NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Community Driven Climate Adaptation - Making Sustainable Climate Adaptation Solutions Accessible to the Urban Poor [NDF C82 B1]

Photo: Simon Sticker, Plan International
Photo: Iñigo Ruiz-Apilánez, Arup
Photo: Iñigo Ruiz-Apilánez, Arup
Photo: Iñigo Ruiz-Apilánez, Arup
Photo: Iñigo Ruiz-Apilánez, Arup
Photo: Simon Sticker, Plan International
Photo: Simon Sticker, Plan International
Photo: Sabrina Nazia Hoque, SEEP
The project aims to co-create and implement climate change adaptation solutions in Dhaka's Rail Line Slum and Match Colony in order to make the community more resilient to the multiple impacts of climate change locally, particularly flooding and waterlogging.

Community Driven Climate Adaptation - Making Sustainable Climate Adaptation Solutions Accessible to the Urban Poor
Ref: NDF C82 B1

Nordic partner: Plan Denmark
Local partner: SEEP (Social Economic Enhancement Programme)
Other partner: Arup
Total project Cost: EUR 559,809
NCF financing: EUR 399,260
Agreement signed: 19 January 2016
Project type: Climate change adaptation
Duration: 30 months

Project objective

The overall objective of the project is to strengthen climate resilience of disadvantaged urban communities in their ability to minimise, withstand and bounce back from negative physical, social, and environmental impacts of flooding and waterlogging. This objective will be achieved by making the target communities as well as the surrounding slum communities in Shyampur more resilient to the multiple impacts of climate change. The project develops concrete tools and solutions to strengthen the climate resilience of disadvantaged urban communities.

Main results/outputs

  • 4-6 designs and models for adaptation solutions co-created and developed.
  • Prototypes of the 4-6 designs and models for adaptation solutions implemented in target communities in Shyampur.
  • Prototypes tested and reviewed in target communities and dissemination initiated.
  • Tools for replication of adaption solutions in slums across Dhaka finalised by partners and local government at the end of the project and rolled out.
  • Approximately 250 individual/25 group loans for adaptation solutions taken out at the microcredit facility.
  • Community capacity for climate change adaptation and advocacy strengthened by establishing community resilience monitors, recruitment and training of 20-30 Climate Champions, 10 guided visits to the test area and 10 advocacy events/meetings carried out.



Dhaka is among the world’s most climate-vulnerable cities, where marginalised and underserviced communities have little resilience to the negative impacts of climate change. The primary target communities for this project are the slums Match Colony and Rail Line Slum, located at the outskirts of Dhaka in an area called Shyampur, which is particularly prone to flooding and waterlogging. The lack of available climate adaptation solutions to the urban poor makes periods of flooding and waterlogging in Shyampur’s slum communities extremely difficult for its slum-dwellers. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities, deterioration of buildings/shelters, waterborne diseases and skin diseases caused by polluted water as well as limited mobility and access to education institutions, markets, and employment are the main issues.

The project will seek to develop relevant climate adaptation solutions, replicable across Dhaka’s slums and support informed dialogue with authorities to address the particular vulnerabilities of slums. Based upon four integral components, this project is designed to create tangible project impacts, sustainability of activities, and potential for replication within and beyond the target community:

  1. Co-creative design, prototyping and dissemination process – Plan Denmark will bring Nordic experts on urban climate adaptation (through project partner Arup) together with people dwelling in the target communities to co-create sustainable solutions. By combining local knowledge and practices as well as innovative design practices and technologies, context-relevant and affordable solutions will be developed and concretely tested. The project will also establish a targeted microcredit facility scheme that can catalyse adaption investments based on the developed prototype solutions.
  2. Community capacity-building – a group of people from the community will become Climate Champions, taking part in a development program where they will receive the necessary training to carry out the planned activities.
  3. Resilience monitoring system – key resilience indicators will be established to better understand the resilience dynamics and the negative effects of climate change in Shyampur; to monitor and document project progress and measure the effects of the solutions implemented; and used as a tool for evidence-based advocacy towards government.
  4. Advocacy for greater equity in climate change adaptation towards key community stakeholders- national, municipal and local government and service providers.


Relevance for climate change

The project focuses on adaptation to climate-related problems of flooding and waterlogging, problems which are aggravated by the impact of climate change. Bangladesh is one of the wettest countries in the world due to its unique geographic location and the prevailing monsoons. Together with rapid urbanisation and concurrent encroachment on retention areas, as well as problems with both the natural and man-made drainage systems, flooding and waterlogging are seasonal events for low-lying slum areas like Shyampur. It is estimated that 26% of Dhaka’s slums are flooded for long periods of time throughout the rainy season destroying houses and livelihoods, limiting the free movement in the flooded areas and acting as an important vector for diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid to name some of the negative impacts.
Innovation aspects

The project is innovative in four interrelated ways. Firstly, climate adaption solutions are identified and developed through a co-creation process, where indigenous resources, knowledge and practices are combined with best practice solutions from the Nordic region and beyond. Secondly, affordable solutions are tailored to the specific development needs of urban slum communities (climate adaptation solution to ‘the bottom of the pyramid’), which in some cases are expected to offer business opportunities to local entrepreneurs. Thirdly, the project creates a demonstration area and use information products as well as social marketing and microcredit facilities to disseminate the climate adaptation solutions to other slum communities. Lastly, diverse partners with different skills and competencies form part of the project consortium, where private sector aspects are materialised through the specialised expertise of the project partner Arup, and the development of adaptation prototypes that are brought to the market – initially through a subsidised credit facility, but eventually through normal market mechanisms.

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