Bangladesh Peace Observatory Facility launched

13 April 2017

Bangladesh Peace Observatory 13 April 2017 - 3

Dhaka, 13 April 2017 – A new database platform “Bangladesh Peace Observatory Facility” (BPO) has been launched at an event today organized by the Centre for Genocide Studies of the University of Dhaka, at Hotel Radisson Blue.

“The aim of the Peace Observatory is to fill the knowledge gap that has been so far restricting public institutions, civil society, academia, media and development agencies from effectively discussing and addressing the obstacles to peace,” said Professor Imtiaz Ahmed of the Dhaka University.

In the light of the increased threat to peace in the recent years, and the fact that limited data systems have failed to highlight the full range trends over time, locations, and impact of violence to peace, the Bangladesh Peace Observatory Facility has been established to provide data, mapping analysis, research, and education opportunities to better understand the state of violence and its narratives in the country.

“Unless we know what drives violence, all strategies and policy actions to combat violence would not be effective,” said Mr. Shahedul Anam, Brig Gen (retd) and Associate Editor in Daily Star.

Ms. Farah Kabir, Action Aid Bangladesh Country Director, said that this platform will give a clearer picture on what drives violent behavior leading to conflict. “A lot of violence, and especially violence against women and girls, may be coming from power play driven by insecurities and inherited cultural norms.”

The Peace Observatory is working on the principle of “open data” as a platform freely available to everyone to use without restrictions, aiming at advancing knowledge, and understanding of peace and development in Bangladesh.

The Centre for Genocide Studies has partnered on this project with development organisations, government institutions, academia, civil society organisations, and the media in creating one common platform that will help make better public policy decisions, tailored interventions and programming, enhanced research and effective advocacy campaigning for social cohesion and peace based on evidence, data, research and critical analysis.

The Bangladesh Peace Observatory Facility is part of a larger initiative “Partnerships for a Tolerant, Inclusive Bangladesh,” carried by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh. This is a multi-year initiative started following the United Nations Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE) that has been endorsed by the Government of Bangladesh in April 2016. The UN Plan of Action emphasizes the need for every country to craft a strategy to prevent violence, assess the local drivers, priorities and partners, and to coordinate these plans at the regional and global levels. The initiative is furthermore in line with the sustainable development goal (SDG) 16 which aims to create “just, peaceful and inclusive societies.”

“Money spent preventing violence and understanding the problem can be a wise investment. Data produced by the Bangladesh Peace Observatory Facility can help guide effective policy, and can also dispel damaging rumours, providing facts rather than fears,” said Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP Bangladesh Country Director.

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