Shaila Shahid from Bangladesh wins the 2023 WIN DRR Leadership Award for Excellence
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Shaila Shahid from Bangladesh wins the 2023 WIN DRR Leadership Award for Excellence

Aug 31, 2023

Shaila Shahid from Bangladesh has won the 2023 WIN DRR Leadership Award for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia-Pacific Region by UNDRR, the United Nations office for Disaster Risk Reduction. The award was officially handed over to her by the Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and UNDRR head Ms. Mami Mizutori at the launching of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on DRR, APMDRR in Manilla, Philippines on 13th October on the occasion of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, IDDR day.

Shaila Shahid said, "I have worked to redefine the narratives of building resilience by underpinning it with the people's priorities, development justice and reducing the inequalities. Therefore, we need to continue working on risk interdependencies across ministries and private sectors."

Shaila Shahid based in Dhaka, Bangladesh is the Advisory board members of the Tomorrow's Cities, the Urban Disaster Risk Hub of the UKRI and GCRF initiative, working globally to reduce the disaster risks for the urban poor. Shaila, an environmental lawyer currently serving as the senior advisor of the Pitachara Forest and Biodiversity Initiatives and National Alliance on Drowning Prevention. She is also one of the board of Directors of GenderCC, global network of women for climate justice. With an impressive background as the immediate former Chief Operating Officer of the Disaster Climate Change Unit (DCCSU) within the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) of the Bangladesh Government, and as a Senior Advisor at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Shaila brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on building community resilience and influencing institutional framework towards a risk informed governance mechanism.

Since the last 3 years, as the Chief Operating Officer of the Disaster Climate Change Unit, in her role, she provided technical expertise and advises on integrating disaster risk reduction, emergency response and climate change adaptation in government-led programmes and projects particularly in disaster-prone and climate-vulnerable areas. She has worked in the world's largest refugee context in Cox's Bazar, for providing coordination support amongst government, donors, NGOs and non-state actors particularly on risk resilient WASH service delivery in the Rohingya refugee camps.

Shaila Shahid has been dedicated to reducing disaster risk for more than 20 years, both in technical roles and in advisory and managerial capacities. She has been instrumental in shaping key disaster risk reduction policies, such as the Disaster Management Act 2012 and risk reduction action plan for climate change for different ministries, thereby strengthened the legal and institutional frameworks for disaster resilience in Bangladesh. She has also played a pivotal role in capacity building and engaging diverse stakeholders in DRR, empowering government agencies, local communities and civil society organizations with the knowledge and skills to effectively address disaster risks and adapt to climate change impacts.

Shaila Shahid has also been a strong advocate for gender equality in DRR at national, regional and global levels. She has supported the Department of Women Affairs, Ministry of Women and Children affairs for developing their Risk Reduction Action Plan and also served as the gender focal point for the Disaster Climate Change Unit in the Department of Public Health Engineering and developed the Gender Action Plan, the Gender and Development Forum, Vulnerability to Resilience, V2R Framework in her leadership.

Shaila Shahid has already received several major awards and recognition for her work globally, including the Mary Fran Myers Disaster Scholarship Award from the Natural Hazards Center, Colorado University, USA, World Wild Life Fund, WWF Fellow, and the Charles Wallace Fellowship by the British Council. In 2018, she served as the Lead Discussant in the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on SDG 11 Building Resilient Cities and Communities invited by the ECOSOC President in UNHQ, New York.