UNDP Bangladesh’s Country Programme Document (2017-2020) seeks to assist the Government of Bangladesh and its development partners to implement Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In the context of the Bangladesh 7th Five Year Plan (7FYP) and the government’s vision to graduate from Least Developed Country status, UNDP will aim to ensure a more resilient and inclusive society that shares its increasing prosperity with all. UNDP will leverage its unique position and experience to deliver tactical policy and programme expertise that supports implementation of the 7FYP and cements UNDP as a strategic partner of the government on the sustainable development agenda.
Within UNDP, the Resilience and Inclusive Growth Portfolio leads its programme and policy advisory support in climate change mitigation and adaptation; urban poverty and urbanization; social protection; disaster management and environmental sustainability, with a key focus on gender. We support the country by providing high quality policy advice, mobilizing resources, developing capacity; knowledge management and innovation, and fostering south-south cooperation. The Resilience and Inclusive Growth cluster encourages new ideas and innovation through idea generation, design thinking and bringing in various expertise. The climate change programme hosts and implements a number of projects lined up for intervention in various vulnerable locations of Bangladesh that addresses the needs and demands of the most marginalized, of which ethnic minority communities is coined as one. The programme is aware of selective disadvantages of such discriminated communities, to which the project ‘Strengthening drought-resilience of ethnic minority communities in north-western Bangladesh’ brings in approaches, interventions and opportunities for the plainland ethnic minority communities in barind region.
The ethnic minority communities living in the north and north-western highland Barind areas of Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate-induced temperature increased droughts. The Resilience and Inclusive Growth Cluster through its project ‘Strengthening drought-resilience of ethnic minority communities in north-western Bangladesh’ seeks to enhance the adaptive capacity of 315,178 ethnic minority people through enhanced access to cultural-sensitive risk information, climate resilient livelihoods, educational opportunities, and climate responsive health services. Further, the project intends to promote the representation of ethnic minorities in decision making processes and mainstream adaptation of ethnic minorities into national planning and budgeting processes on climate change. The 6 years project will be executed by HEKS/EPER, EdM as a responsible party, UNDP as an Accredited Entity, as well as national NGOs. The fund level impacts of the project are increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities and increased resilience of health and well-being, and food-security of the north-western ethnic minorities in Bangladesh. Recognizing the layered socio-economic marginalization of ethnic minorities that leads to their disproportionally increased vulnerability to the effects of climate change, the proposed solutions of the project are meant to be developed with the full consent and verification of the targeted communities to ensure their cultural-responsiveness and, ultimately, enable the communities to take ownership of their adaptation strategies to sustain shifts in livelihoods.
The paradigm shift is to move away from a focus on majority-driven action and technology-led interventions towards culturally-responsive solutions. Such solutions are meant to enable the minorities to have access to and use climate change information to build ownership and empower them to design, implement, and manage adaptive responses to safeguard their livelihoods and support their youth to break through an iterative cycle of socio-economic marginalisation. The targeting is anchored in identifying districts and upazilas most exposed to observed and projected drought impacts and with a high density of ethnic minorities.
A total of five districts (namely Naogaon, Rajshahi, Joypurhat, and Dinajpur, ChapaiNaabganj) in Northwest Bangladesh were identified as priority areas due to their high exposure to climate induced droughts The main objective of the proposal is to enhance the adaptive capacity of plainland ethnic minority communities to pursue suitable and applicable climate change adaptation strategies and, ultimately, to strengthen their resilience against current and future climate risks. The goal is related to the adaptive capacity and enhancing resilience of the plainland ethnic minority communities which are defined through outputs, which include:
Output 1: Ethnic minority communities capacitated to uptake climate resilient livelihoods and career pathways
Output 2: Enhanced access of communities to climate change informed health education sessions and services to secure a sustainable shift towards climate resilient livelihoods.
Output 3: Strengthened institutional technical capacity and ethnic minority representation to enable climate-risk informed, culturally-sensitive planning and management of livelihoods.