7 July, 2023
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Dhaka, Bangladesh, 7th July, 2023 : A successful consultation workshop was held today in Dhaka, under the program “Strengthening of Public Data Systems for Sanitation.” The workshop, organized by the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and the Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Program, aimed to identify the goals and objectives of the Sanitation Data Command Center in collaboration with stakeholder agencies.
The workshop, executed by the Global Water & Sanitation Center at the Asian Institute of Technology (GWSC-AIT) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, took place on July 6, 2023, at the International Training Network Centre (ITN-BUET). Esteemed guests, including representatives from various government agencies, NGOs, INGOs, and academic institutions, attended the event.
The workshop was inaugurated by Md. Akhter Hossain, Principal Coordinator (SDGs Affairs) from the Prime Minister’s Office, while Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim, Secretary of the Local Government Division, and Professor Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Director of ITN-BUET, were present as special guests. Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Project Director of the a2i Programme, chaired the event.
During the workshop, Md. Sarwar Hossain, Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Health Engineering, delivered a welcome speech. The participants engaged in interactive presentations on data governance, international best practices for sanitation data monitoring and management, and current practices of official statistics for monitoring sanitation services. Agency-wise group work and presentations were also conducted to further refine the objectives of the sanitation data command center.
Prominent speakers emphasized the importance of adopting three core principles: Digital-first, Once-only, and Transparency, in the context of sanitation data governance. They stressed the need to follow international best practices and to build the capacity of local government institutions to ensure efficient sanitation monitoring and data governance, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the vision of Smart Bangladesh.
Secretary of Local Government Division, Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim said on workshop, ‘We must adopt the three core principles: Digital-first, Once-only, and Transparency in the Context of Sanitation data governance.’
Md. Akhter Hossain, Principal Coordinator (SDGs Affairs) of Prime Minister’s Office, said, ‘We must follow international best practices on sanitation data governance, design and implement data projects carefully. In addition, our local government institutions must be capacitated and made aware of efficient sanitation monitoring and data governance to achieve SDGs and Smart Bangladesh.’
Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Project Director of the a2i Programme, highlighted the significance of a coordinated, contextual, and cognitive approach to implement sanitation data governance. He emphasized the concept of “One Country, One Data” and underscored the importance of data standardization and interoperability.
As a result of the workshop, the objectives of the sanitation data command center have been successfully identified. These objectives will contribute to the establishment of a National Sanitation Data Governance framework, in line with the vision of Smart Bangladesh 2041.