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Sanitation Data Command Center to Ensure a Sustainable Sanitation System

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The advancement towards a paperless, data-driven, interconnected, interoperable, integrated, and automated data ecosystem is now imperative to ensuring secure and sustainable sanitation within the nation. In this pursuit, the establishment of the Sanitation Data Command Center is underway. This center aims to expedite data-centric policy formulation and the execution of plans across city corporations, municipal areas, and various establishments nationwide. As a significant step towards this objective, a comprehensive workshop titled ‘Finalization of Indicators for the Establishment of Sanitation Data Command Center’ was held today at a prominent hotel in the capital. The event was a collaborative effort between the Department of Public Health Engineering and Aspire to Innovate-a2i, and witnessed the participation of key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
Commending this initiative toward a sustainable sanitation system, Akhtar Hossain, the Prime Minister’s Principal Coordinator for SDG Affairs, emphasized the crucial role of such endeavors in enhancing public health. He said Bangladesh has garnered international acclaim for its strides in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals pertaining to sanitation. With a vision to achieve secure sanitation for all by 2030, especially on an equitable basis, Bangladesh is primed to achieve this goal. The Prime Minister’s Office stands committed to supporting the implementation of the center’s established indicators, expecting that the Sanitation Data Command Center will significantly accelerate the nation’s progress towards SDG targets. Through this technologically innovative solution, the nation is poised to ensure robust and sustainable sanitation practices across the country.
In the speech of the special guest, Mahmudul Hossain Khan, Secretary of the Cabinet Division (Coordination and Reform), reiterated the Prime Minister’s directive to establish data-driven dashboards across governmental departments to align with the Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041. He proposed that the Cabinet Division take on the role of coordinating with various ministries to facilitate the establishment of the sanitation data command center. Khan noted the presence of innovative teams within governmental and local institutions and stressed the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving sustainable sanitation. Departments such as Statistics and Information Management and the Information and Communication Technology Division are well-positioned to offer the necessary support by shaping data guidelines and sharing policies.
Further emphasizing the importance of data quality and validation for ensuring a sustainable sanitation system, Shahnaz Arefin, NDC, Secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division, urged the organizers to engage the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in the endeavor. She extended gratitude to a2i and the Department of Public Health Engineering for involving the Statistics and Informatics Division and the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in this groundbreaking initiative. Arefin recommended that this subject be included on the agenda of the National Data Coordination Committee.
Speaking on behalf of the a2i Project, Md. Mamunur Rashid Bhuyan, Director (Joint Secretary), articulated the necessity of establishing a Sanitation Data Command Center by 2030 to ensure equitable and adequate access to sanitation and hygienic living standards for all citizens. a2i pledged comprehensive technical support and affirmed that the establishment of this center marks a significant stride toward realizing the Smart Bangladesh Vision.
Worth noting, to actualize SDG 6.2, a2i, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Global Water and Sanitation Center (GWSC), and the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), is fostering a culture of sanitation data governance and evidence-based decision-making. This pivotal workshop forms a crucial component of this comprehensive program.
The workshop’s opening remarks were delivered by Tushar Mohan Sadhu Khan, Additional Chief Engineer of the Directorate of Public Health Engineering. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor of a2i, delivered a presentation on the necessity of Data Sanitation Governance to achieve the Smart Bangladesh Vision. The event was graced by the presence of distinguished figures, including Md. Jasim Uddin, Joint Secretary of the Local Government Division; Neelima Thota, Senior Advisor of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); Dr. Sangam Shrestha, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand; and Mr. Mohd. Monirul Islam, Joint Secretary (SDG Affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The workshop garnered widespread participation from entities including the Cabinet Division, Local Government Division, Public Works Department, Education Engineering Department (EED), Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation, Directorate of Primary Education, Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA), Statistics and Informatics Division, a2i, numerous partner organizations of the Global Water and Sanitation Center, and representatives from various public and private institutions.

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