Bangladesh/India institutions: Meghna Basin Socio-ecological Analysis (Bangladesh and India)

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)


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Meghna Basin Socio-ecological Analysis (Bangladesh and India)   

Objective: Conduct a macro-analysis of socio-economic changes over time (last 40-50 years) in the Meghna Basin shared by Bangladesh and India (mostly based on household data available online through government surveys); and produce country reports and joint papers highlighting the main outcomes and drivers of change across the basin.  

Last date for EOI: 10 December 2019   

Eligibility: The consultancy is open to institutions based in Bangladesh and India only. Institutions in both countries can send EOI either independently or jointly in consortium with relevant counterpart organisations with complementary expertise from both countries.  Expressions of Interest (EOI) from research consortium will be prioritised for this consultancy. 

Duration of contract: 6 months (20 December 2019 - 20 June 2020)

Background Information: The Meghna is a transboundary river shared by India and Bangladesh. The total area drained by the Meghna River Basin is 82,000 km2, of which 47,000 km2 (57% of the total area) is located in India and 35,000 km2 (43% of the total area) is in Bangladesh.  The Meghna Basin is notable for the number of transboundary tributaries it contains. At least 29 named rivers flow into the Bangladesh part of the watershed from India. In Bangladesh, the basin includes: the uplands of Sylhet, known for its extensive systems of wetlands and fisheries resources; the Chittagong Hills, the only hilly region in the country; and the Madhupur tract, which marks the boundary between the Brahmaputra and Meghna Basins. The Indian part of the basin includes six different north-eastern states of India: Meghalaya; Manipur; Mizoram; Nagaland; Tripura; and the Barak Valley in Assam.

Building River Dialogue and Governance (BRIDGE) in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) Basin, or BRIDGE GBM, is an initiative facilitated by IUCN and funded by the Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) programme of Oxfam. The goal of the initiative is to create an enabling environment for cooperative governance of shared river basins for poverty reduction and ecological conservation.

In July 2018, IUCN initiated a multi-stakeholder dialogue process to support the development of a benefit sharing framework for the cooperative governance of the Meghna Basin. A report, Opportunities for Benefit Sharing in the Meghna Basin (Bangladesh and India), was published by IUCN in November 2018 addressing the need to consolidate existing information on the profile and specific benefit sharing opportunities that exist at the transboundary level in the Meghna Basin. Following the publication of this report, IUCN initiated the development of an informal multidisciplinary dialogue platform, the Meghna Advisory Group (AG), to guide the development and implementation of the Meghna benefit sharing framework. The first meeting of the Meghna AG (January 2019, Shillong) identified knowledge gaps and priority areas for investigation and collaborative research in the Meghna Basin to feed the regional dialogue on the development of the benefit sharing framework. Analysis of basin-wide land use and socio-ecological change in the Meghna Basin was identified as a priority issue. The outcomes of the analysis will be used to design a Meghna Basin Vulnerability Atlas, as well as policy briefs and recommendations to support the cooperative governance of the Meghna Basin.

Research Objectives: 

Conduct macro analysis of socio-economic changes over time in the Meghna Basin and develop reports and policy briefs highlighting trends and main drivers of change in last 30-40 years, including:   

  1. Changes in the population dynamics and occupational structure over time, focusing on the themes of Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries and other sectors dependent on natural resources  
  2. Broad features and drivers of changes in the agriculture cropping patterns and practices such as fertilizer and pesticide use, and agriculture production and tradable items
  3. Understanding trends of loss and damage to agriculture and the fisheries sector due to water-related disasters


The analysis will be done in a gender sensitive manner and specific gender analysis indicators will be developed to guide the analysis and reporting.



  1. Collection of data: secondary data will be collected from sources, such as National Census (both population and housing censuses), National Sample Surveys (NSS), Demographic and Health Survey, Agriculture surveys and statistics, Fishery statistics (Inland fishery), Annual Economic surveys of Meghna basin states, Natural disaster database,
  2. Develop a common methodology and approach for sorting and analyzing data collected from Bangladesh and India.  
  3. Data analysis and preparation of individual district summaries in a suitable format and the preparation of socio-economic development index
  4. Decompositional analysis of data to find out the socio-economic mobility and role of water based activities in the Meghna Basin
  5. Comparison of literature results with the field observations from stakeholder consultations, ground surveys and research done by TROSA programme partners.
  6. Develop country reports, joint papers and policy briefs summarizing the main outcomes of the analysis.  
  7. Presentation of outcomes at the Meghna bilateral meetings and relevant regional water dialogues. 




  1. Country reports 'Social Ecological changes in Meghna Basin' (Bangladesh and India)    
  2. One joint paper (publishable quality) capturing the baseline scenario and main drivers of change in ecosystem service flows of the Meghna River (a basin wide analysis)
  3. One policy brief summarizing the steps to maximize socio-ecological benefits from the Meghna River through transboundary cooperation (Bangladesh and India)
  4. Presentation of preliminary outcomes at the Meghna Advisory Group meeting (February 2020) and final results at the Meghna Knowledge Forum 2020 (April – May 2020). 


Desired experience and qualifications: Autonomous, multidisciplinary centres for advanced research and training will be given preference for this consultancy service. The consultancy is open to institutions based in Bangladesh and India, with the following expertise:


  1. More than 15 years of demonstrated experience in the fields of social science development, environmental economics, or socioecological analysis. Particularly in the fields of agriculture and rural development, environment and resource economics; globalization and trade; industry, labour and welfare; macro-economic policy and modelling; population and development; and social change and social structure.
  2. Demonstrated experience of working in collaboration with government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the respective countries.

Please send your expression of interest to the following address: