From 2 to 7 February 2020, DPPC mission members led by Prof. Dr. Masafumi Goto with Dr. Khamarrul Azahari Razak, Dr. Mohammad Ali Tareq and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shohei Matsuura visited Dhaka, Bangladesh to promote MJIIT’s disaster program and to engage with key DRRM stakeholders in Bangladesh, ranging from research institutes, government agencies, NGOs and international donors.

The objectives of the outreach program are as follows:
1. MJIIT’s disaster program becomes known to DRRM researchers and implementing agencies/organizations in Bangladesh
2. Network is built among abovementioned stakeholders and MJIIT/DPPC members
3. Student numbers increase for MDRM Program
4. Through understanding of DRR situations in Malaysia and Bangladesh, topics for possible joint research are discussed

On the first day, the mission visited BRAC University’s Postgraduate Programs in Disaster Management (PPDM) and was greeted by Prof. Fuad Hassan Mallick (Dean), Prof. Zainab Faruqui Ali and Mr. Mohammad Fedaus. PPDM is one of the first comprehensive DRR post-graduate course in Bangladesh and have produced over 100 graduates since its start. PPDM expressed interested to utilize DPPC’s knowledge in flood and structural modelling as well as student/faculty exchange programs.

Originally established with support from the Japanese Government, the Japan Institute of Disaster Prevention and Urban Safety, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET-JIDPUS) is headed by Dr. Raquib Ahsan (Director) and owns 3 labs (Structural Dynamics, EQ and Geotechnology and Non-destructive Testing) with the largest share table in Bangladesh. JIDPUS is planning to establish a MA course on Disaster Management Technology and interested to develop a sandwich program with MJIIT.

Professor Dr. Mahbuba Nasrin, Director of the Institute of Disaster Management & Vulnerability Studies (IDMVS), University of Dhaka, is one of the key researchers that has advanced DRRM studies from a social science approach. IDMVS has a diploma course and 2 masters course (regular and professional) in DRRM in which the graduates are now active stakeholders in government, international organizations, NGOs and academia. IDMVS has been one of the key advisors to design the Standing Orders on Disaster (SOD).

On the second day, DPPC visited the Department of Disaster Science and Management, Faculty of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Dhaka, led by Prof. Dr. ASM Maksud Kamal (Chairman and Dean) who has been leading research in geohazard issues (e.g. earthquake, landslide), but taking both engineering and social science approach. Prof. Kamal expressed his interest to jointly work on exploring studies on EWS based on indigenous knowledge, citizen science, comparative studies on science – policy interface in DRRM.

The mission visited the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) and made a courtesy call to Senior Secretary Shah Kamal. MoDMR itself has been contributing in nurturing future DRRM leaders by providing internships to university students (about 40 annually) in which the students will do a field survey, write an academic paper that will be reviewed by parliamentary committee and if successful, they will get a certificate. DPPC offered to develop a tailor-made DRRM training course for mid-career professionals.

Later in the day, the mission visited Public Works Department, Ministry of Housing and Public Works and Center for Natural Resource Studies (CNRS), which both have specific roles in DRRM as government depart looking over public buildings and on-field community development projects respectively.

On the third day, DPPC visited Center for Climate Change and Environment Research (C3er), BRAC University that has conducted various DRRM activities under UNDP’s Comprehensive Disaster Management Project (CDMP), including a development of the Risk Atlas (mapping of high-risk areas in Bangladesh) as a tool for risk-informed development and model for storm resilient shelter for river dwellers. C3er also implements professional trainings for DRR agencies on climate change adaptation.

Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), BUET has over 45 years of history as the core research institute on water-related civil engineering research in Bangladesh. Prof. Dr. Munsur Rahman and Prof. Dr. Mohammad Rezaur Rahman explained on their flagship research on quantitative assessment (Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model (ΔDIEM)) of the Integrated Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. IWFM’s post-graduate program since 2002 has produced over 150 graduates who are now top leaders in DRR agencies and organizations.

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) since establishing the DRR core group to implement several DRR projects funded by UNDRR, UNDP, World Bank and JICA has been a model for municipal governments to take its own initiatives to build disaster resilience of their communities. The mission also visited Tejkunipara Kallayan Samity in which local leaders and residents had acquired the basic CBDRR concepts in Japan (self- and mutual- help) through implementation of JICA JPP project implemented by SEEDS-Asia.

On the last day, the DPPC mission visited Center for Disaster Research Training & Management (DRTMC) and, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Dhaka in which Prof. Dr. Dr. Hafiza Khatun (Director) and Prof. Dr. Humayun Kabir (Coordinator) share their DRRM research and educational activities.

DPPC also visited and made a courtesy call to the Director General Brig Gen Md Sazzad Hussain of the Fire and Rescue Department to discuss on possible collaboration with their Malaysian counterparts with DPPC as a platform to design a training program for firefighters of both countries.

DPPC would like to thank JICA Bangladesh Office, specifically Mr. Md. Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, Program Manager and Mr. Naoki Matsumura, JICA DRR Coordinator for their support in linking and arranging the meetings with the key DRR stakeholders in Bangladesh.