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This is the monthly e-newsletter of Oxfam in Bangladesh.
Summary of what's happening in every month. For the full version please refer to SUMUS. 
 
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ISSUE
NOVEMBER 2014

MESSAGE FROM CONOR MOLLOY
PROGRAMME MANAGER, OXFAM NOVIB

Happy Holidays! As the days shorten and light recedes, we look forward to the coming weeks and months when the days will lengthen, the sun will burn off the fog and the cycle of renewal will begin again. Much like the natural cycle, Oxfam in Bangladesh is also going through a process of renewal and rebirth.
November was very much a time of germination for Oxfam in Bangladesh. It was a time of review and reflection. Ultimately it saw the planting of seeds that will sprout a new Oxfam in the coming months. The review of the REE-CALL programme was an opportunity to reflect upon Oxfam’s flagship programme in Bangladesh. It benefited from the participation of colleagues from across the globe and confederation and will help steer the direction of the programme into the future. A global gathering of Change Agents was hosted in Bangladesh, again bringing in participants from across the globe and confederation. A regional gathering in Kathmandu provided the opportunity for teams to engage with colleagues from South Asia, in and out of the Oxfam confederation, and to engage with policy makers and government officials. Planning and preparation for a gender audit has begun. Work started on planning and budgeting for the coming year. And, 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence kicked off. 
Perhaps most importantly, Paul Joicey delivered to us the draft of the revised Oxfam Country Strategy based upon his light touch review. We had the opportunity in November to study, ruminate upon, discuss and debate the changes the new OCS suggests and supposes. While not everyone agrees on every point and interpretation in the new OCS, the process of debate was vibrant. In the end there was general consensus on the strategy with only a few points of debate remaining.
The processes that all of these efforts are contributing to are not always easy. Often they bring with them uncertainty, at times fear. The farmers with whom we work can’t guarantee what their next harvest will bring. But they prepare, plant and tend their crops based upon the best information and planning available. Likewise, we don’t know exactly what the future holds for Oxfam in Bangladesh. But, just as the days will get longer, the sun will again shine bright and flowers and crops will sprout and bloom, so too will our efforts at review and revision, efforts that are planting the seeds of the new Oxfam in Bangladesh, bear fruit in the not too distant future. 

Happy New Year in advance!


WHAT HAPPENED IN NOVEMBER


GENDER AND WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP

MEET THE CHANGE AGENTS (MCA) EVENT

The Meet the Change Agents (MCA) event took place from 22-29 November, 2014. It was a cross sharing and learning programme celebrating the best innovative gender program practices centered on women’s transformational leadership from Oxfam affiliate and partners of 8 countries namely, Australia, Bangladesh, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The event started with hands on learning from field visits to partner NGOs Banchte Shekha, Gonochetona, Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK) and Pollisree, followed by a workshop in Dhaka. A meeting with feminist leaders like President of Mohila Parishad, Convener of Sangat, Kamla Bhasin and others was also held. 


The field visit coincided with the first day of the “16 Days of Activism” on 25 November and in solidarity with others, the teams actively participated and observed this day through human chain, rally, leaflet distribution and press conference. One of the main themes was to create awareness on early child marriage with local communities as well as formal institutions such as district hospital and government representatives.

Contact: Mumtaz Hasan

HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION OF THE PLAIN LAND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN BANGLADESH

Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka, in association with Oxfam and European Union organized a dialogue titled “Human Rights Situation of the Plain Land Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh: Challenges and Opportunities” on November 24, 2014 at the Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium, University of Dhaka. Professor Mesbah Kamal, Department of History, University of Dhaka presented the keynote. Dr. Zia Rahman, Chairman, Department of Criminology, University of Dhaka, Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary, Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Raymon Areng, Information & Research Secretary, Tribal Welfare Association, Mymensingh, Saikat Biswas, Project Coordinator, Oxfam and Sulekha Mrong, Executive Director, Achik Michik Society, Tangail, were present as panel discussants. Robayet Ferdous, Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Dhaka, was the moderator of the session.

Contact: Anindita Sarker

SEMINAR ON ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AND INCLUSION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES 

Institute of Environment and Development (IED) with support from Oxfam and the European Union, organized a seminar on “Active Participation and Inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the Local Government” on 26 November, 2014 at the CBCB centre, Dhaka. Project Coordinator of IED Jyoty Chattapadhay presented the keynote paper. Honorable Member of the Parliament Fazle Hosen Badshah was the chief guest, where Honorable Member of the Parliament Ushaton Talukdar, General Secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum Sanjeb Drong, President of Jatiyo Adibashi Parishad, Robindranath Soren, and Oxfam Project Coordinator Saikat Biswas were present as special guests. Speakers urged the government to include indigenous peoples in local government. Fazle Hosen Badshah, MP while addressing the seminar, undertook the issue with commitment.

Contact: Anindita Sarker

PUBLIC HEARING ON “HOMELESS DALIT PEOPLES AND ROLE OF STATE”

A public hearing on "Homeless Dalit Peoples and Role of State" was organized by Human Rights Defender Forum-Dhaka and SHAREE with support from Oxfam and the European Union on 29 November, 2014 at the National Press club, Dhaka. Abu Saleh Mohammod Sayed MP, Member of Housing & Public works standing committee of parliament was present as the chief guest. Shyamol Datta, Editor of Daily Bhorer Kagoj, Anik Asad, Country Director of HEKS, Saikat Biswas, Project Coordinator, Oxfam and Prio Bala Biswas, Executive Director of SHAREE were present as discussants.

Dalit Leaders, human rights defenders, representatives from different dalit colonies all over the country shared their sufferings. 

Contact: Anindita Sarker

FOOD SECURITY, RESILIENCE  AND ADAPTATION

SOUTH ASIA POLICY WORKSHOP ON DISASTERS, CLIMATE CHANGE, AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY

Oxfam and its partners organized a two-day Regional Policy Forum on Disasters, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, held in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 10-11, 2014. Parliamentarians, government officials, civil society leaders and academia from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended in this discussion. They called upon the leaders meeting at the 18th SAARC summit to reaffirm their commitments and pledges for a coordinated regional response to meet the interdependent challenges of climate change, disasters and food insecurity.

Read the blogpost by Ashish Kumar Bakshi and Tanvir Mahmud:
Hope For Cross-Border Initiatives: South Asia Policy Workshop

SOUTH ASIAN REGIONAL FARMER'S ASSEMBLY IN NEPAL

The South Asian Regional Farmer’s Assembly took place in Kathmandu, Nepal from 23-25 November, 2014 where farmer representatives from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal participated. The main purpose of the assembly was to collectively raise the voices of small, landless and women farmers across South Asia and build common understanding on those for policy influencing.

Blogpost by Shah Muntamin Mujtaba:

South Asian Regional Farmer’s Assembly: Different Countries, Same Challenges

WOMEN FARMER'S CAMPAIGN IN BOGRA

As part of ongoing Women Farmer’s Campaign, Eco-social Development (PESD), with support from Oxfam organized a district level meeting in Bogra to select the women farmers on November 17, 2014. Chondi Das Kundu, Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension was present as the chief guest while S. M. Ashraf Ali, Zilla Training Officer, Department of Agriculture Extension was the special guest.

Contact: Mousumi Biswas

PEOPLE'S VOICE ON CCA & DRR: CALL TO THE SAARC LEADERS

On 12 November 2014, Oxfam, jointly with CSRL, CANSA, BAPA and NCCB organized a consultation meeting at Jatiya Press Club to draw the attention of the Bangladesh government and SAARC regional leaders on the urgency for regional cooperation to address the issues related to Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction.
Dr. Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, Executive Director of the Centre for Global Change, said, "South Asia is the most disaster prone region in the world and the people living there are mostly poor and vulnerable. The SAARC countries' political leaders must raise voices to protect the region from the probable dangers of the climate change effects thus they will be able to draw the global leaders' attention."
Among others Sharmind Neelormi, Member Secretary of CSRL, Tanzir Hossain, Manager, International Process, Networking and Negotiation, Action Aid, and Qumrunnessa Nazly, Policy Officer, Oxfam in Bangladesh also spoke.
Speakers urged the government to place a proposal at the upcoming SAARC summit in Nepal to set up an independent wing to monitor climate change and disaster issues in South Asia.
As the South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, are in the acute risk of disasters caused by the impact of climate change, the SAARC countries must work together to combat the risk of loss and damages, they added.

Media Links of the Event:

The Daily Star
24livenewspaper
Thereport24
 

EXPERIENCE SHARING SEMINAR

To engage students on the practical issues of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction issues and policy concerns, Oxfam and Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies jointly organized an experience-sharing seminar on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction at Dhaka University on 16 November.
Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen, Director of Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies discussed about the CCA and DRR policy nexus in context of Bangladesh and shared her experience from the Regional Policy Forum on Disasters, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security held in Kathmandu Nepal from 10-14 November. Qumrunnessa Nazly, Policy Officer of Oxfam in Bangladesh shared the findings of the Oxfam Pan Asian study on the CCA and DRR policy frameworks.  Recalling the devastating the Cyclone Sidr experience that hit the southern belt of Bangladesh on 15 November 2007, Monisha Biswas, Policy Advocacy Manager of Oxfam in Bangladesh shared the online campaign on ‘First Anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan and Make The Right Move for Climate Justice’ and called upon the participating students to join the campaign.

Contact: Qumrunnessa Nazly
THE POOR COMING OUT OF FOOD PRICE SHOCK: OXFAM STUDY 
The poor are gradually coming out of the shock from food price spirals but they remain concerned about the safety and nutritional quality of their diet, a recent study found. The Development Research Initiative, Oxfam and the Institute of Development Studies jointly conducted the study. The survey, which took place between 2009 and 2014 following the global food price crisis in 2007-08, was carried out on the poor living in Dhaka and its outskirts, Koira of Khulna, Dhamoirhat of Naogaon, Sylhet and Chittagong. The study -- Life in a Time of Food Volatility -- gauged the effects of food price spirals on the lives of the poor in Bangladesh and three other countries.

Media Links:
The Daily Star:
The Daily Prothom Alo
Contact: Qumrunnessa Nazly

WORKSHOP ON IMPLEMENTATION OF BANGLADESH NATIONAL BUILDING CODE

In joint collaboration with Housing and Building Research Institute (HBRI) and Oxfam, a workshop titled “Implementation of Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC)” was held on 8 November at Sylhet Division. Ariful Haque, Mayor Sylhet City Corporation, Engr. Mustafa Shahriar, Chairman, The Institution of Engineers Bangladesh - Sylhet Centre and M.B. Akhter, Program Manager, Oxfam, were present as Special Guests, while Mohammad Abu Sadek, Director – HBRI chaired the Workshop.
 
Addressing the workshop Ariful Haque said, "Sylhet City Corporation will form a monitoring cell and initiate online approval system for building construction to monitor and implement the Bangladesh National Building Code."

Contact: Subarna Saha

MOCK DRILL IN MYMENSINGH POUROSHOVA

Under “Urban Resilience Bangladesh” project, which is funded by Oxfam and implemented by the partner organization NGO Forum, an earthquake and fire hazard evacuation Mock Drill was organized at Mymensingh Pouroshova premises on 18th November, in association with Fire Service and Civil Defense, Bangladesh.
Around three hundred Pouroshova officials, counselors, Pouroshova Disaster Management Committee members and community peoples’ active participation made the drill successful.
Contact: Subarna Saha

TRAINING ON SPHERE STANDARDS AND HUMANITARIAN ACCOUNTABILITY PRACTICES

With an aim to enhance the existing capacity and knowledge of emergency response agencies on humanitarian principles during emergency, Oxfam as a member of NARRI consortium, organized a three day residential training on "Sphere Standards and Humanitarian Accountability Practices" for Senior Officials of Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defense (FSCD), on 4-6 November, 2014. FSCD representatives from different parts of the country attended the training, which was facilitated by trainers from RedR India.
 
Contact: Subarna Saha

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DECEMBER 2014:
  • Grassroots orientation on Tax Justice on district level from December 1 to December 31, 2014
  • Human Rights Day on both National and District level on December 10, 2014
  • Academic Seminar on Tax Justice on National Level on December 20, 2014
  • Lobby meeting with service provider on Health and Education on District level from December 1 to December 31, 2014
  • Formal and Informal Lobby meeting with the key stakeholders of Budget Cycle on National level from December 1 to December 31, 2014
  • Human Rights Fair in Rajshahi on 10-11 December, 2014 will be organized by Adibashi Snagskritik Unnayan Sangstha in cooperation with Oxfam and European Union.
  • Launching Event of the “Parliamentary Caucus on Indigenous Peoples: A Genesis of Parliamentary Advocacy in Bangladesh” will be organized on 15th December, 2014.
  • Partner Coordination meeting of Strengthening the Voice of Human Rights Defenders to Protect Rights and Entitlements of Ethnic Minorities will be organized on 17-18 December, 2014 at CBCB Centre, Asad Avenue with the support of European Union.
  • Youth Parliament on Right to Food Campaign (Tentative date 27 December 2014)
  • Women Farmer’s Campaign at Divisional level 
QUALITY EDUCATION

ORIENTATION ON TAX JUSTICE

Day long orientation sessions Were organized by SUPRO, to strengthen tax justice campaign at the grassroots level in 24 districts including Rajshahi, Chuadanga, Dinajpur, Gopalgonj, Lakshmipur and others, during November.

A total of 401 grassroots campaigners received the orientation.

SUPRO organized other training workshops for local government representatives at districts levels on Participatory Budget Formulation to sensitize on budgetary issues and make them accountable to people.

Contact: Dhana Ranjan Tripura

RESEARCH ON DOMESTIC RESOURCE MOBILIZATION

A daylong sharing and introducing meeting on Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM) was organized by SUPRO on 16 November where Cecile Unternaehrer, Researcher, Oxfam International conducted the session. Dhana Ranjan Tripura, Policy and Campaign Officer, Oxfam was also present.

Contact: Dhana Ranjan Tripura

 

HUMANITARIAN CAPACITY BUILDING AND RESPONSE

UPDATES ON RECOVERY PROJECT FOR FLOOD-AFFECTED PEOPLE IN NORTHWEST

Led by Oxfam, Concern World Wide, Islamic Relief and CARE under NARRI consortium have been implementing Recovery projects, funded by ECHO and DFID for flood-affected people in Northwest Bangladesh.

Beneficiary Selection, Card Printing and Distribution, MMT Registration
Oxfam and Concern World Wide: 100%
Islamic Relief: 82% and CARE: 62%

Distribution of Cash for Meeting Basic Food Needs
A total of BDT 2,41,71,000 has been transferred among the beneficiaries out of BDT 5,19,00,000.

Distribution of Cash for Livelihood Input
A total of BDT 1,02,68,000 (30 %) has been transferred among the beneficiaries out of BDT 3,46,00,000

Distribution of Hygiene Kit
A total of 4,968 Hygiene packages have been distributed among the beneficiaries out of 12,743 packages.

ECHO Visit
ECHO mission visited Kurigram and Gaibandha on 18 & 19 November, 2014, respectively.
Contact: Kazi Azam
HOUSEHOLD ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT TRAINING WORKSHOP

Oxfam conducted a Training Workshop on Household Economic Assessment (HEA), first of its kind, in Khulna from 2 - 27 November, 2014, where a total of 21 participants from different organizations like World Food Program, Care, Concern Universal, DAM, MMS, Jago Nari, Muslim Aid, World Vision Bangladesh, Shushilon, Uttaran, and Solidarity International attended.
Contact: Kazi Azam
FROM THE HOUSE OF OXFAMILY
THE VICTORY DAY
In the month of December, we remember the war heroes who sacrificed the highest for our independence.

Oxfam, as an honored Friend of Liberation War to Bangladesh, salutes the heroes this Victory Day.
TEAM BUILDING EVENT
With the title, “One Team, One Win”, Oxfam in Bangladesh arranged a Team Building Event on 4 November, 2014, at BRAC Centre Inn. It was an initiative to join the Oxfamily together to build a team that can work together relentlessly to meet the Oxfam goals.

Read more here: One Team, One Win, One Oxfam!
OXFAM DAYS: CHILD CARE CENTER AT THE COUNTRY OFFICE
The Oxfam Country Office here in Dhaka has a separate Child Care Center all set with furnishings, decorations, security arrangements and other necessary facilities to welcome the children of the stuff and colleagues from other affiliates, while they work here. In the following picture, Anna Wrochna’s youngest daughter is seen passing her daytime at the Day Care Center, while her mom works at the office.

BLOGPOSTS IN NOVEMBER

First Anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan and Make the Right Move for Climate Justice  – Snehal V. Soneji, Country Director, Oxfam in Bangladesh

See more at: 
http://oxfamblogs.org/bangladesh/anniversary-typhoon-haiyan-move/

One Team, One Win, One Oxfam! - Tanim Gofur

See more at: 
http://oxfamblogs.org/bangladesh/team-win-oxfam/

Power of the People – Karrina Nolan, Oxfam Australia

See more at: http://oxfamblogs.org/bangladesh/power-people/

MEDIA HITS IN NOVEMBER 2014

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=720705 - Flood Insurance –Independent -01 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=720739 - Inequality report- Daily Sun -01 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=721071 - Flood Insurance- 02 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=721797 - workshop in Chapainabaganj- Ittefaq-04 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=722185 - Climate change- Financial Express – 07 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=722283 - Climate Change- Independent -07 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=722288 - food security- Daily Sun-07 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=723840 - Sustainable rural livelihood – Daily Sun-13 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=724372 - Inequality – Daily star- 15 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=724724 - Reproductive health – Independent – 16 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=725924 - Food price hike – Prothom Alo- 20 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=726014 - Food Price Hike- Jugantor- 20 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=725912 - Food Price hike- Daily Star- 20 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=726298 - Female Food Hero Campaign- 21 November

http://www.emediadesk.net/Clip.aspx?NewsID=727155 - Urban Disaster- 24 November


 

For the PDF version (full version), please click on: SUMUS
External audiences can receive it upon request.
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