Research Engagements

I lead a number of research projects during the last couple of years for different national and international agencies. The results produced in these works may facilitate understanding better the challenges remain in areas of climate change and disaster management, development issues and environment of Bangladesh.

Climate Change and Disaster Management

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    Asian Development Bank implemented a TA project with Parctical Action (PA) titled “Mainstreaming Environment for Poverty Reduction” in South-Western coastal district Satkhira. A consultant “Vulnerability and Livelihoods Expert” has been hired to provide technical support to PA to assess the vulnerability of agriculture and fisheries sector in the context of climate change impacts. Under the scope of the work, PA designed, tested and demonstrated some adaptation interventions in four unions of Kaligonj and Shyamnagarupazila of Satkhira district. The consultant provided (ToT) training support on climate change adaptation principles and on new signaling systems to the field level staffs. In addition, a field based report has been produced by the consultant on climate change vulnerability assessment and related adaptation options for agriculture and fisheries sector. This report presents the results of that assessment.
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    This Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) reviewed the policy, institutional andfinancial management arrangements of the agencies involved in climate sensitive activity in Bangladesh. Due primarily to time constraints, the review focused mainly on Government – both central and local government – but some data has been collected on private sector, non-governmental organisations and households.The study developed an initial methodology to identify and assess the financial scale of climate sensitive activity carried out by the Government. This methodology was applied to generate initial indicative figures and analysis of budgets and spend from the past three financial years. The figures were set in a national context by comparing the budgets and spend to both GDP and the Government budget as a whole. Public Financial Management systems were also reviewed. Analyses of the international arrangements for financing climate actions, the current roles of NGOs, the private sector and households in Bangladesh were also considered. The study sets out evidence and conclusions from these reviews and presents twenty next stage recommendations for consideration by the Government and development partners.

    • An assessment of current policy priorities and strategies as these relate to climate change at national and local levels.
    • A review of the institutional arrangements for promoting the integration of climate change policy priorities into budgeting and expenditure management.
    • A review of the integration of climate change objectives within the budgetary process, including as part of budget planning, implementation, expenditure management and financing.
    • An addendum in respect of institutional, policy and financial climate issues in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

    A number of objectives were agreed by the Steering Committee for the study in September 2011. These are set out below

    • Development of an initial framework for the integration of policy with expenditure plans and
      the national climate change budgeting process.
    • Better understanding of the execution (governance, control and performance management) of
      the climate change related budget.
    • Understanding of the sources of funds on climate change and current and planned spend in
      Medium Term Budget Framework (MTBF).
    • Review of governance arrangements of climate change planning, funding and expenditure.
    • Development of a base for future review and planning.

    Overview of Findings and Conclusions

    The review focused mainly on government financial and policy arrangements as, the government is by far the largest funder of climate actions in Bangladesh – with around three quarters of governmentexpenditure funded from domestic sources. This confirms that in principle a Climate Fiscal Framework should be set firmly within government systems, but should recognise that significant components of funding will also come from development partners, NGOs and the private sector.

    The evidence identified in the study suggests that strengthening of capacity and institutions should be focussed on the key mechanisms of climate finance delivery within government, namely the Finance Division, Planning Commission and the technical functions associated with delivery of the Bangladesh Climate Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP). The major findings from the CPEIR are noted below.

    • The Government typically spends around 6% to 7% of its annual combined development and non-development budget on climate sensitive activity which equates to an annual sum in the region of US$1 billion at current exchange rates. However, it is noted that while the spend on climate sensitive activity increased from 6.6% to 7.2% of the total budget between 2009/10 and 2010/11, it fell back to 5.5% of the budget in 2011/12. These figures represent around 1.1% of GDP on an ongoing basis.
    • In absolute terms, the climate sensitive budget increased between 2009/10 and 2011/12 by 22%
    • Over the period 2009/10 to 2011/12 the funding of climate sensitive budgets has been of the order of 77% from domestic resources and 23% from foreign donor resources.
    • Loan funding increased from 58% to 82% of foreign donor resources between the 2009/10 and 2011/12 programmes.
    • The special donor funds of BCCRF and PPCR contribute relatively small incremental amounts of around 2% to 3% each to the overall climate sensitive spend and a consequent gearing effect was noted. Over the three financial years reviewed, an 11% increase in donor resources yielded a 16% increase in overall climate sensitive expenditure. Donor funds are generally targeted at climate change, but climate resilience or sensitivity and climate change are addressed on anintegrated basis in Bangladesh. Donor climate change funds should therefore be targeted as general support to climate sensitive activity within a Climate Fiscal Framework.
    • There is no costed plan of Bangladesh’s assessed needs in respect of climate change. However, as a country with a history of response to climate it can be concluded that this will be substantial on any basis of consideration. A key next step is to estimate this need on a rational and detailed basis for the future development of a Climate Fiscal Framework.
    • Around 60% of the budget for climate related programmesis sourced from the development programme budget as opposed to around 25% from the government budget as a whole. This perhaps illustrates the priority of climate related activity as a key part of development and also the capital intensive nature of climate actions at this time.
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    This study aimed to assess the results of the project interventions that the Light House was able to earn during the first leg of project duration, i.e. January 2012 to December 2014. The results were considered in terms of achievements against set objectives at field levels, but it was done keeping in mind that attainment of results finally aims to develop overall resilience of the community so that they can cope with climate change induced challenges. In that consideration this study also assessed the appropriateness of the project strategies/principles and interventions designed to ensure community resilience against climate change induced challenges. Therefore, the specific objectives of this evaluation study are to (i) assess the attainments of interventions set for the project, (ii) examine the degree of appropriateness of strategic principles that the LHP conceived to make people and associated systems and functions climate resilient, and finally (iii) make a functional linkup between the phases so that the LHP as a long term project could help the people to develop their capacity to fight back both rapid and slow onset disasters, known and unknown disaster induced challenges, and also immediate and residual disaster impact situations.
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    This document presents CDMP II interventions those have been implemented under outcome 1 that aims to strengthen academic and training institutions’ capacity so that they can contribute in generating skilled disaster management professionals and play roles in critical knowledge generation. The interventions are examined and presented in such a fashion so that the analytical narratives can show how the activities implemented through partnerships with these institutions are aligned with newly adopted paradigm shift approach of disaster management in Bangladesh. It starts by giving contextual accounts against which the interventions were designed and implemented, then paradigm shift approach is analyzed as to locate entry points for interventions, followed by brief descriptions on specific interventions and finally an explanation is given how all these interventions meet into a point of convergence and contribute in the theory of change. One of the major purposes of documenting the list of accomplishments is to demonstrate that overall capacity development of disaster management systems builds on a number of different but connected small interventions. In this connection it can be said that CDMP’s facilitation to open new disaster management departments in the universities, infrastructural improvement, support with resource materials, providing stipend and research grants, support to hold workshops, seminars, conferences, introduction of disaster management lessons in primary and secondary level textbooks (32 million students are now accessing those knowledge and resources) all collectively contributed in developing a strong and well-managed disaster management education and training systems/facilities in Bangladesh. The benefits of these interventions are myriad. Major benefits may include, the country for the first time will receive continuous supply of skilled human resources in different fields of disaster management, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) will receive better technical support from the pool of resources that are retained in the universities. Therefore it could be said that for long term sustenance of disaster management actions and endeavor of the government and non-government agencies to develop a resilient society to disasters, outcome 1 interventions will have strong and positive contributions. Finally, success in these regards mainly happened due to sincere efforts given by the partner agencies; they deserve big congratulations and thanks for this.
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    Impacts of coastal hazards imply the breakdown of expected/known condition and pattern of physical processes, biophysical structure and functions, human settlement and livelihoods/occupation of people of an area. Effects of the collapse of these systems and functions are far reaching for the coastal communities; sometimes these breakdowns produce newer forms of problems to the lives of the people. The impacts would be far reachingbecause it has a potentiality to bring forward some of the current impacts as residuals into the upcoming disaster situations; and called newer forms of impacts because the past and current impacts creates strange blend/situation to the people with which they are less familiar. This impact-mix (past and present) is variable with the difference in the socio-economic status and professional groups and these newer forms of problems are becoming common now a day in the coastal areas in a climate change context. In this backdrop, this coastal contextual analysis presents an assessment of these phenomenon applying a conceptual line of argument. The concept will first invite to critically assess the asset base of the people and then process of inequality and vulnerability situations will be analyzed and discussed. The axis of analysis is asset-inequality-vulnerability and the results are presented in ten thematic chapters. This introductory chapter provides the rationale of the work and gives a brief illustration about Bangladesh coast with special emphasis on the south-western coastal areas.
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    The Village project (Phase III) is a continuation project that started in 2004 with the support of Bread for the World (BftW) Germany aiming to enhance socio- economic status of the disadvantaged communities of Bagerhat district. However, this Phase III project objective is to ensure, livelihood security of the marginalized communities improved in Rampalupazilla under Bagerhat district. After the completion of Phase I in 2006 the Phase II started in 2007 and Phase III, i.e. the current phase started in 2013 and will terminate in December 2015. At the initial stage of the project, only 742 people were the beneficiaries which have reached to 3855 at the end of 2012. Currently the project covers 56 villages of 8 Unions in Rampalupazilla namely RampalSadar, Hurka, Perikhali, Mollikerber, Bashtoli, Baintala, Rajnagar and Ujjalkur.
    This evaluation study relied on both primary and secondary data. Proposal and Log Frame of Village project were the major sources to ascertain/identify the indicators/variables for undertaking this final evaluation. The discussions with project management team were also found to be useful in this regard. Appropriate research methods were identified once the indicators were finalized and approved. Some of the indicators were used to develop structured questionnaire, some others were put in the FGD/GD checklists. In addition, literature review, especially the project related documents like Project Proposal and related documents provided useful insights in regards to this final evaluation. Nabolok through BftW (Germany) provided strategic guidelines to conduct the study. They suggested following five areas around which the final evaluation has to be done (following the DAC/OECD suggestion). These are relevance/appropriateness, impacts, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability and quality of partnerships.The results of the Village Project are summarized in different sections of the report.
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    The SUNDARI project aims to maintaining and improving Sundarbans biodiversity by performing a series of interventions in different upazilas of Satkhira and Khulna districts. Concern Worldwide (CWW) envisions doing that (under the scope of EC supported SEALS project) by reducing human pressure on Sunderbans. The project thus conceives that food insecurity in the regions, disaster impacts and lack of cooperative approach to manage forests are the key drivers that cause human pressure on Sundarban forest resources. Concern worldwide considers that human pressure on the Sundarban resources could be reduced if three specific objectives are attained. The objectives (called Results by CWW) are,

    Result 1: Improved food security and reduced dependency of 25,000 SRF resource harvesters through improved SRF product value chains and alternative livelihoods
    Result 2: Disaster resilient 1277 SIZ communities dependent on SRF resources
    Result 3: Protection of SRF improved through strengthened grass-roots institutions contributing to active SRF co-management committees.

    It is also conceived that giving protection to livelihoods options, specially to the women, by developing Self Help Groups (SHG), working under the control, guidance, supervision of CBO (Community based Organization) would have immense contributions in achieving the results. It is also planned that improvements of pro-poor value chain of the forest products may stimulate the economic growth of the harvesters’ communities and private sector as well of the region. It is also mentioned in the project proposal that SUNDARI project will develop forest users’ awarenesson sustainable SRF collection and persuade people to participate in the forest Co-Management activities. These issues are taken into consideration in doing all related activities like sampling design, data collection tools preparation, and to develop the baseline survey report.

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    This terminal evaluation of IFLS Project was carried out between March 01 and April 19, 2013 to evaluate the achievements of the project, where five evaluation criteria were used, i.e. impacts, relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability concerns. European Union (EU) and CAFOD funded this 36-months project in Bagerhat district of Bangladesh that started in March 2010, aiming to achieve twofold aim, i.e. food and livelihoods security of the people in that area. At the same time, the project also focused on that the people will be capable enough to safeguard their properties/resources from increased disaster risks so that they can withstand uncertain conditions. The project considered that institutions and agencies should be developed in such a way so that it can collectively contribute in developing a caring society and accordingly IFLS project put special emphasis to include persons with disabilities and also women form different strata. The project included both short (e.g. various immediate input supports), medium term (e.g. small business) and long term (e.g. strengthening UDMCs and piloting long term solutions to address water and energy crisis) interventions/measures. Different policy documents and strategy papers of Bangladesh like National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA), Perspective Plan of Bangladesh 2010-2021 also emphasized the same sorts of short, medium and long term strategies to ensure an overall change in the lives of the vulnerable. In these backdrops, this terminal evaluation assessed the performances (both success and failures) of IFLS project. It also examined the conceptual framework that the IFLS project used, termed as Theory of Change, to measure its comprehensiveness and competence/usefulness in ensuring sustainable improvement in the lives of people in contexts of increased disasters and climate change threats. Five partner NGOs (one partner NGO withdrew themselves from the project in 2011) played key roles in implementing project activities. All the four partners were visited and interviewed to conduct this evaluation, and the field program activities of CB, DAM and ADD programs were visited. Interviews and consultations were carried out with the CAFOD Officers at the Headquarters, PC in Bangladesh, staff members of CB, DAM, ADD and ITN-BUET. A household questionnaire survey was conducted with 270 household beneficiaries. Focus Group Discussions were held with the UDMCs, PWDs upazila committee, SHG, LG and community members of the project area. A total of 469 persons were met. However, major finding of the project are summarized in the following sections.
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    Changes in climatic conditions represent one of the greatest challenges facing humanity over the comingdecades. With over half of the world’s population now concentrated in urban settlements, climate change impacts pose serious risks for many of the rapidly growing cities of the world. In Asia Pacific, the concentration of people and the ever expanding population in cities expose a large number of people to significant climate related risks. Urban areas contribute to over 80% of the region’s GDP1 yet despite this economic growth, development has not been inclusive. The inequality between the urban rich and poor and the marginalization of the poor is compromising urban poor’s resilience to climate change.

    The capacity of city governments to assess the threats of climate change and to take action is crucial. Whilst many city governments have begun to grasp the importance of climate change adaptation and its direct relation to sustainable urban development, urban adaptation efforts tend shy away from adaptation approaches that build on ecosystem-based services.

    Ecosystems that surround urban areas (e.g. forested, agricultural or natural landscaped environments), though often located some distance away from the urban centers themselves, provide essential ecosystems services to the inhabitants of cities. A range of known ecosystem services (e.g. wood, food, tourism) and less well known ecosystem services (e.g. replenishment of clean ground and surface water supplies, biodiversity havens supporting agricultural practices and food security; and pollution and temperature controls for improved micro-climatic and environmental urban conditions) are being provided to the urban population. These ecosystem services are of significant social, economic and environmental value to inhabitants of urban areas, though rarely is the ecosystems’ true value accounted for or acted upon in policy and planning decisions.

    Unfortunately, many cities in Asia are characterized by environmental resource degradation and pollution. ‘Green’ areas or ecosystems located in and around cities are removed to make way for brown or grey infrastructure to meet commercial and industrial demand and housing needs. These developments have led to increased risks of flooding and landslides, particularly for the urban poor who tend to live in high risk areas and lack access to basic services that could provide security and coping mechanisms in times of disasters.

    For cities to thrive in the face of changing climatic conditions, urban communities need to be better equipped with adaptive capacity to cope with future changes. For this, city governments need to have the capacity to adopt pro-poor, financially-viable and sustainable adaptation solutions that can build long term resilience of urban communities.

    Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is “the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.”2 It is an approach that focuses on restoring and maintaining ecosystem services as a way of building the climate resilience of communities and the livelihoods of communities living in, or relying on, these ecosystems and ecosystem services. EbA is a cost effective operational tool that has recently been brought to the fore of adaptation policies and practices.

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    The book has focused on climatic conditions using historical records of temperature and rainfall data gathered by Bangladesh Meteorological Department. Regression modeling was executed on the panel dataset in order to arrive at results. Future predictions were not made because of the inability to capture all the factors that exist in the physical systems/processes that influence weather data. The results suggest strong variability in the climatic pattern of Bangladesh, indicated the possibility of some pattern of climate change.
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    This report presents the baseline information about the schools which are covered in the project. The information gathered using a structured questionnaire. The report is divided into eight sections. First section presents an overview of the research problem and methodology of the study. Section two deals with how pattern and nature of disaster is changing and their implication on primary education.Section three presents the general information of the surveyed schools. Section four put together a summary of key impacts of 2007 disasters on access and quality of primary education. Section five provides an analysis of risk of disaster to education and their vulnerabilities. Section six provides an analysis of the status of status of current preparedness in primary education and discussed about stakeholder, roles and training needs. The section seven puts together a set of conclusions.
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    নিরাপদ পানি
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    Vulnerability is a relative term; it indicates a state or situation of a person/community,material/systems in relation to many different external factors. The external factors might be generated from areas like physical challenges (e.g. scarcity of water options, climatic changes), socioeconomic setbacks and weak institutional systems. Similarly the factors that exist within the local context may also cause systems weak and lead to breakdown (Table 1). For example, the water supply systems (e.g. tube well, or pond) and sanitation systems that have been functioning properly for years or decades in a normal situation may be identified as inefficient/ineffective in a context of physical or human induced disturbances, irrespective of whether they are externally or locally spawned. It indicates that both external and local factors influence the performance of the system in question (e.g. water supply or sanitation systems and related hygiene issues in this case). Therefore, understanding and measuring vulnerability may require a chain of explanation which is efficient enough to capture both the external and local/contingent factors and dimensions so that grounds of risks and exposure of WaSH systems to threats could be properly assessed and identified. The assessment and identification of risks that may make the WaSH systems vulnerable need to be undertaken by the members of community who face the impacts and related consequences in their everyday living conditions. Because they know the problems much better than the external experts and this is them who should be put in the driving seat to tackle uncertainties at local level.
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    This study was commissioned for generating baseline information for the project titled “Our Forest, Our Life”: A Community-based Actions towards the Sustainability of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest (CBAS-SRF) under the scope of the programme called SEALS of European Union. World Vision is currently implementing the project in four upazilas in Bagethat and Pirojpur districts, where it aims to reduce human pressures on Sundarbans Reserve Forests (SRF) by reducing people’s dependency on its resources. A baseline survey was conducted to ascertain the project pre-conditions as to know the underpinning factors and processes (e.g. social, economic, physical) that influence/force people to do unsustainable activities in the Sundarbans forests.
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    This report has been produced to assess the social and environmental feasibility of the project entitled, „Enhancing Women and Girls’ Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Bangladesh’. This was conducted following the Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) and policy issued recently by UNDP (2015) and those of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) and Global Climate Fund (GCF). UNDP, in particular, requires its projects and programmes to meet a set of overarching principles and project level standards, before they are considered for support and implementation. The organization believes that in order to ensure the sustainability of developmental interventions, adherence to these social and environmental policies and standards, are fundamental. Thus right from the start of the project formulation stage, a screening process came into effect that has ensured that the principles of human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability, have been taken into consideration.
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    When we started our journey as organization “Development Frontiers” in Bangladesh in 2007, we had a clear aim to work with urban societies. In past six years, we had conducted a few studies in disaster risk reduction, but only one work we was done in 2010 in the field of urban post disaster governance. We were very much tempted to work on urban society and for that we thought to study the urban policy context in Bangladesh. In November, when OXFAM GB called for an expression of interest to conduct a study on urban disaster mainstreaming scoping, we found this as a good opportunity to start towards a comprehensive work in urban societies. The work is very introductory but has higher opportunity to get insight of different aspects to understand the urban society. The policy, institution, planning, budget, and capacity of urban governments and urban service providing entities are key aspects of the study, which has strong possibilities to offer an insight also to understand urban society at large. We a group of researchers, who has conducted the study, mostly live in different urban centers in Bangladesh. A few of us has also lived in different cities in the world in different time scale in different durations, but hardly had we had any individual and collective effort to consolidate our urban life experience into a black and white paper. Disaster is an important aspect, which offer a beautiful scope to look into deep of the urban society, where government, culture and its operation are very much interlinked and provides wider scopes to understand a complex society. Many of us involved in this study are trained in Anthropology, who has strong experience in working with simple and rural society. We two anthropologists worked with one economist, one geographer, one urban planner, one environmentalist, two political scientists in a team, who all have experience in the field of disaster risk reduction. We worked less, engaged more in debates and sometime after hours of debate become more confused and thus almost spending 2880 hours in field and table, we have came to a broader outline of the problem of the urban society in terms of disaster mainstreaming. We learned together, the urbanization as a process produce, reproduce and manifest a different vulnerability context than rural vulnerabilities and with hazard exposures and genesis of new types of hazards within urbanization process constitute a complex disaster risk environment.
    The urban risk is therefore, has much development relevance to include the risk reduction in the urbanization process. We have also learned that mainstreaming is not an activity, nor a product but a process. Bangladesh is a resourceful country but mostly Bangladesh is one of the disaster prone areas in the world. Every year Bangladesh is faced by several hazards like flood, cyclone, salinity, drought, earthquake which turn into disaster. As a result the country loses huge amount property each year and people suffer a lot of. Now-a-days cities of Bangladesh face a serious problem due to enormous population and unplanned urbanization. Urban disaster risk is a serious challenge for cities around the world, particularly in developing countries where urbanization is happening. It threatens to increase vulnerabilities, destroy ecology of the area as well as disturb the whole environment, economic destruction. The corollary of urban disaster risk impedes the development of both social and economic. The dwellers’ life of urban area is hampered and cannot lead normal life. It is because of lack of awareness, initiative, consideration into the planning sphere by the Government and other non-government organization. Most of the cities and municipalities in Bangladesh do not consider the disaster risk issues in their plan. The Oxfam has taken initiative to find out the reason behind of not consideration into plan for urban disaster risk reduction. The study has deemed total eight study areas as sample to conduct the research. The main objectives of the study is to find out the gap of urban disaster risk reduction and formulate some recommendation to address and consider urban disaster risk reduction issues in the plan of the city authorities like city corporation and municipality.
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    When we started our journey as organization “Development Frontiers” in Bangladesh in 2007, we had a clear aim to work with urban societies. In past six years, we had conducted a few studies in disaster risk reduction, but only one work we was done in 2010 in the field of urban post disaster governance. We were very much tempted to work on urban society and for that we thought to study the urban policy context in Bangladesh. In November, when OXFAM GB called for an expression of interest to conduct a study on urban disaster mainstreaming scoping, we found this as a good opportunity to start towards a comprehensive work in urban societies. The work is very introductory but has higher opportunity to get insight of different aspects to understand the urban society. The policy, institution, planning, budget, and capacity of urban governments and urban service providing entities are key aspects of the study, which has strong possibilities to offer an insight also to understand urban society at large. We a group of researchers, who has conducted the study, mostly live in different urban centers in Bangladesh. A few of us has also lived in different cities in the world in different time scale in different durations, but hardly had we had any individual and collective effort to consolidate our urban life experience into a black and white paper. Disaster is an important aspect, which offer a beautiful scope to look into deep of the urban society, where government, culture and its operation are very much interlinked and provides wider scopes to understand a complex society. Many of us involved in this study are trained in Anthropology, who has strong experience in working with simple and rural society. We two anthropologists worked with one economist, one geographer, one urban planner, one environmentalist, two political scientists in a team, who all have experience in the field of disaster risk reduction. We worked less, engaged more in debates and sometime after hours of debate become more confused and thus almost spending 2880 hours in field and table, we have came to a broader outline of the problem of the urban society in terms of disaster mainstreaming. We learned together, the urbanization as a process produce, reproduce and manifest a different vulnerability context than rural vulnerabilities and with hazard exposures and genesis of new types of hazards within urbanization process constitute a complex disaster risk environment.
    The urban risk is therefore, has much development relevance to include the risk reduction in the urbanization process. We have also learned that mainstreaming is not an activity, nor a product but a process. Bangladesh is a resourceful country but mostly Bangladesh is one of the disaster prone areas in the world. Every year Bangladesh is faced by several hazards like flood, cyclone, salinity, drought, earthquake which turn into disaster. As a result the country loses huge amount property each year and people suffer a lot of. Now-a-days cities of Bangladesh face a serious problem due to enormous population and unplanned urbanization. Urban disaster risk is a serious challenge for cities around the world, particularly in developing countries where urbanization is happening. It threatens to increase vulnerabilities, destroy ecology of the area as well as disturb the whole environment, economic destruction. The corollary of urban disaster risk impedes the development of both social and economic. The dwellers’ life of urban area is hampered and cannot lead normal life. It is because of lack of awareness, initiative, consideration into the planning sphere by the Government and other non-government organization. Most of the cities and municipalities in Bangladesh do not consider the disaster risk issues in their plan. The Oxfam has taken initiative to find out the reason behind of not consideration into plan for urban disaster risk reduction. The study has deemed total eight study areas as sample to conduct the research. The main objectives of the study is to find out the gap of urban disaster risk reduction and formulate some recommendation to address and consider urban disaster risk reduction issues in the plan of the city authorities like city corporation and municipality.

Development Issues

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    The baseline study is an integral part of “Enhancing Community Capacity to Reduce Vulnerability to Human Trafficking in the Jamalpur District of Bangladesh’ project, which is being implemented by Relief International and Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) with the financial assistance of US Department of State. With an aim to enhance the capacity of the local communities to protect vulnerable members and provide victims of trafficking with adequate services and support, the project will address the problems of internal trafficking in specific areas of Jamalpur District in Bangladesh. In addressing the problems, the project specially focuses on two priority themes: i) capacity building of local communities, who are at risk of internal trafficking; and ii) development of comprehensive services for adult and child victims of trafficking.
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    This final evaluation aims to undertake an impact assessment survey to evaluate the achievements that has been attained through the implementation of the project called “Reduction of Food Insecurity for Poor and Extreme Poor Households” in Jamalpur district. The evaluation focused on two different areas, these are, (i) impacts of the project activities on the targeted communities, and (ii) overall project evaluation, which may go beyond the immediate scope the project. In specific terms, this final evaluation is to assess the impact of the project in terms of increase of income, asset generation, improved agricultural technologies adoption and more sustainable livelihoods of the targeted households and finally better marketing extension facilities.
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    This external evaluation aims to review and assess the achievements, relevance, effectiveness and impact that have been attained through the implementation of the project called “Promotion of Human Rights for Preventing Violence and Discrimination against Women and Girls (PPVD)”in the Six selected Unions of two Upazilas ( B.Sadar and Pathorghata) of Barguna District. The evaluation focuses on three different areas: i) achievements of the project in relation to awareness raising, capacity building, skill development & victim’s support and social reintegration; ii) effectiveness and relevance of project interventions to fulfil needs and priorities of the target groups and beneficiaries; and iii) impacts of the project activities on the target groups and beneficiaries.

    The evaluation process relied on project documents and logical framework to insert the baseline situations in order to measure the achievements and success of the project. The results demonstrated how the project contributes to promoting human rights for preventing violence and discrimination against women and girls in target areas.

    However, this external evaluation assessed the impact of project activities on target groups and beneficiaries; it also examined how the project has created a positive mind set of the community groups including WAG, adolescent groups, local government representatives and other local stakeholders to act together for preventing all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls in target areas. Finally, it has shown how the project components (e.g. awareness raising of vulnerable groups & communities;capacity building of local government, local institutions and civil society’ life skill development, victim’s support and social reintegration) have helped the direct beneficiaries to overcome existing challenges for protecting women and girls in a situation of violence and discrimination.

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    The evaluation report is a review of the status of the“Prevention ofViolence against Women through Empowerment (PVAWTE)” project –a two years long initiative of Dhaka Ahsania Mission in the selected areas of Jessore, Satkhira and Jhenaidah Districts in Bangladesh. The project is being implemented with the financial support of the European Union and technical support of Concern Universal-Bangladesh. This report has been prepared by a team of external evaluators and covers the period from inception of the PVAWTEproject to March 2011.The evaluation report describes the composition,achievements and relevance of the project, and the success of project in light of the desired objectives, highlights the best practices, challenges and a set of recommendations for future consideration.
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    SkillMark project aimed to develop market driven skills development of people forensuring better economic returns of the industries who recruit skilled labors and at the same time address poverty situations of the underprivileged. The project started in January 2009 and finished in December 2012. A number of interventions under different thematic areas like (i) capacity development of the Training Service Providers (TSPs), (ii) linkage establishments among the stakeholders (iii) Awareness raising and lessons sharing mechanisms were carried out during the four year longproject phase. There were two major results emerged as a result of project intervention, (i) the project contributed in developing a system (comprising of many components, please see chapter 7) efficient enough to develop skilled human resources and (ii) demonstration of effectiveness through project interventions so that other stakeholders are motivated for replication and scaling up of the activities for overall boost up of the sector. The partner TSPs expressed huge satisfaction about the project and mentioned that the project showed the ways and means to them on how capacity development (both logistics and human resources) and access to required finance may help them grow further towards sustainability. However this terminal evaluation assessed the degree of success of different interventions in attaining its objectives and ultimate aim. Different chapters give the assessment results in detail while chapter 7 gives overall achievements and limitations of the project; some of those are highlighted in the following.
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    Dhaka Ahsania Mission, intervened in south-western parts of the Bangladesh with a program called PVAWTE, aiming to reduce violence against women through empowering them at different spheres of life. The program conceived that empowering women will facilitate them in active participation in decision making and help to speak out for their welfare, resulting to establish a stronghold in different walks of life. This research work, within this premise, attempted to establish the linkage how women’s empowerment contributes in the reduction of violence against women. The research attempted to recognize the success of the program components, assess and document the intervention process, mainly based on qualitative methods. The results indicate that women become self-reliant and able take and execute decisions for their wellbeing and safety. It is observed that empowerment of women played an important role in reducing violence of different kinds in the area.

Environment

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    A central pillar of Bangladesh’s resource base is its coastal and freshwater wetland ecosystems, providing a livelihood through fishing and agriculture for the majority of its 120 million people. These ecosystems are particularly significant for bird, aquatic (e.g. fish, shellfish, crustaceans) and plant species, many of which are becoming increasingly threatened due to a wide variety of anthropogenic pressures including overexploitation, habitat destruction and pollution. Quite apart from their national importance for biodiversity, these wetland ecosystems are globally important in biogeographical terms and with respect to their strategic location at the crossroads of two international shorebird migration flyways.Coastal ecosystems are well represented in the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf area, where three sites (SonadiaIsland, St. Martin’s Island and TeknafPeninsula) were selected for this Project and freshwater ecosystems ata fourth selected site, HakalukiHaor, a large inland wetlands complex. All of these sites had been notified as Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) in April 1999, at the time of the formulation of this UNDP/GEF full-size project entitledCoastal and Wetland Biodiversity Management at Cox’s Bazar and HakalukiHaor (BGD/99/G31).
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    Water governance and management aspects appear to be the major issues to meet the bellicose demand for water by different contested sectors in Bangladesh. These aspects stretch from conceptualizing the problem, planning development and implementing projects to delivery of the services in the final leg. Water governance and management aspects evolved from historical times without receiving necessary attention on physical characteristic of the land that this water and silt dominated lower riparian country deserves. Later a set of policy and institutional frameworks came into action that govern and guide the aforementioned water governance and management concerns; these policy and institutional frameworks also supposed to act as the warden for addressing the corruption, transparency and accountability matters and to ensure inclusive decision making processes by involving different stakeholders. But absence of major watchdog in this sector for (i) overseeing the activities (from planning to operational activities), (ii) to make critical comments and suggestions for improvements through systematic investigations, (iii) to undertake advocacy campaigns to improve the water service delivery regimes limited the opportunities to incorporate integrity aspects in policy and institutional compositions and practice processes.

    In these contexts, Bangladesh Water Integrity Network (BAWIN) plans to work in water sector to bring a change by addressing the gaps, some of which are indicated above. This baseline study on water integrity is commissioned by BAWIN as part of the commencement of their work in Bangladesh. The study aims to achieve three specific tasks, (i) mapping of the legal and institutional arrangement and capacity for governance and integrity in the water sector in selected city corporation areas and south-west coastal region, (ii) assessment of governance and integrity risks in terms of practice in the selected institutions/areas/region and (iii) identification of priority risk areas/institutions for intervention. Literature review, interviewing key personnel of water sector, group discussions were the key methods adopted in this study to gather data on water integrity aspects of Bangladesh.

    In addition to policy and institutional review, the water integrity aspects in rural and urban contexts were investigated more elaborately. Activitiesof Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) were analysed for understanding rural water integrity context and Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) was considered to assess the urban context. Twenty nine water related major law/ legislation/ policy for the management of water resources of Bangladesh were evaluated to examine the presence of issues like equitable service provisions, rights to water, voice and choice, gender, civil society participation, corruption, transparency and accountability, environmental management, water resources management, monitoring and evaluation and institutionalization and decentralization processes. In the similar fashion, the institutions related to water sector planning, governance/management, service delivery were reviewed to examine the degree of integrity aspects they follow in the operational processes. It was observed in the review that the overall management of water resources is shared between state water agencies, users of water including the public, NGOs and other government agencies engaged in agriculture, industry, commerce, water and sewage, public health, municipalities, inland water transport, fisheries, forestry and the environment. Policy and institutional review suggests that some of the aspects like water rights, equitable sharing and gender are to some extent, covered in the legislative frameworks and in the organizational mandates but corruption, accountability and transparency aspects are not clearly defined.

    Focused and detailed investigation of water integrity in city corporation area (Dhaka) and in south-western coastal region (Khulna and Satkhira) examining the activities of two major organisations i.e., DWASA in Dhaka city corporation area and BWDB in south-western coastal region of Bangladesh were carried out to check how these organizations perform in typical physical, social and economic contextual settings. The activities of Dhaka WASA were examined in detail in order to capture water integrity issues in the city corporation area contexts. Lack of capacity to deliver water services/supply against demand, infringementof informal, unauthorized (e.g., middlemen) entities in different segments of water distribution processes,limited public participation in decision making processes, absence of necessary principles for effective water governance such as transparency, accountability, legitimacy and legality, equity and inclusiveness were identified as the major challenges for DWASA. The chapter also goes beyond the review of DWASA actions, rather commented on actions of other agencies as well and finally concluded that water crisis issues in Dhaka are mainly subject to incapacity of authorities to execute legal procedures against illegal/immoral actions of people and agencies both government and non-government (it may stretch from illegal river/canal occupation, dumping of industrial wastes to unplanned unban area development).

    On the other hand, BWDB focuses on planning,development of new projects and engaged in operationand maintenance of existing water regulatory projects in Bangladesh. Flood control, improvement of drainage systems and irrigation facilities for enhanced food production are the prime mandates of this agency. It was also observed that BWDB activities have a lineage with the activities of WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) of East Pakistan, although currently this agency has got its own organogram and activity mandates under the auspices of BWDB Act 2000 and also guided by other related acts and policies like National Water Policy 1999 and National Water Management Plan 2001. BWDB is overwhelmed with the actions and programmes already introduced in Bangladesh by the predecessor agency WAPDA and recommendations made by Krug Mission and then by IECO in 1964, where the policies mentioned above were little successful to influence the activities of BWDB. It is important to note that during Pakistan periods the availability of water, water requirements by different sectors, patterns of disaster occurrence and impacts were different from later times when BWDB started working in Bangladesh to ensure best use of water and protect the country from water induced challenges/threats. In addition, increased requirements of water by differentsectors, water shortage at sources, contested nature of water use, increased frequency and new forms of hazards including climate change threats, poisoning (e.g. arsenic, chlorine) and pollution of water, illegal occupation of water courses, canals has emerged as new challenges in water sector and compounded the existing problems. These old and news sets of challenges collectively give new dimension to the pre-existing problems that are hardly addressed through new policies and less reflected in programmatic activities of BWDB.

    Relevant chapter (Chapter 5) focuses on how faulty and partial reading of delta environment and project implementation create grounds for breakdown of water integrity in Bangladesh.The chapter concludes by identifying major gap that the policies and the institutions once developed to address more simpler types of challenges in earlier times are still remain almost in the same state and trying to address more complicated, multiple forms of impact conditions. However, major observations of the baseline study on water integrity aspects are summarized in the following sections, which will highlight the major concerns and at the same time indicate intervention actions and suggestions to improve water integrity aspects in Bangladesh.

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    Bangladesh is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The country has been implementing various activities to comply with the provisions under the convention as well as its commitment towards conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. This national report has been developed as a part of the country’scommitment towards global community to compliment the objectives of the CBD. This report aims to (i) portray the status, trends and threats of biodiversity; (ii) stock take the country’s accomplishments in terms of implementation and mainstreaming of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; (iii) review the status of NBSAP mainstreaming and gaps; (iv) assess the progress towards 2010 biodiversity targets; and finally, (v) identify policy and programmatic interventions to achieve a strong biodiversity constituency to facilitate and ensure sustainable use of biodiversity resources. This will target the gaps and challenges that still remain in different areas/sectors, which need to be addressed to attain the targets laid out in different focal areas. Reflecting on the above mentioned aims, information was gathered from various secondary sources, consultation workshops and individual input of the relevant experts to develop the report.
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    Mymensingh municipality was established in 1869 as small urban hub with 8500 population (about 1200 – 1400 households) and gradually evolved as a city of 55000 households (Population Census Survey 2011, BBS) in current times. In addition to provide services to the inhabitants living in municipal areas, Mymensing has been providing different kinds of services to small towns and municipalities, sub-districts and rural areas of the region. Thus the city becomes a regional center and grew up fast in terms of urban sprawling with limited supervisory roles performed by municipality to arrest unplanned expansion. As a result the municipality inherited many old challenges and at later points new challenge emerged from manmade problems and from natural disasters, climate change threats are added with old ones and made the conditions compounded and multi-dimensional. On the other hand national (e.g. NPDM 2010-2015) and international (e.g. HFA through SoD, CDMP etc.) policies came into action, government and non-government agencies implemented programs and projects to address those compounded nature of problems, but results appeared to be unpromising as water and sanitation conditions still remains at a poor state, drainage conditionsmiserable, disaster preparedness (e.g. earthquake or fire breakout etc.) is feeble. In this context, this study examines the current state of service delivery processes in Mymensingh municipal areas and to identify entry points to incorporate, integrate and finally mainstream DRR actions into the action plans of service providing agencies. In doing that different risk environments were examined at city scale, activities and performances of service providing agencies were assessed, legislative frameworks have been investigated by undertaking reviewing secondary literature, data and field level consultations so that overall contextual conditions can be understood and recommendations can be made.
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    Government of the Bangladesh is planning to establish National Oceanographic Research Institute (NORI) to foster and promote ocean related education, inventory, research and training related activities for efficient use of sea based resources. Both land and sea based education, research, exploration and training related functions will take place through different activities of NORI. The scientists, environmentalists, students and trainees from wide range of institutions and sectors and also the citizens of the country will join their respective programs of interest at NORI. A large size sea aquarium will be set in the institute premise, where sea water will be used to keep to sea creatures for teaching and display purposes. The Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology (MoSICT) is acting as the implementing agency of NORI at Cox’s Bazar. Before, starting up the construction of physical components of the project, MoSICT intends to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to identify probable impact scenarios on environmental and social components of the project components/interventions. This report presents possible impact conditions and provides the outline of Environmental Management Plan (EMP).

     

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    This research makes a new assessment of both the physical and social dimensions of deciduous forest resources located in the central part of Bangladesh. Satellite remote sensing data and techniques are used to detect spatial and temporal forest change, to measure forest biophysical vatiables and to appraise their potential for developing model predictions based on a field survey conducted in 2003. Post classification assessment and regression analysis were the main methods in remote sensing data analysis. The study focused on a part of deciduous forest (64 sq km) located in Madhupurthana for fine-scale forest assessment. Remote sensing results suggest that only 16 percent forest left in the study area compared to 3826 hectares in 1962. The forest biophysical variables show strong association with spectral information of satellite data. For instance, an R-squared of 0.79 for predicted variable (for tree height) was achieved while regressing with field data, indicating that remote sensing methods can be efficiently used even in the tropical forests where heterogeneity is common.

    The second part of the thesis focuses on the underlying social factors/drivers that impacted on the forest, ranging from social dynamics such as land tenancy disputes, historical legacies and local corruption to policy failure by employing the theoretical framework of political ecology. Political ecological analysis in this research helped to evaluate the role and inter-relations of power, the ideological dilemmas and methodological disputes (i.e. the way forest problems are perceived) over forest resources in the study area. Field survey and observation was also found useful in gathering information about social variables by interviewing local inhabitants, forest officials, NGO activists, and politicians. The research employs methodologies from both science (i.e. remote sensing) and social science (i.e. political ecology) and the findings suggest that these two strands can work together for the better management (including resource assessment, monitoring and progress evaluation) of resources in Bangladesh.

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    Bangladesh is already one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. Climate change and variability have had an impact on the lives and livelihoods of people living in coastal areas and in arid and semi-arid regions of Bangladesh. Floods, tropical cyclones, storm surges and droughts are becoming more frequent and are set to become even more severe in the coming years and decades. These changes are threatening the significant achievements Bangladesh has made over the last 20 years in increasing incomes, reducing poverty and achieving self-sufficiency in rice production. For these reasons, by many accounts, Bangladesh is considered to be the country the most vulnerable to climate change.

    As a signatory to both the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, ratified in 1994) and the Kyoto Protocol (2001), Bangladesh is also fully aware of the causes of climate change. According to the most recent national GHG inventory, the majority of Bangladesh’s CO2 emissions are derived from the energy sector, followed by the land-use, land-use change and forestry sector – with 32%.Hence, whilst devoting considerable resources to reducing vulnerability to climate change, and maintaining its path of economic development, Bangladesh is also striving to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC has adopted a forestry GHG emission mitigation mechanism known as “REDD+”. This is defined as ‘Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries’. REDD+ will provide positive incentives to developing countries to voluntarily reduce their rates of deforestation and forest degradation, and to increase their forest carbon stocks, as part of a post-2020 global climate change agreement.

    As part of its long term strategies to reduce GHG emissions, the Government of Bangladesh has taken initial steps to prepare for the implementation of REDD+ activities. Ithas established the national REDD+ Steering Committee. It has preparedthe REDD+ Readiness Roadmap – endorsed by the REDD+ Steering Committee in December 2012. Subsequently, in June 2013, the UN-REDD Programme invited Bangladesh to submit a REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP).

    Bangladesh has 2.6 million hectares of forestland, equivalent to almost 18% of country’s total area. There are five broad types of forest according to ecology and geographical location, these are: hill forest, plains forest (dominated by Shorearobusta, or sal), mangrove, coastal plantations, and wetland forest. The Government’s Forest Department manages 1.6 million hectares of the forest land. According to a national forest resource assessment undertaken in 2010, 11% of the country’s land is under tree cover. However, another 20% – that is approximately 2.5 million hectares – is recorded as ‘other wooded land’ or ‘other land with trees’.Hence, there is potentially an important scope for REDD+ activities in Bangladesh.

    The history of forestry in Bangladesh is one of continuous depletion of forest resources both in terms of area and quality. Traditionally, plantations and forest reservations have been the tools to combat this depletion. However, increasingly since the early 1980s, forestry in Bangladesh has witnessed a rapid succession of social forestry programmes in an attempt to redress public alienation and to allow for wider participation of local people in forest use and management.