Category: Uncategorized

Building a Resilient Cox’s Bazar: The Need for Infrastructure Development

Cox’s Bazar has a pressing need for infrastructural development due to a complex web of challenges. The district is among the 20 financially vulnerable districts of Bangladesh. And due to its geographic location, Cox’s Bazar was already highly prone to natural disasters and the financial vulnerability has exacerbated its vulnerability to natural disasters like cyclones and floods. Without adequate infrastructure, the district is ill-equipped to respond effectively to such disasters. And the massive influx of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar since 2017 and their rapid population growth resulted in severe environmental degradation due to the development of campsites for Rohingya refugees, which in turn puts a strain on existing infrastructure. 

In the face of these challenges, a proper small-scale infrastructure assessment can help identify vulnerable areas and prioritize them for sustainable infrastructure development. 

In order to conduct an infrastructure assessment, There is a comprehensive data collection approach to ensure  effective data gathering. 

  1. Creating a Vulnerability Index:  The initial step is to identify the most vulnerable territories. This involves deploying a comprehensive vulnerability index, which includes developing a secondary research-based scoring tool and conducting primary interviews with UNO, Government Departmental Heads, Upazila Chairman, etc.
  2. FGD with vulnerable union community people: After identifying the vulnerable unions, the next step is identifying infrastructure scopes through focus group discussions with community members to understand the need from a community-level perspective and ensure sustainable connection.
  3. Joint visit and KII with ecosystem gatekeepers for obtaining endorsement: After the FGD, It’s necessary to validate the list of concerns by jointly visiting the vulnerable territories, interviewing the government authorities and finally obtain endorsement to further strengthen the process by ensuring their cooperation.
  4. Dissemination of the findings and to achieve validation: Finally, presenting  the findings and recommended infrastructure schemes to the district level government authorities and achieving the endorsement to initiate the implementation process.

Throughout the assessment some inevitable steps include collecting GPS data, qualitative and anecdotal evidence, which is critical to specifically identifying each location  and understanding the local context better.

In conclusion, the pressing need for infrastructural development in Cox’s Bazar cannot be overstated. The combination of financial vulnerability and vulnerability to natural disasters, exacerbated by the influx of Rohingya refugees, highlights the urgent need for sustainable infrastructure development in the district. By conducting a small-scale infrastructure assessment using the data collection approach outlined above, vulnerable areas can be identified and prioritized for development.

Read More

Inadequate healthcare services at the Rohingya camp inducing vulnerabilities

The existing healthcare service ecosystem in the Rohingya refugee camps is insufficient to meet the demands of the approximately 1 million Rohingya refugees. When it comes to accessing healthcare services, 44% of households reported that either they have experienced or expect to experience barriers. And despite experiencing broader development over the years, only 17% of the 200 health facilities in the camps have 24/7 access, & only 3 of them have surgical facilities. 

The high-quality healthcare services to the Rohingya community are subject to severe limitations. To begin with, in 2022 The Joint Response Plan (JRP) partners experienced a total of USD 61 million funding gap in the health sector which led to 51% of Health Posts, Primary Healthcare Clinics & Field Hospitals that provide critical lifesaving health services being unfunded & 3 health posts being closed. Therefore, the cost is also a hindrance for any Rohingya refugees seeking medical care. Even though there are various healthcare facilities, many of them lack the capacity to provide critical healthcare services.   

The Rohingya community is frequently at risk for disease outbreaks because of persistent issues including low vaccination rates, overcrowded living quarters, malnutrition, & shortfall of funding as well. But, the stigmatization of family planning/contraception & menstrual hygiene management mainly contributes to a lack of knowledge, understanding & practices of sexual and reproductive health.

The sanitation facility of the camp area is also a concerning matter as it is the core reason for several diseases that are seen in the Rohingya community. Children at the camp are more affected by skin disease which has been severe in the last 12 months whereas all other age groups have been suffering from conjunctivitis & dengue. The top 5 most frequent diseases among the Rohingya community are skin diseases (29.1%), upper respiratory tract infection (28.3%), gastro-enteric problems (15.1%), acute watery disease such as- diarrhea (3.5%) & ear infection (3.2%).

These difficulties have made it challenging for the communities to get access to top-notch healthcare & to address the needs of the Rohingya refugee community, comprehensive insights into the gaps in providing & accessing services related to healthcare are required.

Read More

USAID MSME Cybersecurity Website Launch Webinar

On the 12th of December, National ICT Day 2022, Inspira Advisory & Consulting Limited and USAID jointly organized a webinar featuring some of the country’s most prominent leaders of the E-Commerce sector & Cybersecurity experts to launch the Cybersecurity Awareness Website & discuss the current challenges of Cybersecurity in Bangladesh & how to fight against them.

As Bangladesh’s e-commerce industry continues to advance rapidly with a thriving expectation to exceed $7 Billion in 2023, it is crucial to protect cyberspace and thriving e-commerce MSMEs. Bangladesh has designated December 12 as National ICT Day to accelerate the Digital Bangladesh initiative. USAID is honored to acknowledge this day by launching the Cybersecurity Awareness Website and assisting in the creation of a more conducive environment for Bangladesh’s e-commerce sector. 

Taking part in the discussion as panelists, were Mr. Md Najmul Islam, Additional Deputy Police Commissioner of Cybercrime division, CDC, DMP, also the honorable chief guest of the webinar, who inaugurated the Cybersecurity Awareness Website, Mr. Tanvir Hasan Zoha, Associate professor of Bangladesh University of Business and Technology, Mrs. Kaniz Fatema, CEO of Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN), Mrs. Sanzida Chowdhury Swarna, Founder of Shreya Bangladesh & Mrs. Irin Parveen, Executive Director of Women & E-commerce. 

The discussion began with a look back at various types of cyber security frameworks like the CIA Triad which is typically used to help small and medium-sized businesses understand how to make some very simple tasks into everyday routines as a kick-starter or at the start of a firm. The presenter Mr.Saimum additionally shares some of the best international practices for MSME owners, such as The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights which states that-

 “States should promote respect for human rights by business enterprises with which they conduct a commercial transaction” 


This implies that MSME owners must understand their rights under the policy and how these rights apply to their firms.

Presenter Mr.Saimum also pointed out some of the crucial policies that are compulsory for maintaining the internet hygiene of businesses. Policies include Digital e-commerce policy, Digital e-commerce policy, and UN Personal Data Protection Principles.

Shortly after the presentation, a panel discussion started on “How MSME Owners Can Adopt Cybersecurity Best Practices” both in their personal and business life. Among the panelists Mrs. Sanzida Chowdhury Swarna acknowledged the concern by mentioning the relationship between delivery agencies & entrepreneurs. She warned the MSMEs by saying,

We saw thousands of such issues that whenever an entrepreneur put their trust in unpopular delivery agencies and then because of a data breach or mishandling the entrepreneur had to face huge losses & they don’t know where to seek help


Panelist Mrs. Irin Parveen added to the point Mrs. Sanzida mentioned, These kind of untraceable scams can affect a small-scale business by a big margin & also can demotivate them on operating their business online. And from a broader perspective, she also stated that,

There are no comprehensive initiatives, especially at the urban level, which is fundamental at this point. They don’t even know where to focus, or how to make and keep passwords secure. They have some technical limitations in these sectors. Consequently, I wish to see more awareness initiatives and campaigns in these areas of concern.”


From BDoSN Mrs. Kaniz Fatema Ma’am shared her perspective on the topic by saying,

Being aware of cyber vulnerabilities is extremely crucial before starting a business online. Because in the majority of the business page hacking cases the owners mentioned that they were unaware of such incidents & thus never had proper internet hygiene.

After the successful panel discussion session, The honorable chief guest of the event ADC Mr. Najmul Islam Inaugurated the Cyber Security Awareness Website & took a quick tour of the website features. The website includes multiple Cybersecurity promotional activities as well as suggestions on how to be secure online, capacity-building workshops & training. And also features a section where entrepreneurs may take a quiz to evaluate their cyber awareness. And They may also learn which exercises can help them stay safe by taking the quiz. Once the quiz, they will obtain a badge, indicating that they have passed the first step. & lastly, a hotline number is provided on the website for the MSMEs for taking immediate action on any form of cyber vulnerability. 

After the successful launch, The chief guest ADC Md. Najmul Islam brought up some essential advice for MSME owners on taking rapid action against cyber attacks. Md Najmul Islam warned the MSME owners on sharing OTP numbers. Because sharing an OTP with a hacker it signifies that one of your multi factor authentications has been compromised. Other elements can be gathered from you through emotional intelligence or unscrupulous means. He also advised that 

Use at least one of the authentication factors. And anyone operating a business or planning to start a business must have a legal channel with the government, which entails a registration and trade license. It will be easy to obtain services this way. Otherwise, you may not be able to receive assistance from the government“.


Lastly, the webinar ended with a short thanksgiving speech from the USAID representatives with warm gratitude to the panelists for being extremely informative & proactive throughout the discussion. The live session with MSME owners and significant industry leaders, discussing cyber risks and empowering them with relevant information and solutions, is a useful and impactful step taken against cybersecurity threats.

Read More

COVID 19: What does it mean for the Rohingya Refugees

On the other hand, organizations have the need for integrating in IT departments new technologies often using cloud services and other ways of direct access to the web. This pressure for IT departments to give…

Read More