15/06/2017

Surging locally; responding to the 2016 Bangladesh floods - report and webinar


Upcoming webinar discussing the findings of the report on 22 June 2017 at 09.00-10:00 BST/UK time (08:00-09:00 GMT, 14:00-15:00 Bangladesh) - Find out more


In central and northern Bangladesh in August 2016, nearly 4 million people were affected by flooding with over 100 people killed and hundreds of thousands fleeing their homes. When flooding receded, they left in their wake massive damages to crops, houses and infrastructure.

Despite the scale of the disaster, the Bangladesh floods failed to make headlines worldwide. Yet behind the scenes, a locally led emergency response helped to bring relief to the many affected by the floods.

Within the framework of the Transforming Surge Capacity project, a group of researchers has documented the emergency response to the Bangladesh floods in a new report. Highlights include:

  • The emergency response benefited from the presence of NGOs and government staff across the affected areas with a Rapid Needs Assessment coordinated by CARE Bangladesh forming the basis of the response plan for many responders.
  • Responding agencies reported a 100% Bangladeshi led response with no agencies reporting surging in staff from outside of the country
  • Although the majority of responders were reportedly men, agencies often focused on female-led response at the local level.
  • Funding provided by the Start Network from the Start Fund was key for the response of the agencies of the Transforming Surge Capacity project.
  • There were concerns that communities would run into difficulties in their efforts to rebuild themselves through sustainable livelihoods given the lack of funding and programmes for early recovery.

Based on these findings, the report advocates for changes in surge policies and practices. The suggestions include: encouraging actors to work jointly in the assessment phase; supporting women-led responses at the local level; encouraging donors to fund local and national NGOs for crisis response and early recovery; emphasising building partnerships between INGOs and local NGOs to facilitate surge response; and encouraging agencies to review their exit and early recovery strategies.  

The Transforming Surge Capacity project seeks to strengthen civil society’s surge capacity. It brings together 11 Start Network agencies and two technical partners at international, regional (Asia) and national (Pakistan and Philippines) levels to share and agree on good practices, and develop minimum standards relating to surge. 

The project has initiated pilot joint surge initiatives between NGO agencies (e.g. joint rosters), and in collaboration with the private and government sectors. It also tests models of what works where, and what can be taken to scale.


Webinar

Join the Transforming Surge Capacity Project’s webinar to discuss key findings and best practices from a newly published report on the locally led emergency response to the 2016 floods, which helped bring relief to many of those affected. 

The webinar will be led by Glenn O’Neil, one of the authors of the report, to share key findings and recommendations in changing surge policies and practices. This includes encouraging actors to work jointly in the assessment phase; supporting women-led responses at the local level and encouraging donors to fund local and national NGOs for crisis response and early recovery.

It will be held on Thursday 22 June from 09.00-10:00 BST/UK time (08:00-09:00 GMT, 14:00-15:00 Bangladesh) and can be accessed via the following link https://zoom.us/j/201480393. If you would like to join us, please get in touch with (Qadeer.Abdilleh@actionaid.org) to confirm your attendance. 

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