The British Council
Higher Education Link Programme
provided funding for exchange of researchers between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom to support the development of co-operation which contributes to staff and institutional capacity building in Bangladesh.
The first part of the research was a conceptual exercise, using the case study of Dhaka metropolitan region, to understand how we can look at social vulnerability to climate change with a focus on the built environment. The interrelations between poverty, rapid urbanisation, environmental degradation, slums and insecurity of tenure are some of major features of the work. Also interrelated are the impacts from climate change including flooding, urban heat island, rural-urban migration leading to rising household costs, exacerbation of public health problems and other aspects of increased social vulnerability. The conceptual work lead to focus on understanding the coping mechanisms of the urban poor for increased flooding and heat in their neighbourhoods.
The second part of the research was empirical and included interviews with 65 households in two informal settlements in Dhaka: Korail and Mohammadpur. The focus of these interviews was to understand the different coping mechanisms households are using to respond to flooding, water clogging and extreme heat.
Results of the research have been presented at Third International Conference on Community Based Adaptation in Dhaka in February 2009, at the World Bank Urban Research Symposium in Marseilles in June 2009 and at the EPI-Centre Risk Perception Symposium at University College London in October 2009.