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Early Warning & Action - a message (and a mime!) from U. of Dhaka


13 October 2022 was International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. To mark it, on 12 October, the GRRIPP South Asia organised a creative and informative event centred on early warning and action. Professor Mahbuba Nasreen, Raisa Imran Chowdhury, and Masuma Moriom have summarised proceedings.


28 participants in a group shot at the university of dhaka event, stood in front of a purple banner and behind a table
Participants of the Early Warning & Early Action for All event

In observance of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) 2022, GRRIPP South Asia organized a thematic discussion on ‘Early Warning and Early Action for all” and launched the mime performance on “Cyclone Preparedness from an Intersectional Lens - Shelter''. The event took place on 12th October 2022 at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building, University of Dhaka. The aim of the event was to explore early warning and early action opportunities for all.


Image of two actors dressed as mimes (with white face paint and stripey tops) crouched on the floor in the bottom right corner of the image.
Screenshot from the mime film: Cyclone Preparedness from an Intersectional Lens - Shelter. To watch the full film, visit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15lhXhUMQ3CJNdrQv54Ll1zHQ7JNiz8fj/view

In 2022, the IDDRR focused on Target G of the Sendai Framework: “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.” As the theme aligns with ‘accessibility for all’, it synced well with the core objective of GRRIPP.


At our Early Warning & Early Action event, Professor Syed Humayun Akhter, PhD, Vice-Chancellor, Bangladesh Open University graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Special Guests included Professor Mahbuba Nasreen, Regional Lead of GRRIPP South Asia and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Bangladesh Open University along with Ms. Dilruba Haider, Programme Specialist, Climate Change, DRR & Humanitarian Action, UN Women and the regional board member of GRRIPP South Asia.


Woman stood behind a lecturn giving a presentation

Three women are sat on chairs in a conference room with around 10 participants and a video camera behind.
Special Guests converse during a break.

Woman stood behind a lecturn giving a presentation

Discussants for the event included: Subir Kumar Saha, Coordinator of DRR & CCA of Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman, Deputy Managing Director (Research, Planning and Development), Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and Ahmadul Haque, Director (Administration), Deputy Secretary, Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP), Government of Bangladesh. The discussants were primarily Bangladesh-based policy makers and practitioners who work globally for early warning and early actions.


Major Takeaways from Discussions:

  1. Policy makers need to work on contingency plans in addition to the core planning activity of early warning dissemination. Both urban and rural territories need to be considered for inclusive planning, using gender & intersectional lenses.

  2. Mobilizing community members for non-structural early warning dissemination and evacuation can be a key to generate actions for all – especially in leaving no one behind. Interactive games for awareness raising can be an option for youths to engage in such activities.

  3. Wireless communication needs to be explored and adopted for any disruptions to networks during an emergency. Vulnerable hotspots should be in the top priority list.

  4. More research on inclusive strategy development is crucial for early warning and early actions. The GRRIPP network could be a good source of collaborating experts from different parts of the globe who share similar work interests.

To watch the Mime film on Cyclone Preparedness from an Intersectional Lens - Shelter, visit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15lhXhUMQ3CJNdrQv54Ll1zHQ7JNiz8fj/view


To watch Prof. Nasreen's interview on the event, visit: https://youtu.be/6KUZrO6D_zM


Author bio: Raisa Imran Chowdhury is the GRRIPP South Asia Region's Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator. Raisa has over four years experience working in the humanitarian sector, including with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.

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