Despite its vulnerability to climate change, Bangladesh has emerged as a leader in climate adaptation and disaster preparedness. But, natural disasters, such as floods, coastal and riverine erosion, and cyclones have become more frequent, intense and unpredictable.
To commemorate its 50-year-long partnership with Bangladesh, the World Bank has launched a youth competition titled 'Ideabuzz Championship' for university students where groups of students must come up with innovative solutions to address the threat of climate change.
Ideabuzz Championship is specifically designed for the youth; university goers who like to think out of the box and are inspired to contribute to the society. 'Climate-smart growth for Bangladesh benefitting all,' is the core agenda of this competition.
To participate in this competition, students are asked to form a team of three members and submit their idea which is aligned with the competition's theme.
"We are hoping for innovative solutions by undergraduates or graduates around the country for a climate-smart development benefiting all," added Ramim Ahmed, Communications Consultant, Human Development, The World Bank.
The idea has to be submitted in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, with a maximum duration of three minutes.
The last day of submission is September 7, 2022. Scenario analysis, scalability, innovation, impacts etc will be among the criteria on which the presentations will be judged.
The top three teams will get monetary rewards (Tk100,000, Tk75,000 and Tk50,000, respectively), and the winning team will also get the opportunity to present their ideas at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC.
To execute the competition smoothly, the World Bank has partnered with different clubs from different universities and is running roadshows at the respective universities at present.
These roadshows are part of the activation process where the organising team visits a university and hosts a seminar to inform the students about the competition.
"The primary aim of the roadshows is to raise awareness about the competition. We start off the shows by talking about the World Bank and its partnership with Bangladesh, then we move on to the impacts of climate change and the purpose of the competition," added Ramim.
Technical aspects of the competition are also discussed at these shows. At the end, a Q & A session is also hosted, where the participants can ask any question related to the competition or about the World Bank.
So far, the roadshows have been conducted at North South University, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, BUET, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Islamic University of Technology, Institute of Business Administration (University of Dhaka), Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, and University of Rajshahi.
Ramim shared that the response to this competition has been amazing so far.
"We've had hundreds of people attending each of the roadshows. And we have been contacted by others so that we can host roadshows at their universities. Unfortunately, we are not able to keep up with the requests. So we're planning to host an online roadshow via Facebook live later this week," he informed The Business Standard.
"We wanted to celebrate the golden jubilee of our partnership with Bangladesh with activities that address social causes and create an impact for the greater good. Global Climate Risk Index ranked Bangladesh as the world's seventh most-affected country between 2000 and 2019. Hence, we believed it would be best to do something engaging in this sector," added Ramim.