By Ika Koeck, IFRC
From floating structures to sustainable health insurance for flood-affected communities, the First Innovation in Flood Resilience Conference, held recently in Jakarta, saw the presentation of innovative ideas and projects to improve disaster management and build community resilience towards flooding.
The two-day conference was a collaboration between the Indonesian Red Cross Society, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Zurich Insurance, to match local grassroots innovators to potential funders and other partners to scale up ideas and solutions in flood management. Other key partners to the conference included Pulse Lab Jakarta, the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and Hamburg University of Technology.
The Indonesian Civil Society has already been developing their own innovative solutions to improve flood response within the country. However, most innovators struggle to gain the recognition and support needed to take their ideas forward.
Giorgio Ferrario, Head of Delegation for the IFRC Country Cluster Support Team in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, said that a joint effort between private sectors, academic institutions and humanitarian organisations is key to addressing community priorities in a sustainable and effective way.
“We are consciously working in new and innovative ways with non-traditional partners, as the challenges we face with recurring disasters continue to grow in unprecedented ways,” said Ferrario.
The highlight of the conference was when the innovators took to the stage during An Ideas Pitch session to narrate their ideas and what motivated them to seek a change in their own communities before a panel of judges.
Nine promising local inventive and original solutions from different organisations including Risk Frontiers, Starside, Mallsampah.com and Garbage Clinical Insurance took part in the competition. The winners of the session, Mallsampah.com, and two other innovative ideas from Risk Frontiers and Telaga,_will receive grants to keep developing their innovations.
“Since waste management is a major issue in our village, we decided to create a recycling system where people can exchange their waste for medical services,” explained the creators from Garbage Clinical Insurance. “Everyone should have access to health insurance.”
Wirahadi Suryana, the Director of Corporate and Commercial in Zurich Insurance Indonesia said that the company has been working together with the Red Cross since 2013, focusing on building community resilience before, during and after disasters.
In line with the conference, Zurich Insurance also highlighted their mobile application for flood response. “Our team has developed a mobile app called Z-Alert, which can be downloaded for free in the AppStore and Google Play. Users will be able to locate disasters around them, ranging from floods, traffic accidents and even power outages,” said Suryana.