Social Sectors in Transition

Publication | June 2007

This issue of the South Asia Economic Report (SAER) is the second in a series of biannual reports on economic and development issues in South Asia. The SAER aims to provide information to policy makers, academics, and ADB management and staff and highlights issues that help promote debate and foster appropriate policies and greater cooperation and integration in the region. The second SAER's theme is 'Social Sectors in Transition: Accelerating Inclusive Growth and Human Development,' covering education and health.

The key messages of the SAER are as follows:

  • South Asia continues on a high growth track.
  • The region has made impressive gains in human development, but needs increased effort to catch up with other regions of the globe and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
  • A number of emerging global and regional trends are having significant effect on education and health sectors in the region: economic growth led increasingly by the private sector, and changes in technology, labor markets, demography, and epidemiology.
  • Integration with the global economy has opened new opportunities and challenges.
  • The transitions under way will tend to increase inequalities unless governments implement policies and programs to ensure 'inclusive' economic growth.
  • Use of technology in public and private delivery of social services needs to be enhanced.
  • New modes of delivering social services are needed, to assure they work for the poor.
  • A demographic window of opportunity could benefit the region if youth and workers are provided with the right skills and opportunities to participate in the economies. Education systems must be transformed to meet the challenge.
  • Attention is needed to the changing disease patterns, with an increased proportion of the burden going to noncommunicable disease.


  • Foreword, Abbreviations and Acronyms, Explanatory Notes
  • Introduction
  • Status of the Social Sectors
  • Social Sectors in Transition
  • Managing the Social Sectors through Transition
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Statistical Appendix

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Social development and protection
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • 071307

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