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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 3 (2014 Deadline)

Integrated local emergency response policy improvement and capacity building for advance-early warning system in the face of near-field tsunami risk

PI:  Harkunti Pertiwi Rahayu (, Institut Teknologi Bandung
U.S. Partner: Louise K. Comfort, University of Pittsburgh
Project Dates: September 2014 to October 2018

Critical Countdown: Using Local Data to improve Tsunami Warnings

This research project will focus on utilization and integration of a logic model and new public management and network to improve the near-shore tsunami early warning system and enhance local emergency response policy. The use of the logic model and new public management in this research project will provide tools for assessing and mapping the cognitive behavior of people during tsunami evacuations, which will help improve tsunami emergency response policy. While utilization of network theory in this research will provide real-time assessment, further research is needed regarding the performance of an early warning system and its subsequent emergency response to a disaster. Such real-time monitoring can be used to improve the performance of evacuation, as well as provide support to disaster victims. The research team will investigate how multiple parties and organizations with a disaster response-related mandate are able to coordinate and cooperate with each other effectively. Utilization of Social Network Analysis (SNA) in this research project will advance the scientific understanding of emergency response operations and evacuation.

The results of this research project are expected to influence and enhance emergency response policy in the study area and can be useful for development of the disaster management sector in Indonesia. The outcomes of this research project are expected to improve the capacity of government officials, non-governmental organizations, and local communities to prepare for and respond to disasters, especially in terms of emergency operation and response, through a combination of technocratic and participatory approaches. Findings and lessons learned from this research can also be transmitted to both the U.S. and global context and can also serve as a model on how to develop an integrated early disaster warning and emergency response.

Summary of Recent Activities
3-103 PIT IABI 4 photo
Harkunti P. Rahayu (center) presented results of PEER research at the May 2017 4th Annual Meeting of Indonesian Association of Disaster Experts - Indonesia (photo courtesy of Dr. Rahayu).

As this project moved towards its conclusion in early 2018, the PI and her team were busy with several dissemination activities. One involved production of a video to document the lessons learned and process development behind the project, especially with regard to improvement of the Tsunami Early Warning System and Emergency Response Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in Padang City. Filming took place in and around Padang February 17-22, 2018, and included scenes showing people and natural attractions in the area, as well as interviews with the head of the Local Disaster Management Office, staff from the 24/7 emergency operations center, and members of the community involved with disaster preparedness and shelters. Meanwhile the documentation team on the project is producing video guidelines on “From Science to Policy of Improvement of the Tsunami Early Warning System and Emergency Response SOP: Experience from Padang City.” The guidelines encompass several main themes: Overview and Exposure to Tsunami Risk in Padang City; Implementation of Science; Policy Development Process; Action (IOWave simulation to test the new SOP); and Follow-up Actions and Other Impacts of Collaborative Science Implementation. Currently, the guidelines are still in the process of formatting and narration.

In February 2018, the PI Dr. Harkunti attended a workshop and coordination meeting with Prof. Louise Comfort and other U.S. partner at the University of Pittsburgh. Their discussions included work on drafting a joint paper on the results of their research for submission to an international journal. In addition, the PI has attended several other recent conferences and events to disseminate results of her PEER project, including the IOC/UNESCO Symposium: Advance in Tsunami Warning to Enhance Community Responses, which was held in Paris February 12-14. Immediately following, on February 14-15, she took part in the TOWS WG Inter-ICG Task Team on Disaster Management and Preparedness, held in conjunction with the Symposium. As a chair of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) Working Group 1 (Tsunami Risk, Community Awareness and Preparedness), Dr. Harkunti reported on the status of activities regarding disaster management and preparedness for tsunami. On March 3-10, 2018, she traveled to the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, to deliver a keynote address to the 3rd Steering Committee Meeting of the CABARET project (Capacity Building in Asia for Resilience EducaTion).

In a recently established collaboration, the PEER ITB team is working with counterparts from the University of Huddersfield (UK) on improvement of downstream warning chains. This joint work will serve as a reference for “The Study on The Upstream-Downstream Interface in End-to-End Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation Systems.” Currently, the study has produced initial findings from surveys in two countries (Indonesia and Sri Lanka), which will be presented at the International Conference on Disaster Management as part of the 5th Annual Science Forum (IABI) in Padang City, May 2-4, 2018. In addition, the findings of the study will also serve as input to the ICG/IOTWMS meeting to give recommendations for improving the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System.

With the project scheduled to wrap up as of October 31, 2018, the PI and her colleagues will be finishing work on their video and technical guidelines. They will also be finishing work on papers for submission to international journals. Dr. Harkunti will continue her work thanks to a separate award issued under PEER Cycle 6.

Link to news article on the PEER team's field work in West Sumatra in August 2015
 (in Bahasa Indonesia)

Link to news article about the team's participation in IOWave'16 and preparatory activities in September 2016 (in English) 

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