Joint Needs Assessment Bangladesh: Lessons Learned and Way Forward

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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“Lessons learned from the multi-agency, multi-sector assessment of water-logging in South-west Bangladesh”


Heavier than usual rains during the end of July and early August 2011 resulted in flooding and a situation referred to as “severe water-logging” in many areas of Bangladesh particularly in the south western districts of Shatkira, Khulna and Jessore, and potentially significant humanitarian needs in Southwest Bangladesh were identified. On 25th August, Disaster Management Bureau (DMB), Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, estimated that over 800,000 people in Satkhira district were affected.

ACAPS and ECB had been collaborating on improving JNA. Collaboration at the time of the water-logging had involved a scoping study on coordinated approaches to assessments in Bangladesh and an agreement to move forward on some level of JNA preparedness (although plans for what this preparedness would look like had not been clearly established).

With this as background; Initiated by ECB around 20 I/NGOs, in coordination with WFP, UNICEF, CDMP and others, and with substantive support from ACAPS, conducted a joint needs assessment (JNA) of ongoing relief and recovery needs in relation to the flooding/water-logging in the Southwest. The assessment aimed to understand both the quantitative impact of the water-logging and well as the qualitative impact; i.e., how many people have been affected and how they were affected.

Carrying out an assessment with the involvement of so many agencies presented some challenges, including: coordination, communication channels, and an absence of assessment preparedness. Agencies involved in this assessment committed from the outset to looking at the lessons learned from this experience to identify next steps in developing a stronger humanitarian needs assessment capacity in Bangladesh.