Panii Jibon is a project addressing water related threats and vulnerabilities of an already impoverished population living in the disaster prone coastal areas of Bangladesh affected by saline water intrusion, tidal surges and cyclones. It aims to build resilience of severely disadvantaged and vulnerable communities and families (including women led households, people with special needs, and extreme poor people affected by recurrent disasters) in accessing safe drinking water and in adapting their (homestead based) farming systems for enhanced food security, nutrition and income.
It is being funded and implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation. This project builds on partnerships between HELVETAS, International Centre for Climate Change and development (ICCCAD), Development Organization for Rural Poor (DORP), Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC), Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP) and national NGOs. OKUP and ICCCAD are partners with complementary profiles, skills and advocacy networks are a concern in the partnership.
Mechanisms are well positioned to connect grass-root work with national and international knowledge sharing and advocacy networks. OKUP is a migrant organization promoting safe migration and advocating rights of migrant workers, HEVLVETAS already relates with through joint national and regional engagements in promoting migration governance and migrant rights. ICCCAD and HELVETAS maintain an institutional and professional relationship through joint work at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). The knowhow and the institutional relationships of the four organizations have been used already extensively during the design of the Project, and will be leveraged fully during its implementation.
To build resilience and reduce well-being loss of climate change affected disadvantaged communities
To prevent the loss of well being of women and youth at the frontlines of climate change impacts in South west Bangladesh
The target areas of the Project are situated in the Bagerhat District and Khulna District. The specific Project locations were selected based on poverty incidence, climate change vulnerability and the exposure of the target population to water related threats. 4 sub-districts were prioritized for their similarity in regard to the socio-economic and environmental conditions. The Project will cover all the 4 Unions of the Sharonkhola Sub-District, 6 Unions of the Morrelganj Sub-District, 5 Unions of the Paikgachca Sub-District, and 5 Unions of the Koyra Sub-District. About 500’000 people live in these 20 Unions.
The Project’s target is to reach out to about 100’000 women and youth of the disadvantaged communities. The primary target population is disadvantaged women and youth with less income than USD 1.25/1.0 per day. Additional criteria for beneficiary selection are the lack of year-round access to drinking water, and dependency on agricultural land that has become unproductive due to salinity of soil and water. Special attention will be given to women and youth which are marginalized for social reasons, including members of religious and ethnic minorities, and women and youth with special needs.
Approaches to enhance social justice by leveraging these development outcomes by following ways:
- Action Research – Preparatory Studies: Addressing basic needs and diversify livelihood options (WASH, saline tolerant crop and fish cultivation, functional disaster management structures) through inclusive governance and market led approaches and solutions. By supporting and feeding action research and studies related to livelihood systems, wherein migration plays a key role, and using the analysis and lessons for the development of strategies and options suitable to leverage promising transformative potentials (skills, market integration, remittances, political and economic governance).
- Capacity Building of Targeted Stakeholders: Enhancing absorptive and adaptive capacities of disadvantaged communities in neighboring Districts and Sub-districts to address basic needs and diversify livelihood options (WASH, saline tolerant crop and fish cultivation, functional disaster management structures) through inclusive governance and market led approaches and solutions.
- Lesson Learning and Outreach: By amplifying the effects of emerging and ongoing local advocacy and governance structures and processes (e.g. accountability and resource allocation mechanisms), which empower disadvantaged communities and groups in local decision making and resource management, and improve their access to social protection schemes in times of crisis; and by connecting and integrating the local advocacy outcomes with national climate change and development related advocacy structures and initiatives
- Policy Advocacy: By contributing with lessons learnt to evidence based advocacy for transparent and inclusive governance structures for effective (local level) climate change financing and monitoring that will catalyze transformative potentials.
Project plan and proposed methodology
A series of preparatory studies is concerned to be conducted within the project locations to better understand the agro-ecological, socioeconomic and political context of climate change in the targeted districts and adopt an evidence-based approach to action, a series preparatory studies will be undertaken in selected sites within the project locations.
The studies will employ, literature review, primary data collection and data analysis to produce evidence based output. Hence field trips will be conducted to collect primary data from the selected study sites. Three separate studies will be conducted as outlined below:
- Participatory Vulnerability Study: In collaboration with other partners, specifically to identify climate change impacts and vulnerabilities and to identify the implications on livelihoods and migration. The team will conduct ground level qualitative research using different qualitative research tools with the local community and local stakeholders.
- Climate Finance Need Assessment: To identify the financial needs of the local government and the local community through consultations with local community and key expert interviews with local experts and local governments.
- Mainstreaming Climate Resilient Solutions in Local Government Planning: To review the local government related policies, legislation, plans and to identify the scope for mainstreaming innovative local solutions. This study will analyze existing policies and regulations to identify gaps and will undertake consultation with the local government to understand community plans and procedure.