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Promoting participatory based policy in the reconstruction project of post-disaster in Palu Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

04 Dec 2019

Promoting participatory based policy in the reconstruction project of post-disaster in Palu Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

Project leader: Mrs. Andi Akifah

Level of education and university: Master, University of South Australia

Collaborating Organisations: -

Project Location: Palu, Sulawesi Tengah

Activity Type: Academic research and research-related activities

Sector: Disaster Prevention and Management, Infrastructure Planning

Project Rationale:

As widely reported, on 28 September 2018, a series of strong earthquakes hit the Province of Central Sulawesi in Indonesia, whose climax reached 7.4 on the Richter magnitude scale which triggered tsunamis, soil liquefaction and landslides in Palu City, Sigi, Donggala, and Kulawi Districts. According to the official report of the Central Sulawesi provincial government, 4,340 people died (though the actual figure is much higher),

172,635 people were internally displaced, and more than one hundred thousand houses were damaged at various levels. After about two months in the disaster emergency period, the central government issued a number of disaster management regulations for Central Sulawesi, including a Presidential Instruction and Decree. Through the coordination of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), a master plan (2018) for the recovery and reconstruction of the post-disaster area of Central Sulawesi has been prepared.

The master plan was prepared by the Central Sulawesi Post-Disaster Recovery and Development (KAPP) Coordination and Assistance Team. This plan contained the direction of macro policies and strategies which would later be developed into the Central Sulawesi Post-Disaster Regional Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Action Plan. The Action Plan was developed by the Regional Government (district/city) assisted by the Regional KAPP Team.

The master plan document also confirms that the vision to be achieved is: ‘Rebuilding Post-Disaster Affected Areas in Central Sulawesi Province based on Disaster Risk in Order to Realize a Participatory, Better and Safe Community Life in 2024.’ The approach used in making the master plan is the Build Back Better framework, pioneered by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). This approach seeks not only to foster recovery, but to build preparedness to face future disasters, thus increasing ‘the resilience of nations and communities through integrating disaster risk reduction measures into the restoration of physical infrastructure and societal systems, and into the revitalization of livelihoods, economies, and the environment’ (UNISDR 2017, p. 6). Facilities and infrastructure to support community needs are to be immediately improved by applying disaster-resilient principles according to a scale of priorities to minimize the impact that will occur when a disaster recurs.

The master plan document, despite having a number of shortcomings, has made many parties optimistic that Central Sulawesi can really be rebuilt better by invoking a number of humanistic, democratic and dignified principles. However, within a month from the issuance of the document, most of the residents affected by the disaster in Palu and surrounding areas reacted in a way quite opposed to the policies carried out by the regional government. On January 15, 2019, thousands of victims of earthquake and liquefaction in Balaroa, a suburb in  West Palu District, Palu City, refused to be relocated to temporary shelters (hunian sementara,  popularly known as huntara) which are currently in the process of being taken away by the government. The reason is that shelters are not habitable. The coordinator of the demonstration said that the temporary housing development budget should be given in cash to victims of liquefaction, including providing compensation for 47.5 hectares and citizens' lost civil rights.

How to encourage the creation of a meeting point between governmental interests and expectations and those of the populace, which often do not always go hand in hand in the post-disaster reconstruction process, is a key problem that will be addressed through this research.

Project Beneficiaries:

The main beneficiaries of this study will be the residents who have been affected directly by the disasters in Palu City and surrounding villages.

Priority Development Area:

Economic institutions and infrastructure

Link with Australian organisation

The University of Western Australia

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