The district of Cox’s Bazar, located in southeastern Bangladesh, faces some of poorest living conditions in the country in part due to underdeveloped critical infrastructure.1 The Bangladeshi Bureau of Statistics identified Cox’s Bazar as one of the country’s “lagging districts” in 2017 and estimates the district’s headcount poverty rate at 17%.2,3 The aforementioned developmental issues have been compounded by the most recent influx of refugees.
For decades, Rohingya refugees have been fleeing to Bangladesh from Rakhine State, Myanmar due to periodic outbreaks in violence. An estimated 855,000 Rohingya refugees are now residing in 34 camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh, roughly two years after the recent influx.4 It is in these two Upazilas where refugee populations represent the majority of the population, estimated to outnumber the host community by three-to-one,5 and where host communities are assumed to have been most affected by the crisis.
Under the leadership and coordination of the Government of Bangladesh, rapid and effective humanitarian action has responded to the life-saving needs of the estimated 855,000 refugees while also responding to potential impacts on affected host communities.
The presence of refugee communities has raised concerns over local environmental degradation, falling wages and rising prices, exerting additional pressures on communities where public services and infrastructure were already lagging behind the national average.6 These factors have contributed in part to perceived tensions between Rohingya refugees and host communities.7 As the crisis moves beyond the initial emergency phase, comprehensive information on the needs and vulnerabilities of affected host communities is needed in order to inform the design and implementation of effective inter-sectoral programming that focuses not only on managing externalities, but also on enhancing the overall wellbeing, dignity, and self-reliance of host communities.
To this aim, a Joint Multi-Sector Needs Assessment (J-MSNA) was conducted in host communities, in consultation with Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO)8 , to support humanitarian planning and enhance the ability of operational partners, donors and coordinating bodies to meet the needs of affected populations. The J-MSNA was conducted to inform the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG)’s 2020 Joint Response Plan (JRP), with the objectives of: (1) providing a comprehensive evidence base of household-level multi-sectoral needs for the humanitarian 2020 JRP; and (2) providing the basis for joint-multi-stakeholder analysis. The J-MSNA operates upon an analytical framework for multi-sector analysis based on the work undertaken by the Joint Inter-sector Analysis Group (JIAG)9 , tailored by ACAPS and other participants of ISCG’s MSNA Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Information Management and Assessment Working Group (IMAWG) in order to meet the specific needs of the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis. The J-MSNA serves to measure current humanitarian conditions, perceptions and preferences, and safety and security in affected communities.
Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas are comprised of a combined population of approximately 100,000 households.11 A total of 1,321 households in host communities were surveyed across 11 unions12 in these two Upazilas, employing a simple random sampling methodology of shelter footprints provided by OpenStreetMap. Data collection occurred from 7 August through 9 September 2019. Each interview was conducted with an adult household representative responding on behalf of the household and its members. The assessment provides findings that are statistically representative at the union level (with a 95% confidence level and 10% margin of error) and aggregated to the overall level for the entire population of Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas (excluding unassessed areas), with a 95% confidence level and 3% margin of error.
This J-MSNA was funded by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The assessment was coordinated through ISCG’s MSNA TWG, led by ISCG and comprised of: UNHCR, International Organization for Migration Needs and Population Monitoring (IOM NPM), ACAPS, World Food Programme Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Unit (WFP VAM), Translators without Borders (TWB), and REACH.
The findings from this report complement other information products from the 2019 J-MSNA to provide a variety of analysis. In addition to the clean household-level dataset and data analysis tables for the Host Community JMSNA, readers may access summaries of key messages derived from indicator-level findings for both Rohingya refugees and affected host communities living in Teknaf and Ukhiya Upazilas in the 2019 J-MSNA Preliminary Findings Presentation. Union-level findings for indicators where notable geographic variation was observed are available at the 2019 J-MSNA Dashboard. Finally, the 2019 Host Community J-MSNA Factsheets present and visualize key indicators applicable to host communities as a whole, by sector.
This report builds off of these aforementioned publications by exploring how variation in household social and demographic characteristics may lead to significantly different outcomes on a number of sectoral and crosssectoral key indicators related to household wellbeing, including: access to food, income generation, education, market access, health care, and general safety and security. In conducting this analysis of indicator-level findings through statistical relationship testing, this report seeks to contribute to the growing body of research aimed toward understanding the diversity of needs between different households, as well as the household profiles which may be more vulnerable to facing deprivations in key indicators.