Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Suman Ahsanul Islam

Suman Ahsanul Islam

Advisor and Co-founder, inSights - Institute of Innovation for Gender and Humanitarian Transformations

For over 25 years, Mr. Suman Ahsanul Islam has been working in the areas of disaster management and humanitarian assistance in all major disasters in Bangladesh – as a volunteer at the field level up to national and international strategic level with government and non-government organizations. With the experiences and knowledge, Mr. Islam now aspires to transform his learning and experiences to knowledge; established inSights - Institute of Innovations for Gender and Humanitarian Transformation with the vision that around the world, communities vulnerable to disasters and humanitarian crises attain their rights and dignity with effective and efficient services from humanitarian aid professionals and organizations.

 Suman is a founder member of Disaster Forum, one of the pioneer organizations that has contributed to global disaster management knowledge resources since 1994. He is a Sphere Standard trainer in the global register; undertaken a pivotal role in promoting the Standards through translating and establishing the Sphere Community Bangladesh (SCB). Mr. Islam was a member in the National Disaster Management Advisory Committee of Bangladesh, the highest national level committee provides technical advisory support to Prime Minister led National Disaster Management Committee in 2009 to 2011. Contributed in drafting the Disaster Management Act. 2012 of the country.

 Mr. Suman Ahsanul Islam developed his theoretical base of disaster management with the Disaster Management Course of Royal Military Collage of Science, Cranfield University, UK in 1998. His experiences included working and leading disaster management and humanitarian programmes with Oxfam, FCDO (DFID), Save the Children, CARE and Humanitarian Leadership Academy; played a vital role in promoting community focused DRR, principled and right-based humanitarian actions in Bangladesh. Experience includes leading the Gender Justice & Diversity Division of BRAC, and Terre des hommes on child labour and sexual & reproductive health rights of adolescents.

 Among many of his contributions to the disaster management and humanitarian sector, only since 2020, Suman has led/co-lead 18 studies, assessments, reviews, and developed seven professional competency building training courses for local humanitarian aid professionals in Bangladesh. He had directly trained around 800 local humanitarian aid workers in Rohingya humanitarian crisis context in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Along with his disaster management and humanitarian experience, Mr. Islam is a passionate video-documentary maker. One of his global achievements is winning the 5th DEVCO Communication Awards - 2013 for the documentary সাহস – “The Face” based on alleviating poverty through disaster risk reduction in northwest Bangladesh; competing with development feature films from sixty-nine DEVCO (European Commission’s Directorate General for Development and Cooperation) funded projects worldwide.