Learning from experience: Shongjog's journey to a multi-stakeholder platform influencing the adoption of communication and community engagement in Bangladesh

Shongjog (meaning ‘linkages’ in Bangla) is a platform of more than 30 disaster response stakeholders in Bangladesh chaired by the national government that advocates for and coordinates activities on two-way communication and information sharing in humanitarian response and preparedness in Bangladesh. The DFID-funded Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme has been providing secretariat support to the revitalised working group in Bangladesh since 2015, and stakeholders met for the second time to review the group’s progress and achievements since the start of the funding. The review, which builds on an earlier event in June 2016, was conducted in March/April 2017 through a combination of semi-structured interviews with key Shongjog members, and an online survey. The reports below capture insightful information from these two reviews of Shongjog's journey and some of the emerging achievements as two-way communication and information sharing begins to gain traction in national and local humanitarian circles in Bangladesh. It also explores the operational characteristics and issues being grappled with by a collaborative venture such as Shongjog, navigating the inevitable challenges presented by joint action.