Nupur Gurjar

MDE

Jeevika: The Human Face of Climate Migration in Bangladesh

Advised by Rahul Mehrotra (GSD) and Julia Lee (SEAS)

Climigration essentially means migration induced by climate change. Sudden disasters displace large numbers of people for relatively short periods of time, but the slow-onset and graduate climate events, like river erosion, sea level rise, and temperature change, are likely to permanently displace many more people, leading to serious humanitarian crisis concerns. In 2019 alone, erosion destroyed the homes of at least 8,000 people in Bangladesh’s northern districts during heavy July floods that swept through the region and displaced at least 300,000 people across the country. Due to the gradual, unpredictable, and relatively “invisible” nature of these climate change drivers, these events fall through the cracks of standard policies, programs, and evacuation measures that apply to disasters like floods or cyclones, which are more “headline-grabbing” as well. This project is an attempt to reinforce the distribution of agency to communities at the grassroots level by empowering them to navigate the impacts of climate change, preventing hasty decisions to migrate toward precarious environments. An experiential tool, with emphasis on visual interaction for rural and possibly illiterate/semiliterate populations, enables the diversification of livelihood options and provides access to resources, organizations, kinship network, and information that is essential for this largely environmentally driven economy. These livelihood options are recommended through a conscious climate variability monitoring infrastructure run by local organizations using geospatial analysis so that vulnerable “hotspots” could be identified for climate change mitigation.

Three smartphone screens on left showing graphic features of the software. Caption reads: “Visual Interface application for climate vulnerable communities.” And a map of Bangladesh highlighting small areas in blue with label “.Geospatial climate variabilitymonitoring for Bangladesh”. Title: Jeevika: Climate Migration, Consciously.

Below the title words, “Climate Migration, consciously” is an image of hands holding a smart phone that says “Jeevika” on the screen. In the background is a map of Bangladesh, with small line drawings of people in various daily activities to the top and left sides.

Series of screens showing the words Adoption, Stakeholders, Solution, The ’Nudge,” and Impact. Below is a graph with a line zig-zagging between “Positive Experience” and “Current Pain Points.”

Collage showing a variety of different screens in the app.

A series of seven phone screens showing different images of people, landscapes, text, and icons.

Hands holding six printed flyers showing a design approach for service adoption to build empathy and trust in the potential benefits of the platform on the ground. (Text in Bengali.)