Improving Flood Plain Management through Adaptive Learning Networks (Bangladesh)

The Government of Bangladesh has supported a number of initiatives to decentralize fisheries and water resources management, mostly with external donor support. These involve more than 200 community-based organizations (CBOs) managing inland capture fisheries and related floodplains (wetlands). However, there has been little sharing of knowledge and experience between initiatives, and there is concern about their survival after donor support ends.

This project will explore how an adaptive learning approach can improve CBO governance (transparency, equity, gender relations), generate new knowledge for improving resource sustainability and productivity, and facilitate learning and an exchange of experiences between CBOs, and between CBOs and policymakers. Through an action-research initiative, researchers will endeavor to demonstrate that adaptive learning can improve management, help negotiate conflicts, and result in more equitable returns from fishery resources under CBO management over two cycles. They will identify lessons that might be useful in similar environments in South and Southeast Asia. And, by comparing CBO management in different floodplain environments, determine which lessons are generic and which are context-specific.

The project will be coordinated by the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), with involvement by the Independent University of Bangladesh and the nongovernmental organization, Banchte Shekha. The Flood Hazard Research Centre of Middlesex University will provide technical support.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, January 18, 2007

End Date

Sunday, August 29, 2010


36 months

IDRC Officer

Ahmed, Sara

Total funding

CA$ 370,000


Bangladesh, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Agriculture and Food Security

Project Leader

Syeda Rizwana Hasan


Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Paul Thompson

Project Leader

Parvin Sultana


Middlesex University Higher Education Corporation

Institution Country

United Kingdom

Institution Website