Developing capacity to manage floods in Bangladesh

The recent monsoon-driven floods in south Asia severely impact food security of Bangladesh. Early arrival of this year’s flash floods in the northeast and monsoon floods in the northwest destroyed the harvest of the majority of the rice-paddy fields of the country, depriving Bangladesh of nearly 1/6thof its total rice production. Furthermore, dike breaches and overtopping of rivers in the vast river delta of Bangladesh caused flooding of many towns and villages and caused extensive damage to Bangladesh’s infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Nevertheless, given the severity of the floods, the impacts in terms of fatalities were significantly smaller than those from similar floods decades ago. This suggests that the preparedness of Bangladeshi’s to floods has increased.

Professor Chris Zevenbergen, William Veerbeek and dr. Assela Pathirana from the Flood Resilience chair group are currently involved in projects in Bangladesh to accelerating this trend towards lower flood impacts. They do this by introducing and implementing innovate yet locally adapted flood proofing technologies in the NWO-funded CORE Bangladesh project. They are also involved in an initiative spearheaded by dr. Aby Syed of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies to upscale flood resilient housing in villages in Rangpur of Bangladesh which have been destroyed by the recent floods (see pictures). On a more strategic level, they empower all water-related agencies to adopt Bangladesh’s new long term water policy: the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. In the NICHE-funded project DeltaCAP, a “train-the-trainers” program on adaptive delta management is developed which should be disseminated to water professionals all over Bangladesh. Projects like these should further prepare Bangladesh for the many water challenges in the future.

Picture 1: Teesta flood water washed away a portion of the road infrastructure in Dinajpur and the surrounding homes. (photo by The Daily Ittefaq, August 13, 2017)

Picture 2: A flood resilient house in Char Haibat in Rangpur which has not been effected by the recent flash flood. (photo taken by Chris Zevenbergen on September 22, 2017)

Supporting Delta Education with Moodle Learning Management System

Supporting Delta Education with Moodle Learning Management System

On 17th September 2017, Work package 9 conducted a training, a training on how to use Moodle Learning Management system (LMS) for training activities of the project. This training was the first of a two part training organized alongside the annual meeting of the project.

17th training was in the format of a small workshop with objective of providing technical background to a selected group of participants from the project partners. Representatives from BCAS, CGIS, IWM and mPower participated in the training. After attending this training the participants are able to

  1. explain what is Moodle LMS
  2. describe the structure of Moodle
  3. explain the ‘roles’ in Moodle (teacher, manager, student)
  4. use Moodle as a teacher to provide a rich set of content to students/participants
  5. setup interactive activities (assignments, chat-rooms, forums, etc.) on Moodle
  6. create new Moodle courses as managers, assign teachers.
  7. enroll students to Moodle courses
  8. assist students and teachers in using Moodle

The training included hands-on activities with smart-phones and computers and followed a ‘learning by doing’ philosophy.




Deltacap moodle system :

Slides used during the training: Moodle_training

Who is a Delta Professional?

“This is the first draft of the DeltaCAP brainstorming to answer this important question. The article will be updated as the ideas evolve further.”


A ‘Delta Water Professional’ (DWP) is an expert with one (usually) or more areas of domain expertise (e.g. a civil engineer, economist) plus a knowledge and set of skills in a broad range of relevant disciplines and general ‘delta-thinking’. This type of professional is often referred to as having a ‘T-shaped profile’ (Figure 1).

Figrue 1: T-shaped profile (after: Moghaddam et al., 2016)


A DWP should have deep expertise in one or more disciplines (e.g. civil engineering) and through expertise in one/more deltaic systems (e.g. flooding, irrigation). These should be supplemented by a set of broad skills and knowledge on wider areas of interest for the DWP to be truly successful in the context of delta thinking/planning and implementation. Following

In addition to expertise in a delta-related discipline and through knowledge of at least one system, a ‘delta water professional’ in the context of Bangladesh should be able to

  1. Describe the historical transition of deltaic areas from the viewpoint of water management. List salient features of that transition (both positive and negative).  Reflect on the future of this process in the context of climate change. (ILO1:Evolution)
  2. Argue that physical and societal processes in deltas (flooding, irrigation, water supply, agriculture, trade) are interdependent and beneficial to be seen as a systemic whole. Describe the interactions among the components and how they affect each other (both positive and negative). (ILO2:Integration)
  3. Identify important elements of interaction between different delta water system components, [while following ‘thematic’ topics (e.g. hydrology, economics, and agriculture).]  And how these interactions are shaped by social relations and social processes. Identify the affected communities by these positive and negative interactions. Describe how to exploit such interactions to enhance livability, sustainability and resilience of the deltaic system. (ILO3:Interactions)
  4. Argue that considering multiple aspects of the water systems in delta-wide water management could provide opportunities to add extra value and create substantial additional benefits related to water management projects. Make estimations of such benefits.
  5. Illustrate the importance of ‘mainstreaming’ green/blue elements to general development process. Describe concrete examples (real-world and hypothetical) of such mainstreaming. (ILO5: Mainstreaming)
  6. Analyse the politics of the stakeholder involvement in the delta management at different spatial and governance scales. (ILO6:Stakeholders)
  7. Reflect on the relationship of best practices of delta-management deltas of Bangladesh and their sub-components (e.g. towns/cities, villages). Propose (conceptual) next steps in moving towards a more integrated and well-managed state for a given concrete case-study. (ILO7:Vision)
  8. Infuse (explain, convince and co-create) effectively his/her own domain knowledge (e.g. Hydraulics, economics, political-science) with all stakeholders. (ILO8:Infuse)
  9. Apply knowledge and best practices in delta-management and delta-thinking in concrete projects (ILO9:Apply)



Moghaddam, Y., Bess, C., Demirkan, H., & Spohrer, J. (2016). T-Shaped: The New Breed of IT Professional. APM & SEE EXECUTIVE UPDATE, 17(8), 7. Retrieved from

Organizational structure and scheme of DeltaCap project

DeltaCap’s capacity development activities will be structured around 4 themes:

  1. Sustainable Delta Management: longer term planning and integrated assessment.
  2. Multi stakeholder and innovative collaboration.
  3. Participatory water management & local level information services.
  4. Participatory water management & national level information services.
These activities will initially entail innovative ‘train the trainers’ workshops, and be coordinated by a (virtual) Delta Centre. This Centre will further be developed, in a professional and innovative manner, and in close consultation with the government and other parties involved in the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.

Dedicated 9 thematic work packages have been formulated capturing objectives, activities, planning and budget.

The overall management of DeltaCap will be executed by the Project Management Board (PMB).

Inception phase (WP1)

Objectives​ 1. To achieve project objectives and results to quality and within budget and time constraints.​ 2. To promote and facilitate collaboration between partners.​ 3. Communication between Nuffic and the consortium.​ 4. Providing contractual reporting amongst which periodic reports and final reporting.
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Developing sustainable Delta management centre (WP2)

The Sustainable Delta Management Centre (SDMC) will evolve as a closely-linked cluster of several physical/virtual hubs. These hubs will have their own facilities and capacities for capacity-building, and will address the relevant areas of capacity-building and training needs identified by the WPs. A coordinating hub, based at a well-established knowledge institution, will have functional linkages with other hubs (e.g. BUET, IWM, BWDB Training Centre, DUET, CUET), virtual hubs (training provider institutions with specific capacities), and mobile facilities (for local level dissemination and awareness). Other virtual hubs (e.g. business cases/training product delivery enterprises) can be developed during the project.

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Sustainable Delta Management : Longer term planning and integrated assessment (WP3)

Main objectives of Work Package 3 are :

  • Increase operational understanding of decision makers and planners about longer term planning and integrated assessment
  • Improved practical decision making in view of socio-economic and environmental developments including climate change
  • Improved understanding of BDP and SDG in relation to delta management

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Sustainable delta management : Innovative collaboration / Multi-stakeholder involvement (WP4)

The main aim of WP4 is : To develop inter-project collaborations in which front-runners embracing SDM/ADM-principles engage with early stage partner-projects in order to build capacity for adoption and replication.
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Participatory Water Management – information services local level (WP5)
Information Services for Sustainable Delta Management (WP6)

The work package 6 Information Services for Sustainable Delta Management aims at demonstrating the potential of information services and stimulating their use to support planning, decision making and the implementation process for Sustainable Delta Management.

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Digital Support (WP7)

The main aim of the Work Package 7 is to develop an E – learning platform to support digital monitoring and evaluation of DeltaCAP project.

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Gender (WP8)

Main objective of the Work Package 8: Gender is contribute to gender sensitivity and professionalism in Delta management with gender sensitive case studies and examples.

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Communication and labour market investigation (WP9)

A main challenge faced by DeltaCap project is how to make significant impact from a small-scale project with limited budget. Communication strategy aims at up-scaling the impact of the project activities by strategically disseminating its activities and findings.
Labour market
component is focusing on the future needs and attempt to understand the gaps in the labour market for delta planning and address these needs.

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