980) and Resources, Regimes, World Order (Pergamon, 198 1). He co-authored with Jan Tinbergen: Reshaping the International Order, which was published in 12 languages. He was also the main author of the Global Report on Human Settlements, published by Oxford University Press for the U.N. Centre for Human Settlements in 1987. He was consultant to the Country Boat Study and edited this book and wrote several of its chapters.
Alf Morten Jerve has been Research Fellow at the Chr. Michelsen Institute since 1983. He has conducted social anthropological fieldwork in Botswana and has since 1986 been Co-ordinator of a rural development project in Tanzania. He was the main author and co-ordinator of the Pakistan Country Study and Norwegian Aid Review (Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, 1985). He was Senior Field Researcher and Field Co-ordinator of the Country Boat Study, and wrote several of the chapters concerning the country boat sector in this book.
Nazibor Rahman is President of Rural Development Movement (RDM), a Non-Government Organization based in Pabna, Bangladesh. RDM experiments with new design and new materials for construction of country boats. He has attended a Diploma Course at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway, 1983-84, and he was a Visiting Fellow at the Chr. Michelsen Institute from 1984-85. He was the Principle Field Researcher of the Country Boat Study, collecting much of the information on which this book is based.