Panii Jibon

Project Introduction

Panii Jibon project is a HELVETAS funded initiative which addresses water related threats and vulnerabilities of an already impoverished population living in the disaster prone coastal areas of Bangladesh. The Pani Jibon project, implemented by HELVETAS in collaboration with local partners builds 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. The early successes of the Panii Jibon project can be leveraged in four ways: i) expanding tested practices (alternative solutions for water harvesting and management, saline tolerant crop and fish cultivation, and locally adapted early warning systems) into neighboring Districts and Sub-districts; ii) amplifying the effects of emerging local advocacy and governance structures and capacities, connecting and integrating them horizontally and vertically with national, regional and international climate change and development related advocacy initiatives; ii) supporting and feeding action research on the climate change – migration nexus and related livelihood systems, and using the analysis for the development of promising transformative potentials (skills, market integration, remittances management) and the promotion of local climate change financing that can catalyze these potentials.

Overall Objective

To build resilience and reduce well-being loss of climate change affected disadvantaged communities, and particularly vulnerable women and youth, in the disaster-prone areas of South West Bangladesh.

Expected Outcomes

Outcome 1: Disadvantaged communities, and particularly the women, demand their basic rights for WASH services and benefit from improved WASH governance to increase year-round access to and use of safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene practices.

Outcome 2: Women and youth enhance their food security and income through adaptation of their farming and water management systems and improved market linkages.

Transversal Outcome 1: Women and youth enhance their transformative capacities and build and sustain their basic livelihood assets and income through long-term benefits from (seasonal) out-migration.

Transversal Outcome 2: Disadvantaged communities, and particular women and youth, benefit from improved governance that leads to more participatory, transparent and accountable resource allocation mechanisms for the scaling-up of climate resilient strategies and actions.

The project will be jointly implemented by four partners namely- International Centre for Climate Change and development (ICCCAD), Development Organization for Rural Poor (DORP), Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC), Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP) under the supervision and funding of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. ICCCAD will mainly focus on achieving transversal outcome 2 through output 9 and output 10.

Output 9: The needs of women and youth, and local public and civil society stakeholders for locally adapted climate resilient solutions and coping strategies are advocated for at local and national level.

Output 10: Local Governments, CBOs and community leaders, with strong representation of women and youth, are empowered and skilled in the planning, resource mobilization, and implementation of climate resilient and disaster preparedness activities.

In 2018, ICCCAD will conduct an action research on “Understanding Climate Change Vulnerability in Two Coastal Villages in Bangladesh and Exploring Options for Resilience”. The results of the study would serve to guide capacity building and policy advocacy interventions in the following years of the project (2018-2020).”

Project Location & Target Groups

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. It is assumed that through the sub-district level activities with focus on institutional objectives (e.g. WASH budget tracking, public WASH campaigns, public-private partnerships for agricultural services, skills development services for migrants) the Project will benefit indirectly more people (ca. 40%) than the immediate target population (ca. 25%). The primary target population are 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 diversified 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 diversified 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
An action research study 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 study 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.
The action research report will be widely shared through national and international platforms with wider audiences. Based on the experience of the research, three policy briefs will be prepared and shared throughout the project phase.
Using the results from the action research, capacity building of village women groups, youth groups, NGO, CBO and civil society stakeholders and local government officials will be done in the following years. Besides, national and local level policy advocacies will be done through consultation seminars with relevant stakeholders. The policy outcomes will be promoted at international conferences like COP etc.

Action Research Report

  1. Understanding Climate Change Vulnerability in Two Coastal Villages in Bangladesh and Exploring Options for Resilience