Natural hazards – including earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and landslides – frequently occur across the Indonesian archipelago. In order to address the nation’s susceptibility to disaster and to increase disaster resilience, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has funded deployment of InAWARE, a new disaster management early warning and decision support system at Indonesia’s national disaster management agency, Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB). InAWARE is based on PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform and will facilitate information sharing within and between national and provincial disaster management stakeholder agencies, as well as provide a mechanism for regional information exchange.
On July 24, Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), in cooperation with BNPB, brought together a wide range of the project’s stakeholders at a kickoff workshop in Jakarta. More than 60 representatives of Indonesian and U.S. national agencies, as well international and regional nongovernmental organizations (NGO), attended. These included Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Provinsi (Indonesian provincial centers, aka BPBD), BMKG (Indonesia’s national meteorological and geophysical office), TNI (Indonesian armed forces), BIG (Indonesia’s geospatial information agency, formerly known as BAKOSURTANAL), LAPAN (Indonesia’s national institute of aeronautics, space, and remote sensing affairs), and BASARNAS (Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency), as well as USAID OFDA, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program (WFP), AusAID, and the Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction (AIFDR).
Opening speakers included BNPB First Secretary Fatchul Hadi, BNPB Director of Information and Public Relations Dr. Sutopo Nugroho, USAID OFDA Regional Advisor Harlan Hale, and PDC Deputy Executive Director and InAWARE Program Director Chris Chiesa. Hadi thanked PDC for the continued assistance being provided to BNPB and stressed the importance of increased capacity for decision making at all levels that is made available by InAWARE. Increasing disaster managers’ and organizational capacities is a key goal of the InAWARE project, to be achieved by providing the Government of Indonesia with the tools and skills needed to undertake timely, confident, and effective decision making in times of disaster. The three-year, $2.2 million project will deliver capacity enhancement, including improvement of the ability to make use of information and communications technology (ICT)-based tools within BNPB and in selected BPBD locations. Numerous training sessions and preparedness exercises will be scheduled as the project progresses.