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Social Safety Net, Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation: Examining Their Integration Potential in Bangladesh M.A. Awal Department of Crop Botany, Bangladesh Agricultural University Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh Abstract The coordination and/or inte gration among the social safe ty ne t (SSN), disaster risk manage ment (DRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA) interve ntions is a ne w fie ld but crucial for prope r mitigation of climate change risks in de ve loping countries. Though a number of institutions are in operation, the Compre he nsive Disaster Manage ment Programmes and the Climate Change Ce ll play the flagship role towards the aforesaid course in Bangladesh. The public safe ty ne t tools of Bangladesh have minimum scope for dealing with climate shocks as the inte rve ntions are mainly pove rty response . On the othe r hand, the de ve lopment programmes and/or projects in inte gration among the inte rventions conducte d by governme nt organisation (GO) are mostly DRM-CCA orie nte d like Disaste r and Climate Change Risk Manageme nt in Agriculture proje ct. The De partment for International De ve lopment (DFID) funde d Char Livelihood Programme found as a concre te e xample for full inte gration among three domains to uplift the live lihood status of chronic poor char dwe lle rs to re curre nt floods in Jamuna and Brahmaputra basins of Bangladesh. Some nongove rnme nt organisations (NGOs) assiste d with de ve lopme nt partners contribute to the unde rlying direction in climatically vulne rable hot spots or pockets in Bangladesh. Keywords Climate Change Adaptation; Disaster Risk Management; Integration; Resilience; Social Safety Net; Vulnerability

Introduction Bangladesh lies between latitudes 20째34' and 26째38'N, and longitudes 88째03' and 92째35'E with an area of 147,570 km 2. Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, its climate is tropical with a mild and dry winter from December to February, a muggy summer from March to May, and a hot, humid and rainy monsoon from June to November. Rapid geo-morphological changes mainly due to fluvial processes occur in Bangladesh despite its very flat topography except some eastern


hills. The Brahmaputra River, known locally as the Jamuna, unites with part of the Ganges to form the Padma, which, after its juncture with a third large river, the Meghna, flows into the Bay of Bengal. The southern plains are prone to tidal excursion due to the presence of the Bay. Its population has exceeded 160 million people which is the eight most populous country in the world. Therefore, the country is carrying a huge burden of population as compared to its resource potentialities and employment oppurtunities. Due to spatial geo-morphological and climatological conditions, Bangladesh is likely to become one of the worst victims of climate change. Most adverse effects of climate change are anticipated to be in the form of extreme weather events like flood and tropical sea cyclone by which population are exposed to 12.15 and 2.93 percent and corresponding Gross Domestic Products (GDPs ) are exposed to 14.51 and 3.56 percent, respectively 1. The other climate stresses such as sealevel rising, water logging, salinity, drought etc. are likely to be exacerbated due to slow onset course, leading to large scale damages to crop, employment, livelihoods and economy of the country. Moreover higher incidence of poverty in rural areas as much as 35 percent makes the situtation more vulnerable (Household Income & Expenditure Survey, HIES2010). It was estimated that more than 2.8 million rural poor where 1.7 million live with extreme poverty may be exposed to some common weather events like irregular rains, flood, drought, cyclones, tidal surges in a year and the figure would account as 3 to 5 times as many in a year if any extreme climate shock occurs 1 rs/countries/bgd; accessed April 13, 2012.

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(Awal et al., 2013). Th erefore, the risks associated with climate change have become a serious threat to the lives, livelihoods and sustainable development of Bangladesh. Continuing climate change to coming days would put extra burdens on the social and economic challenges that the poorest already face, increasing their vulnerabilities due to the dependence of their livelihoods on climate sensitive natural resources and weak social protection structures. Bangladesh government currently burns about 14 percent of the national expenditure equivalent to 2.2 percent of GDP for operating various SSN programmes. However, the climate victims are not get proper attention due to the inclusion error in selecting the beneficiary households from the programmes (Awal et al., 2013). It was also reported that the ‘poorest of the poor’ did not receive any benefit from national SSN programmes (Brakat et al., 2013). Managing the impacts of climate change requires an integrated approach. It means coordinating and integrating DR M and SSN programmes, and agricultural development interventions intended for CCA as Bangladesh’s current policy and planning documents like National Food Policy Plan of Action (NFPPoA) 2008 (2008-2015), Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009 and National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) 2005 indeed showed that so far SSN, DRM and CCA have developed separately, and little information is known on their integration. Therefore, the study has examined such integration experiences and further potentials in Bangladesh as well as in some other climate-stressed countries in the world, both in policy terms and on the ground. The synthesis can be utilised to draw implications for the design and implementation of the safety nets, and synergies built with DRM and CCA interventions, for a continuum of responses from relief to social safety nets to resilient rural development in Bangladesh. Methodology The study analysed both the secondary (i.e. literature review) and primary sources (i.e. stakeholder consultation) of data. The relevant books/booklets, journals, scientific articles/reports etc. published nationally and globally were collected through personal communications, institutional or official visits and by consulting with browsing on internet. The collected literatures were sorted and prioritised to

get a concrete synthesis on SSN programmes and other interventions like DR M and CCA that are practiced by different nations to boost their resiliencies to climate change threats. Consultation meetings were conducted with relevant stakeholders like programme staffs who are working with related tasks in GO and NGOs at national, regional, district and sub-district levels. Views and opinions were also collected from primary stakeholders or rural villagers, whose livelihoods are affected by various climate change shocks, about the services they received both from GO and NGOs portfolios. Finally Bangladeshi experience in integrating SSN, CCA and DR M measures, their impacts, limitation and challenges, and scale up potential have been anaysed. Results and Discussion Social Safety Net (SSN) and Its Operation in Bangladesh Social safety net or socioeconomic safety nets may be defined as social welfare services which are geared toward eliminating poverty in a specific area. The services may include housing re-assignment, job placement, subsidies for household bills, food supply and other cash equivalents for food. SSNs have traditionally been used to help people through shortterm stress and calamities like climate shocks e.g. cyclone, flood etc. The SSN programmes (SSNPs) also contribute to long-range development for communities. Social protection (SP) involves all initiatives that transfer income or assets to the poor, protect the vulnerable against livelihood risks, and enhance the social status and rights of the marginalised (Devereux and Sabates-Wheeler, 2006). The ‘3P’―protective, preventive and promotive, has gained considerable attention with academics and policymakers in recent years – as illustrated by its inclusion in the World Bank’s new strategy on social protection and labour (World Bank, 2011). Nowadays, Bangladesh has near to a hundred public SSNPs like Old Age Allowance, Allowance for the Widowed, Gratuitous Relief, Vulnerable Group Development, Allowance for the Financially Insolvent Disabled, Rural Employment Opportunities for Protection of Public, Test Relief, Rural Employment, Social Forestation and Rural Maintenance Programme etc. Most of the SSNPs rely on food aid, some of those transfer cash whereas some provide a combination of


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both. Some of those SSNPs are conditional while most of the programmes are unconditional. Most initiatives are ‘ex post’ coping initiatives, with a few being ‘ex ante’ preventive measures that represent a poor SSN policy in the country. Most SSNPs are poverty response however, as a by-product some DRR benefits are normally achieved from their operations where the CCA link is hardly found. Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Disaster risk reduction (DRR ) is a systematic approach to identifying, assessing and reducing the risks of disaster. It is very wide-ranging; whose scope is much broader and deeper than conventional emergency management. The term DRM is often used in the same context and to mean much the same thing that is more properly applied to the operational aspects or practical implementation of DRR initiatives. Until now, social protection responses to climate disaster have been ad hoc i.e. it generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalised, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. A good DR M strategy should be a part of a government or development policy which effectively balances between ex ante and ex post actions. For example, ex ante prevention (such as construction of barrage and dams, or irrigation works) or mitigation (e.g. insurance) may decrease the probability of crop loss. Ex post interventions provide mechanisms for coping after a disaster. In general, ex ante natural disaster management tends to be insufficient, focusing more on infrastructure, and with much less thought given to how to safeguard livelihoods. Ex post interventions can be categorized as (Grosh et al., 2008): i) in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, search and recovery operations and humanitarian assistance may be needed, especially for rapid-onset events such as cyclone, tsunami, typhoons etc; ii) in medium term, households will require support to prevent the further loss of assets and to allow them to start reinvesting in their livelihoods where appropriate SSNPs can play significant role to safe vulnerable people; iii) the longer-term response will focus on reconstructing public infrastructure and services. Government of Bangladesh (GoB) previously followed the post disaster management approach as compared to the disaster prevention. However from some panic experiences the government adopted a holistic or


more proactive approach that included the processes of hazard identification and mitigation, community preparedness, and integrated response efforts. The GoB implements several programmes to shift the whole paradigm of disaster management from a response and recovery culture to a risk reduction practice. The formation of Standing Order on Disaster 2010 was a good initiative to that proactive strategy where the role and responsibilities of the ministries, divisions, agencies, organizations, committees, public representatives and citizens to cope with climate shocks and natural disasters are clearly outlined. Following the formulation of NAPA 2005, the government has prepared the BCCSAP 2009 which is expected to be the blue print for subsequent integration of climate change issues in Bangladesh. Again, the GoB has prepared a National Plan for Disaster Management 2010 for 2010-2015 taking into the consideration the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. Recently, the GoB has enacted a law (number 34 of 2012) for more integrating, target orienting and strengthening the activities of DR M, and to build an effective disaster management framework for managing all types of hazard in the country. Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defines CCA as actions taken to help communities and ecosystems cope with changing climate, whereas Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes it as adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Such adjustment may be preventive or reactive, private or public, autonomous or planned. CCA is intrinsically tied to development issues in lower income countries especially those are exposed to frequent severe climate extremes like Bangladesh are likely to be more prepared than those that are not, and are likely in many cases to have reduced their vulnerability through adaptation to recurrent climate hazards (Brooks et al., 2005). The nature and magnitude of CCA depend on the adaptive capacity of a society that can be defined as the ability of a system to evolve in order to accommodate environmental hazards or policy change and to expand the range of variability with which it can cope (Adger, 2006). On the other word, resilience provides adaptive capacity that allow

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for continuous development, like a dynamic adaptive interplay between sustaining and developing with change (Smit and Wandel, 2006).

household level; 

Integration/Coordination among SSN, DRM and CCA Interventions Previously, the policies or action plans have been taken separately. With gaining experiences the policies are now considered in a somewhat combined manner. The shocks related to extreme weather was managed as post disaster response but it is now treated proactively that is the first step of integration as DR MSSN. Later, the CCA intervention is linked to DRM strategies (i.e. DR M-CCA) as the negative impacts of climate change are appearing as progressively higher. The SSN-CCA is also a venture when agriculture intervention under climate risks is tagged to weather insurance policy. In a few instances like Char Livelihood Prog ramme in Bangladesh, Productive Safety Net Prog ramme in Ethiopia, Drought Mitigation th rough Irrigation and Conservation Ag riculture Extension Project in Malawi, Sustainable Livelihoods Prog ramme and IndexBased Livestock Insurance Project in Mongolia etc., all three domains are connected together (i.e. DRM-SSNCCA) to take the wider advantages from their full integration which successfully reduced climate risks. SP has much to offer in helping the poorest to reduce their exposure to current (DRR) and future (adaptation) climate shocks. Bangladeshi people are resilient to some extent against climate change threats having come through a period of enormous upheaval. But their ability to improve their lives is already undermined by persistent poverty. Hence appropriate SSN programmes may improve resiliency through promotion of livelihood. The topic of this study is particularly relevant for Bangladesh, where the link between climate-based vulnerability and risk and poverty is so pronounced. This analysis can have a real impact, and serve as a good example for other countries in the region. In Principle, SSN Can Influence CCA: 

by increasing resilience vulnerability and risk;



regular and predictable SSN can address common market failures in credit and insurance (and labor, goods, inputs), which in the context of subsistence agriculture links production and consumption decisions at the

by strengthening and supporting ‘community risk management’ because households are linked via reciprocal relationships, social networks and economic exchanges.

Specific Channels by Which SSN Can Affect CCA Are: 

Improving human capital—including nutritional status, health status and educational attainment, this enhances productivity and improves employability.

Facilitating change in productive activities, such as by relaxing credit, savings and /or liquidity constraints, and thereby SSN can impact:

investment in productive activities

accumulation of productive assets

change in productive strategies (new crops, techniques, etc).

Improving the ability of households to deal with risks and shocks, by providing insurance via regular and predictable transfers, and thereby SSNs can help: 

avoid detrimental risk coping strategies

avoid risk averse production strategies

increase risk taking into more profitable crops and/or activities.

Relieving pressure on informal insurance mechanisms, by regular and predictable transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable, thereby SSNs can reduce the burden on social networks.

Strengthening the local economy. Cash SSNs represent a significant injection of cash into a local economy, which may lead to multiplier effects on local goods and labor markets via economic linkages.

Taken together, SSN can increase resilience and reduce vulnerability at the household, community and local economy level, and thereby SSNs can facilitate CCA. Some Global Experiences in Integrating SSN, DRM and CCA Interventions DFID supported partners have implemented a seed voucher and fair program to 35,000 households throughout Kenya’s semi-arid region in response to prolonged drought. It has encouraged farmers to


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maintain crop diversity on their farms, contributing to socio-ecological resilience (Davies et al., 2008). The Government with a joint donor group designed two important food security programmes ‒ the Productive Safety Net Program and the Household Asset Building Programme2 in drought prone Ethiopia to provide a climate smart safety net support through systematically integrating implications of climate change. The programme includes employment in public works which have the ability to cover the construction of soil and water conservation structures (Bockel et al., 2009). The USAID-funded Enhanced Livelihoods in the Mandera Triangle Programme worked to increase the self-reliance and resiliency of the vulnerable population through improved livelihoods in drought prone pastoral areas like Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia (USAID, 2010). CAR E International has worked with Drought Mitigation through Irrigation and Conservation Agriculture Extension Project in the south-western lakeshore escarpment of the Malawi (CAR E, 2009). To prevent crop failures through promotion of small-scale, sustainable and replicable irrigation systems, the project assists most marginalized households who are vulnerable to the impact of drought and flooding. Madagascar and Haiti are the most vulnerable countries to weather-related shocks like seasonal cyclones, floods and droughts. Existing post disaster and emergency responses and SSNs with relief aid were scaled up to proactive responses with workfare program which facilitate for maintaining/ rehabilitating the public capital and infrastructures like roads, irrigation schemes, management of watersheds and catchment areas degraded by climate shocks (Bockel et al., 2009). Concrete Examples of Integration in Asian Countries In India, Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation Programme addressed agriculture, water and coastal sectors to develop a framework for implementing adaptation measures that will increase the resilience of key development sectors to the longterm impacts of climate change. It focused the areas that are most prone to the impacts of climate change, 2 cts/psnp/; accessed August 13, 2013.


especially floods and droughts 3. The DR M in Pakistan is mainly earthquake basis where CCA has gained a little importance. However an 18-month programme like Rural Development and Drought Mitigation Project was launched on 2004 in Balochistan ‒ the largest province of Pakistan which is drought-prone, with a larger population is poor depending on rain-fed agriculture. Drought problem was mitigated through improved community watershed and rangeland management and, water conservation methods such as water harvesting and community irrigation (ADB, 2004). Strengthening Capacities for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness and Climate Risk Management in the Agricultural Sector funded by FAO is a project for combining DRR approaches with climate-risk management at the institutional and community level in Nepal, although there is no component of SP yet 4. Salt water in Sri Lanka's coastal rice fields is a problem that is certain to get worse as sea levels rise. Practical Action has worked through farmer-led trials with traditional and modern rice varieties which are salinetolerant, temperature-resistant and pest-resistant 5. A pilot programme called the Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project financed by World Bank implemented to develop adaptive strategies for promoting the climate-resiliency of Philippine agriculture and natural resource management seeks to increase farmers' capacity to cope with climate change through such measures as making the irrigation and other agricultural infrastructure more climate resilient, enhancing delivery and effectiveness of extension services for farm-level climate risk management, pilottesting of a weather index-based crop insurance, and improving management of watersheds and protected areas 6. A two-tiered integration policy with a Sustainable Livelihoods Programme and an Index-based Weather Insurance Scheme has been designed for saving the livelihood of Mon golian herders where livestock are subjected to extreme weather events like droughts, and severe winter-spring colds known as dzuds. The 3 f-adaptation/projects/project.

php?id=34. change/55744/en/. 5; accessed De cember 29, 2012. 6 http://www.climate; accessed Fe bruary 18, 2013. 4

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first tool was designed to reduce losses through community-based natural resource management, land-use and contingency reserve planning, financing of local public and club goods to improve preparedness for winter (for example, hay and fodder production and fodder storage), demonstration of new technologies to improve resilience, distance learning for herders on pasture management and herd management to improve winter preparation, and testing new institutional arrangements for pastoral risk management. The second one allows herders to transfer some risk between 6 and 30 percent to the private insurance market, backed by international reinsurance (Belete, 2007). Bangladeshi Experiences in Integration at Policy Level Bangladesh is at the forefront in CCA. The GoB has approved the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) in 2003 which addresses livelihood adaptation to risks associated with climate variability and change. It is a concrete example of proactive approach to facilitate a paradigm shift in disaster management away from relief and rehabilitation towards risk reduction, and to foster a holistic, multi-hazard approach for reducing the risks and vulnerabilities. It has two phases: the first to create the necessary systems and increase government capacities and the second to put them into operation. The Phase I (2004-2009) where the government sought to set the foundations for incorporating long-term disaster management into development strategy and to mainstream DRM approaches throughout the ministries. Several core programme components such as Climate Change Cell (CCC), Disaster Management Information Centre, Community Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction Action Planning Guidelines, Local Disaster Risk Reduction Fund, and Livelihood Adaptation to Climate Change (LACC) Programme were developed under this phase that have made significant contributions to increasing the nation’s capacity to respond proactively to disasters. The initiatives illustrate how Bangladesh is a nation that is turning its rhetoric on CCA and DRR into action. The CDMP Phase II (2010-2014), with the goals of the Hyogo Framework for Action, aimed to vertical and horizontal expansion upon the achievements of first phase by institutionalising DRR and CCA across thirteen key ministries and agencies (CDMP, 2010). It is currently working to select and recommend the best

feasible CCA options for a community through exploring, consulting, piloting and screening the locally practiced options on the different aspects of climate change issues like safe drinking water, water logging, drought, salinity etc. Under the CDMP, the CCC acts as the central focus for the Government’s climate change related work, with the objective of ‘ Establishing an Integrated Approach to Climate Change Risk Management at National and Local Levels’. The Cell’s work focuses on building the capacity to mainstream climate change issues in development activities. It addresses current impacts and manages future risks of climate change and variability at all levels in all stages toward a climate resilient Bangladesh. It facilitates management of long term climate risks and uncertainties as an integral part of national development planning. Concrete Examples of Integration of SSN, DRM and CCA in Bangladesh Government Initiatives 1)

LACC Project

The LACC was a pilot project implemented by the Department of Agricultural Extension which promotes CCA and DRR processes and adaptive capacities to climate variability and change for sustainable livelihoods and food security in the rural areas of Bangladesh through involving local communities in making effective CCA strategies. It was operated with two phases. The first phase (i.e. LACC I) was implemented in 2005-2007 which focused on translating climate change impacts into local and regional agriculture impacts and response options and livelihood adaptation practices. It covered four pilot drought prone subdistricts in north-western part of Bangladesh. The LACC II was implemented in 2008–2009 in 10 subdistricts with expanding its area to south-western coastal region of Bangladesh, which is characterised by high salinity, siltation, water logging, degradation, fresh water scarcity, cyclones, and storm surges and flooding. It aimed to introduce, improve or further strengthen DRR and CCA capacities for sustainable livelihoods and food security including crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry and other key sectors of rural livelihoods of Bangladesh (FAO, 2008). The LACC projects have demonstrated certain strengths and good practices such as use of social mobilisation for community participation,


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integration of climate change science in Climate Field School, capitalisation of local knowledge as entry point for enhancing livelihood adaptation practices, and programmatic messages in terms of the various livelihood adaptation options. Effectiveness/Achievement/Output of LACC Project: The project involves anticipated measures to the impacts of climate change by involving local communities. With special focus on livelihood adaptation, the project fits into the CCA concept. It demonstrated the effectiveness of bottom-up approaches to adaptation. Some important achievements of LACC project: 

farmers and extension agents are trained on CCA options to face the challenges of climate change and environmental stresses in the sectors of crop, fisheries, livestock and social forestry production;

DRR and CCA options in agriculture go hand to hand;

adaptation and farmers livelihood interests are linked;

it linked between the bottom-up livelihood perspective and top-down government perspective.

drinking water, salinity, sanitation etc. Rural villagers of Bangladesh have gladly accepted the innovations of the project as these screened from local practices. Following important views of the project were found with consulting to related program staffs/stakeholders. Expected Outcomes of the DCRMA Project: 

creation of effective communication system and information flow from top-to-bottom tiers, and vice-versa through establishing the executable framework of the project;

increase of institutional and technical capacities to disseminate the climate related information, disaster preparedness and CCA in agriculture effectively;

assessment of livelihood status, vulnerabilities, coping or adapting strategies of coastal rural communities of Bangladesh;

formulation of effective strategies on CCA and disaster preparedness activities, their testing, piloting and executing by participatory activities with local communities;

Counseling with various stakeholders especially in district and national levels for mainstreaming the project activities to the government policy and/or planning.

Limitations of LACC Project: 

the fund size was small;

the huge amount of money was utilised to consultancy.

capacity building from local to national institutions should be improved;


good practices should rapidly be disseminated to the relevant stakeholders or end users;

The DCR MA project from January 2011 to December 2014, a national programme of pilot LACC project which is working in the five northwestern drought prone districts, eight southern coastal districts including water logged areas, eight flood prone districts including water logged areas, and five flash/early flood prone north-eastern districts. In each district, two sub-districts were selected. It prioritises the locally-practiced adaptation options due to climate change through their proper piloting, screening, upscaling and extension to the users. It aims to ensure improved food and livelihood security of rural poor of the country through reducing the risk due to disaster and climate change and improving the adaptive capacity in the various sectors like crops, safe

seminars, symposium, workshop etc. should be increased at local level with active participation of farmers or rural villagers.

2) Disaster and Climate Change Management in Agriculture (DCRMA) Project


Further Scale-up Potentialities of the Project:

Obstacle to Implement the Project: 

lack of much technical persons for proper coordination between institutions and end users;

lack of enough appropriate persons for early warning system due to extreme weather;

lack of online (web based) resources or documentations like infestation of diseases and insect pests with proper remedial measures, development of crop varieties, new agriculture technologies etc.

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Non-government Initiatives Bangladesh is recognised for her openness towards NGOs. There are probably more and bigger NGOs in Bangladesh than in any other country of its size (Ahmad, 2006). NGOs have capacity to innovate and adapt options more quickly than government. Their influence has led to an increasing impact and political influence on government. As a result government has been incorporating them into various committees within the line ministries from grassroots to national levels and sharing and learning from their experiences in different sectors. NGOs are playing an important role in various capacity building efforts around local governance and climate change and disaster planning, although they contribute in other ways as well. Most NGOs target the extreme poor – to help them lift themselves out of poverty. Previously NGO’s works in Bangladesh were primarily concentrated on antipoverty activities especially with microcredit programmes. During the 1990s there was a major shift in the approach to hazard management and efforts got underway by many NGOs to move from providing post-disaster relief and humanitarian aid to a more preventive approach to hazard management by trying to increase the ability of local communities to prepare for and cope with natural hazards and to reduce the longer-term impacts of climate change. Recently, most NGOs like CAR E, Action Aid, Oxfam, Practical Action, CARITAS etc. have started to link their work to climate change in Bangladesh. NGOs have an implementation role within the policy framework (of climate change works in Bangladesh like NAPA, BCCSAP etc.): to link the grassroots with higher-level processes, as an interface between communities and the government. The bulk of the role for NGOs also envisaged by policymakers in BCCSAP is in community liaison, awareness-raising, crop demonstration etc. The GoB’s climate change policy mostly deals with the intermediate local government, and it appears that due to lack of enough manpower the government has abdicated responsibility for grassroots i.e. people-level. The role of NGOs is to bridge this gap and bring climate change information and adaptation to communities. Therefore at present, NGOs are very broad array of actors, who contribute ‘filling up’ the vacuum left by the government. Although NGOs have a significant impact on the whole process but their efforts are also plagued by severe obstacles. NGOs continue to suffer from a lack

of resources and from their general estrangement from the state. Unless they become partners with government, and not competitors, capacity-building initiatives will continue to be stunted. Some specific examples where DRM and CCA or SSN programmes are integrated through NGOs works are cited: 1)

Char Livelihood Programme (CLP)

The DFID-funded CLP works with extreme poor households living on flood and erosion-prone islands or chars in the n orthern Jamuna and the Brahmaputra floodplains, with the aim of halving extreme poverty by 2015. The CLP uses a combination of ‘core’ social protection approaches, such as cash for work programme, with range of protective and promotional safety net interventions like asset transfers and complementary intervention with proper balancing between protection and promotion. This is because livelihood promotion activities are not sufficient in the early phase of the programme for extremely poor beneficiaries to avoid indebtedness and to meet unexpected health needs. The cash for work programme thus provide a safety net for the chronic poor upon which is possible to introduce social protection livelihood approaches that provide a longer-term, more sustainable solution to poverty and vulnerability reduction. The CLP works for constructing flood protected houses and elevating the existing houses to remove the threat from frequent floods due to climate change. Habitat protection from recurrent floods not only makes the CLP fit into CCA but full integration of SSN-DRM-CCA is found in this programme. 2) Mainstreaming LivelihoodCentred Approaches to Disaster Management (MLCADM) Practical Action has operated some important projects to promote the livelihood status of flood, erosion and cyclone prone communities in Bangladesh. Among those MLCADM is a successful DRR project (2006-2010) which was funded by DFID. It targeted 6,000 poor households in flood prone, drought and river erosion affected areas of Gaibandha, Sirajgonj and Bogra districts and illustrated some of the technologies promoted and emphasising the involvement of local government in building community and household resilience (Arnall et al., 2010). 3) Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change Project It was a three year action learning project in the


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south western region of Bangladesh conducted by CAR E – one of the pioneers on working in the field of CCA. Th e project contributed knowledge on a range of issues relevant to local adaptation including the uptake of salt tolerant crop varieties especially rice and drought resistant crops, approaches to livestock rearing in the context of regular flooding, reduced health impacts of flooding through sanitary latrines, development of rainwater harvesting systems and other technologies for improved access to safe drinking water, development of adaptations to housing construction to make it more resistant to cyclonic storms (UNEP, 2010). 4)

Flood Resistant Housing

Year after year, the floods destroy homes and crops, often hitting the poorest those who live in the charlands of the delta where the Himalayan waters flow towards the Bay of Bengal. Practical Action has worked with communities in Bangladesh to develop simple and affordable flood-resistant housing. Simply, a 2 ft high concrete plinth which prevents house being washed away. Walls made from jute panels that cost very little yet are quick and easy to replace. Or portable hen houses, which mean a family's valuable assets, can safely be removed from the waters. 5)

Floating Gardens

Much of the land in the different areas of Bangladesh is inundated by water during the monsoon season, making it impossible to grow crops. Practical Action has developed a technology to allow farmers to grow vegetables on flooded land. A floating garden is built using water hyacinth, which is collected to construct a floating raft to grow summer and winter vegetables such as gourd, okra, leafy vegetables etc. This is covered with soil and cow dung, in which vegetables can be planted. A new raft needs to be built every year, but the old one can be used as fertiliser during the dry season. Conclusion The integration of social safety net, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation programmes is relatively a new field in developing countries. Most nations under direct threat to climate change have recognized the importance of the issue and come forward to foster the integration. In most cases, the policy on integration among those three


domains considered the weather-indexed base insurance scheme as an important device to transfer the climate risks in CCA process although the insurance policy to agricultural production is hardly available in Bangladesh. Amon g the Asian nations however, Bangladesh saw the considerable momentum in integrating among the SSN, CCA and DR M elements into their vulnerability-reducing agricultural programmes. The journey should go another long way as Bangladesh is the worst victim of climate change in the world. Disclaimer and Acknowledgment This paper was based on a study financed under the Research Grants Scheme (RGS) of the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP). The purpose of the RGS was to assist in improving research and dialogue within civil society so as to inform and enrich the implementation of the National Food Policy. The NFPCSP was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU), Ministry of Food with the financial support of EU and USAID. Thanks to Drs. Ciro Fiorillo, Shahin Yaqub, S.A. Sabur and Nur A. Khondaker, NFPCSP/FAO Bangladesh for their valuable comments and suggestions for revising the manuscript. The designation and presentation of material in this publication did not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO nor the NFPCSP, Government of Bangladesh, EU or USAID and reflected the sole opinions and views of the author who was fully responsible for the contents, findings and recommendations of this report. REFERENCES



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M.A. Awal Born in Tangail district of Bangladesh on January 1, 1971, whose father is Mr M Amzad Hossain, a re tire d se rvice holde r. He gre w up with spe nding childhood in his own village , Baimail of Mirzapur sub-district whe re he comple te d primary le ve l e ducation in 1980. Subse que ntly he comple te d his secondary e ducation from Mirzapur SK High School in 1986 and higher secondary e ducation from Mirzapur Colle ge in 1988. Thereafter he admitte d to Bangladesh Agricultural Unive rsity (BAU), Myme nsingh and passe d the Bache lor of Scie nce de gree in Agriculture in 1992. He continue d at the same Unive rsity, whe re , later, in 1997, he took his Maste rs of Scie nce de gree in Crop Botany. Years later, Awal move d to Niigata Unive rsity, Japan with ‘Jin-nai Inte rnational Stude nt Scholarship Program’ to conduct Doctoral study with a proje ct work on how soil tempe rature affects the phe no-phase de ve lopment, source -sink re lationship, radiation-use e fficie ncy and productivity of peanut crop in cool te mpe rate climate . He successfully earne d the Doctor of Philosophy degree on Environme ntal Manageme nt Scie nce in 2003. Awal e ffective ly e ngage d as a JSPS (Japan Socie ty for the Promotion of Scie nce ) Postdoctoral Fe llow in Nagoya Unive rsity, Japan from 2004 to 2006 for conducting a work how urbanization affects the carbon dioxide flux and carbon se que stration be tween the forest e cosystem and atmosphere. His career as a teacher starte d in 1997, whe n he was re cruite d as a Le cturer in the De partment of Crop Botany unde r the Faculty of Agriculture of BAU. Serving in same De partment he was appointe d as an Assistant Professor in 2000 and Associate Professor in 2004, and finally Professor in 2009. Curre ntly he is additionally se rving as a Curator of the Botanical Garde n of Bangladesh Agriculture Unive rsity whe re a vast spectrum of plant dive rsity including e ndangere d spe cies is reare d. He is de vote d to conducting scie ntific research on climate change issues and curre ntly he is e ngage d to some project works on the unde rlying discipline . He supe rvise d the researches about 25 Maste rs’ stude nts, and publishe d nume rous inte resting scie ntific article s in some world famous journals, fe w of those are(i) ‘Comparing the carbon se questration capacity of tempe rate de ciduous forests be twee n urban and rural landscapes in ce ntral Japan’ publishe d in Urban Forestry & Urban Gre e ning 2010; 9(3): 261-270.


Inte rnational Journal of Sociology Study Vol. 1 Iss. 4, De ce mber 2013

(ii) ‘Radiation inte rce ption and use by maize /peanut inte rcrop canopy’ publishe d in Agricultural and Forest Me te orology 2006; 139(1-2): 74-83. (iii) ‘The e ffect of soil tempe rature on source–sink e conomy in peanut (Arachis hypogaea)’ publishe d in Environme ntal and Expe rime ntal Botany 2003; 50(1): 41-50. Dr. Awal is e ngage d to various professional socie ties like Japan Crop Scie nce Socie ty (2001-2002), Japanese Forestry Socie ty (2005-2006), the Socie ty of Agricultural Me te orology


of Japan (2005-2006), and Ame rican Me teorological Socie ty (2005-2008) as a me mbe r. Curre ntly Prof. Awal is a member of AsiaFLUXne t ( since 2005. Prof. Awal wrote about thirty scie ntific articles which were publishe d in diffe re nt national and inte rnational journals. Due to the outstanding contribution Dr. Awal’s Bibliography was publishe d in the Silve r Annive rsary of Who’sWho in the World on 2008: a Who’sWho in Ame rica Publication, Marquis Who’s Who LLC, 25th Edition, page 117.

Social Safety Net, Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation  
Social Safety Net, Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation