A project of the General Economics Division of the Bangladesh Planning Commission funded by the Government of the Netherlands

  • Delta Atelier week at BDP 2100

    Delta Atelier week at BDP 2100

    The Delta Atelier week began on 16 November 2014 at the BDP 2100 project office on various thematic issues. A number of ateliers are planned in this round, on water resource management, water supply and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, spatial planning and land use, food security, environmental management, socio-economic and demographic conditions and governance. The ateliers will conduct a perception analysis of experts about which issues are the most significant for Bangladesh, and should be prioritized in the Delta Plan. The outputs from the Delta Ateliers, coupled with data, will feed information into the formulation of the Delta Vision and subsequently the plan. The launching session was chaired by Giasuddin Chowdhury, Deputy Team Leader of the BDP 2100 Formulation Project. Among other issues, he reminded the experts that most of the issues addressed by the Delta Plan, if not all, will have a fairly national perspective.

    ateliersnov2014What are ateliers?

    Anne Loes Nillesen, Spatial Planning Expert and the Atelier Expert working in the BDP 2100 Formulation Project, presented the different kinds of ateliers and the tentative timeline for their organization in the following months. She discussed the three kinds of ateliers: Expert, Stakeholder and Commitment ateliers. Expert ateliers are sessions focus on collecting, sharing and creating knowledge and joint fact-finding. During interactive session with multidisciplinary experts, the latest results and different datasets are presented (for instance, climate change impact with food production). Insights are created and shared and knowledge gaps are indicated. Stakeholder ateliers, which are primarily organized as outreach events, are used to inform, update and involve stakeholders at different levels. Lastly, commitment atelier sessions focus sharing results and obtaining commitment from essential stakeholders.

    Scenario development

    The subtleties of scenario development in the context of delta planning was brought to light by William Veerbeek from UNESCO-IHE (Institute for Water Education). Scenarios are descriptions of possible futures, and they are the fulcrum of any adaptive plan. Designing possible future scenarios are all about the level of uncertainty of a multitude of factors (or drivers) which influence the scenario, and in turn, determine the quality of life in the delta.

    This makes it notoriously difficult to accurately predict the future, underscoring the need for adaptive planning. Since the future cannot be planned for exactly, the only feasible mechanism is to plan for multiple futures taking multiple scenarios into account. This offers the flexibility that is needed by institutions to be able to adapt to different levels of intensities on the ground, as realities change over time. A deeper analysis of how such scenario planning can be approached, including risk estimation processes based on ranking of drivers that affect scenarios, was also presented.

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    Using the Touchtable Atlas

    The use of touchtables help bring data to life at the delta atelier sessions. The Touchtable Atlas approach provides an integrated perspective of Bangladesh by putting together and visualizing the dispersed information regarding various indicators. The strength of this approach is to summarize the available data in a set of user friendly maps. The touchtables can be thought of as an animated and interactive infographic tool. To facilitate the discussions, the experts in their respective thematic teams can zoom in on certain locations, filter maps based on the data and indicators that are relevant to the discussion at hand. As the discussion develops, the touchtable can be instantly made to move around to different locations as needed and reveal the information that is relevant. Furthermore, the map can be viewed on a dynamic scale that can zoom in to villages or zoom out to reveal Bangladesh and its transboundary relationships. The use of touchtables was demonstrated by Dr. Hasse Goosen, Touchtable Expert for the BDP 2100 Formulation Project.

    As the atelier week unfolds and the thematic discussions are carried out, the atelier team will pool the outputs together. These outputs will potentially include a comprehensive identification of issue (by thematic area), location mapping of the issues on maps and a ranking of these issues by importance.

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