In joint effort between the DeltaCap project and the NWO-UDW project Strengthening strategic delta planning in Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Vietnam and beyond organized the training workshop Participatory Planning Tools for Strategic Delta Planning and Management in Khulna from 8 to 12 July at CSS Ava Centre.

In the training workshop 25 participants from the Khulna region were introduced to and applied participatory tools for delta planning, like participatory scenario development, delta envisioning support system, and MOTA-analysis. All this happened using a design charrette set-up, with Khulna and Shatkhira districts (the Southwestern coastal part of Bangladesh delta) as case study and for specific areas Tidal River Management (TRM) as a strategic option for development. On the first day the participants actively discussed the challenges and issues in the Southwestern delta of Bangladesh and were introduced to the concept of tidal river management (TRM), a possible strategic development option for the water logged areas in the delta.

The group visited on day 2 Beel Pakhimara in Tala, Shatkhira district, a beel were tidal river management (TRM) has been put in practice. The participants were able to ask local people about the impact of the project sofar and could observe what tidal river management means in practice. Although the project brings benefits like elevating and fertilizing the soil, issues in implementation remain: like continuous practice of shrimp culture unevenly distributes the silt in the beel, land owners are of the opinion that they do not receive sufficient compensation, people lost property and had to be relocated. The creation of tidal flood retention in the beel has also immediate impact on neighbouring beels and polder which due to the inlet of water in Beel Pakhimara have less issues of water logging and flooding. A strong message sent by the local water committee members was: tidal river management (TRM) is 20% technology and 80% socio-politics.

On day 3 the participants joined in the Tool sessions and developed scenarios, by downscaling the BDP2100 scenarios to the district level, and visions, and strategic plans for 2040. On day 4 we analysed the stakeholders in relation to the strategic choice in water and land management in beels: Tidal river management (TRM) Vs polder management. Using the MOTivations-Abilities analysis tool (MOTA) the participants assessed in a role play the motivations and abilities of various stakeholders towards both strategic options. The participants prepared a longer term plan for the Implementation of TRM and a voting session was arranged after the group presentation to identify which possible plan would get most support.

 
A final session was organized on day 5 and participants reflected on participation, the role of participatory tools, and implementing participatory planning activities. The participants shared experiences with each other on organizing and facilitating participatory planning activities and discussed together how one as a facilitator optimally support the planning activity. Besides Dr. Shah Alam also  gave a briefing on DeltaCap project, Delta Centre and DeltaCap Apps to connect all trainees’s and follow up for in the future, building further capacity for implementation of Bangladesh Delta Plan.