Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ), Brac University organised Research Finding Dissemination Workshop on December 23, 2021 under its project titled, ‘Strengthening Social Cohesion and Resilience in Cox’s Bazar by Engaging Rohingya Refugee and Host Community.’ The objective of the event was to share the lessons learned through the research of this project funded by UNICEF.
The workshop was inaugurated by a welcome remark from Manzoor Hasan, Executive Director of Centre for Peace and Justice. Shahariar Sadat, Director (Academic and Legal Empowerment) Centre for Peace and Justice facilitated the sessions of the workshop, and Rashadul Hasan, Project Manager, Centre for Peace and Justice coordinated overall event.
Patrick Halton from UNICEF also welcomed everyone to the event and described the importance of social inclusion of the Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN) and the host community at Cox’s Bazar. He emphasised that social cohesion is very important for the children. They are crucial contributors to society – for them, for their future – we need to focus on social cohesion and resilience at a community level.
Before moving on to the main discussion, all participants introduced themselves one by one. Participation of different organisations like UNICEF, Action Aid, UNICEF representatives, C4D partners (ACCLAB, SHED, & BITA), CPJ colleagues and individual researchers made the half-day-long event interactive and meaningful.
Dr. M. Shahidul Islam, Research Fellow; Azizul Haque, Research Associate, and BM Mostafa Jahan and Shung Thui Prue, Project Officers, CPJ, described the research objective and research questions, methodology, key findings. They described the factors which drive/influence social cohesion in the host and the Rohingya communities as well as between the two communities, explaining how to improve intra-community and inter-community social cohesion. They also explained how they conducted the participatory action research in the community. Researchers of Centre for Peace and Justice explained their journey of this research with following activities:
- Literature/desk review
- Community consultations
- Focus group discussions
- Key Informant Interviews
Dr. M. Shahidul Islam, Research Fellow, Centre for Peace and Justice shared some policy recommendations to strengthen social cohesion and resilience between the FDMN and the host community at Cox’s Bazar.
A very interactive question-answer session was held among the participants from different organisations. Dr. M. Shahidul Islam, Research Fellow and Azizul Haque, Research Associate, Centre for Peace and Justice answered all of the questions from the participants. The feedback and recommendations made the event more effective and successful.
Closing remarks were given by Manzoor Hasan, Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University, saying ‘There are many issues we need to look at. It’s not quantitative research, it’s qualitative research. We have already done a social cohesion research earlier in 2017. What we need to do is – we need to look at smaller problems and recommend for those.’ Partick Halton-UNICEF, closed the event by appreciating Bangladesh’s efforts in working for FDMN in terms of food, shelter and other necessities.
Rifat Sultana, Director of HR, Brac University, ended this event with a wonderful quote from Shams Tabrizi ‘A life without love is a waste’. Dr. Dave Dowland, Register, Brac University thanked everyone for such a wonderful event, wishing for harmony and for an inclusive society.
By giving note of thanks to all participants and guests, Shahariar Sadat closed the event. He also expressed his gratitude to the researchers of CPJ for conducting this research and entire RSU team for their accomplishments.