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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 May 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).
In the last quarter of 2017, the PEER team at ITB focused on three main activities. The first was presenting and disseminating their results in various events. Team members took part in the IOTIC- BMKG Indian Ocean Capacity Building (IO-CAP) Exercise 2017: Training for Trainers on Tsunami Evacuation Maps, Plans, and Procedures, which was held in Citeko, Indonesia, November 13-24. Dr. Rahayu also gave the keynote speech at ISEDM (the 7th International Symposium on Earth-hazard and Disaster Mitigation) in Bandung November 19-21, with her topic being “Building Tsunami Resilience through Evacuation Planning (Pre vs. Post Disaster): Learning from Indonesia.” She traveled to Bangkok November 27-29 to give a keynote at another conference, the 7th International Conference on Building Resilience Using Scientific Knowledge to Inform Policy and Practice in Disaster Risk Reduction, speaking on “From Science to Tsunami Early Warning Policy Improvement: Experience from Padang City.”

The second main activity involved working on a new element of their project being supported by a PEER Evidence to Action supplement. Specifically, they are producing a video to document lessons learned and the process development behind their PEER project results regarding the improvement of the Tsunami Early Warning System and Emergency Response Standard Operating Procedures in Padang City. In addition to the video, they are also preparing user-friendly technical guidelines to help officials and experts in other Indonesian cities implement the same systems and procedures as Padang did. By the end of 2017, the ITB team had recruited video specialists to assist with the production and had begun developing the scenario for documenting lessons learned from their project in the video and guidelines.

The PI Dr. Rahayu also reports an interesting side development from her PEER-supported research. She and her group are beginning to collaborate with counterparts from the University of Huddersfield in the UK regarding improvement of downstream warning chains. This study, which will include case studies from Indonesia and Sri Lanka, will focus on the interface between upstream detection of earthquake and tsunami threats to the downstream response, including the potential evacuation of the exposed communities. The study will involve several government organization in the two countries, as well as international organizations (for example, the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS), which is chaired by the PI). The study will focus on the cognitive and normative challenges in positioning the tsunami early warning systems and preparedness in the wider context of social change in the coastal societies and communities at risk, and for critical reflection of on-the-ground experiences and lessons learned. The findings of the study will be presented at an ICG/IOTWMS meeting to contributed recommendations for improving the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System.

During the first quarter of 2018, the team will continue working on their video and user implementation guidelines, including recording some video segments in Padang. Drafts of the guidelines will be shared with stakeholder focus groups to solicit their input. In February 2018, Dr. Rahayu will visit the University of Pittsburgh to participate in a workshop and coordination meetings with her U.S. partner Dr. Louise Comfort and other U.S. colleagues. In addition, the ITB team will continue their work completing papers for a planned special edition of the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment.

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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