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SMA Megacities: Deep Dive: Application of Two Socio-Cultural Frameworks to a Flood Event in Dhaka, Bangladesh


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Understanding the Human Side of the Environment: The Megacity Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Intelligence (MRSI) project seeks to aid United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) in understanding socio-cultural dynamics within megacities. For this portion of the project, USPACOM socio-cultural analysis (SCA) planning frameworks ("the SCA approach") were used to guide remote data collection for a proto-type assessment of the risk of humanitarian crisis in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The SCA approach consists of five distinct, yet related frameworks that are designed to provide planners with a quick triage tool to assess risk, as well as provide a guide for analysts conducting longer-term assessments. The five frameworks are structured to reflect USPACOMs mission objectives and planning process. Given this was a proof of concept effort, analysts were asked to apply two of the five SCA frameworks-the SCA Humanitarian Crisis (HC) Framework and the Intra-state Violence (IV) Framework-to Dhaka, Bangladesh. In addition to identifying the key risk factors for humanitarian crisis in Dhaka, this study considered the following question regarding the connection between a humanitarian crisis and the risk of intrastate violence/VEO activity in Dhaka: 1. Could government/NGO failures to provide immediate relief and rescue in the event of a humanitarian crisis in Dhaka enhance support for VEO-affiliated groups in the city? The effort represents an initial attempt to expand the use of the SCA frameworks by linking risks in one framework to risks in another as well as determining relationships between, and joint impacts of, framework elements.



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