LESSONS LEARNT: Technical Expertise and Assistance on Support to GIS Training, Risk Mapping and DM Plan in Bener Meriah and Aceh Singkil Districts

November 28th, 2014  |  Published in Entrance  |  1 Comment

Karst Aceh is a Non Government Organization that became known locally and internationally which often facilitates discussions and analysis related to disaster risk reduction in Aceh. This organization consists of young human resources with diverse scientific background to provide support to the integration of excellent expertise and independence in order to realize disaster risk reduction–based development through analysis and science-based assessment, in accordance with  regulations, and involving public participation so that the efforts associated with important elements of disaster risk reduction are relevant to national regulation, as imprinted in the Hyogo Framework Action (HFA) and respecting the culture of local Community.


For the purposes of disaster risk reduction to be well coordinated, these activities do not cover themselves in the opinion and judgment of the stakeholders, both government and private sectors, and the community. This is evidenced by the extensive range of consultation process has been done with the Bupati, District Secretary, National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Aceh Disaster Management Agency (BPBA), District Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), the Non-Governmental Organizations, Industrial, and community representatives. Although the process done has not yet reached many outcomes, but the whole process has opened up more adequate analytical view for the stakeholders in implementing their programs of disaster risk reduction in future.


We feel that this report is useful as an effort to contribute to global knowledge and implementation in the form of a very meaningful view about disaster risk reduction and we also hope that the parties, both inside and outside the government will find it helpful. We would like to thank the Government of Bener Meriah and Aceh Singkil district as well as to integrated team of the two districts for their active role and also we would like to thank IOM-USAID for the support and coordination during the implementation of this program.


At the national level, since the year 2013, the incidence of disaster drop dramatically when compared to the year 2012. Disaster incidence in 2013 until November 2013 fell by 47%. However,there is a fact that the number of casualties and property losses from disasters has increased by 42%. Though the budget allocation for disaster managed directly by BNPB in 2013 reached Rp 1.3 trillion. This budget also concentrated on the improvement of the capacity of the staff of BPBD in various regions. In fact, staffs of BPBD which have improved in the capacity, transferred to other agencies or institutions by district leaders before they can implement the results obtained from the capacity building activities.  This condition illustrates that the budget allocation for disaster, has not yet significantly contribute to capacity building in facing disaster by the absence of synergy in the leadership in the regional level.


Leadership is strongly influenced by the attributes of power and interests in the regional level. Not surprisingly, leaders with weak manager and weak leader character are ??more intense related the regional planning with bargaining position in the elite of authorities and they are profit-oriented and physical development oriented rather than having a disaster risk reduction-oriented development. Although money and physical orientation are believed to be useful in the short term, in the end, it tends to lead to dependency attitude. We often hear that why planning has not been done in the area caused by activities not approved, there is no budget, or no response to funds proposal. This is contrary to the sustainable self-help aspect point of view that sees development as an independent and sustainable process as reflected in the rise of the power of involving all stakeholders and supported by policy makers.


According to the HFA, capacity of resources-human, nature, social (rules and customs), infrastructure (facilities and infrastructure), and economic-contribute to high levels of disaster management capacity in the region in an integrated manner. By only focusing on one resource, high capacity becomes more difficult to be realized, both for now and for the foreseeable future. This also explains that the concentration of some of the disaster budget that focuses on the provision of facilities and infrastructure for District Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) and disaster preparedness socialization to the community has not achieved effective value yet. Besides the budget allocation which has not focused yet on the effective capacity building, the increase of vulnerability can also caused by the head of district or institutions which do not have sustainable self-help view.


Regional planning from leaders who do not pay attention to sustainability will increase the threats and vulnerabilities of social conditions that exist in society. Moreover, Bener Meriah and Aceh Singkil have dynamically structured social aspect. This aspect is stratified of the various classes, groups and interests that are interconnected to each other forming a distinctive dynamics to influence development policies and programs planned by local leaders. The absence of consideration of the sustainable self-help aspect could be a boomerang for the existence of the leaders themselves. This will lead to other disasters such as social conflict, failure of technology, and epidemic diseases that until now has never happened in the district of Bener Meriah and Aceh Singkil. Leaders will lose legitimacy and likely to trigger social disaster in the community. This is a strong reason that concentration of budget should also be allocated to increase the capacity of local stakeholders. It is expected that with the increased capacity of the stakeholders such as the understanding of DRR minded leadership, leaders with vision of disaster risk reduction will exist. Obviously, BNPB, Ministry of Internal Affairs (KEMENDAGRI), and legistlative (DPRK) to be able to make it happen.




  1. Regulation and D
    isaster Management Document

Based on maps and disaste
r risk assessments, the Government of Bener Meriah District has had Disaster Management Plan documents prepared in an integrated manner through various meetings discussions, and public seminar By having a Disaster Management Plan, it is expected that the various parties will be able to know possibilities and  magnitude of loss and the focus of planning and integration of disaster management operations inn Bener Meriah  become more effective. It is expected that the completion of Aceh Singkil Flood Contingency Plan document will be able to raise awareness readiness and ability of both the government and the people in the effective, well coordinated and efficient flood emergency management system


  1. Improved Capacity

This program is a learning process for enhancing the capacity of local actors in the disaster. This capacity may increase in response to a constituent element of disaster risk, namely: hazard, vulnerabilities, and capacities that are measured and listed in the regulations as a basis for consideration of effort for disaster risk reduction. Participants who are actors in DRR in the two districts are also more aware of the advantages of gathering information from a forum where if there is mistake, may immediately correct by the other participants. If there are things that it is still lacking, it can be discussed together to reach an agreement. This can also be done with interactions involving resource persons and participants in an informal atmosphere. Partnership built coupled with the process conducted encourage each actor to make the effort of learning through the transfer of capacity between members. This is obtained through the discussion and presentation of the results of discussion between groups. Each member can provide information to other participants in the map created which allows each individual to mention their ideas well.

  1. Leadership

From the point of leadership in disaster management program in two districts has placed leadership as a crucial issue. Leadership Here is in the scope of regional leaders and leaders of disaster actors that involved in the program. Clearly It Appears Appears That the leadership in Aceh singkil shows relationship-orientation compared to that found Bener Meriah which demonstrates the task-orientation. Leadership type that provides a real impact to disaster relief efforts is strong manager-strong leader leadership which makes it as an opportunity variable overstrength support disaster risk reduction disaster risk reduction in the region.


  1. Building trust

Trust is one of the keys to success as a facilitator and an important indicator in the process of empowerment. Building trust to BPBD is not limited to the socialization of strategy of program alone, but by involving the active participation BPBD as the main actor. With this process, Karst allowed BPBD to play role and follow the activities in accordance with its capabilities.It is meant to involve the BPBD in designing, implementing and controlling the variousdecisions that have beenmade??as a reflection ofa form of communicationandinteractionbetween the partiesthatis built on trust. Trust is built from smooth communication in which the spatial vision, riskmap disaster planning understood by BPBD in the district through good coordination between agencies, decision-makers in the district and also the parties that can improve disaster risk reduction efforts.


  1. Active involvement of Disaster Actors of national and provincial level

Synchronization and good coordination among disaster actors with BNPB at the national level and the provincial level can improve disaster risk reduction programs to be more effective and efficient. The role of the media is also important points that contribute to the effectiveness of socialization and learning. On the one hand more intensive effort need to be done to involve and coordinate private parties such as companies, because companies have realized the disaster risk reduction should be in synergy with their Corporate Social Responsibility program which currently tend to be focused  on the economic improvement or the celebration of religious holy days.


  1. DRR forum and disaster resilient village as active actors

The series of activities carried out more effectively with the involvement of DRR Forum formed in the middle of this activity. The effectiveness of efforts in the area of disaster risk reduction will be even more effective if the forum for disaster risk reduction and disaster resilient village was formed in the beginning of the program


  1. Good of Succession Planning and Management

Preparation of the series of activities were well anticipated and well planned such as in module preparation, presentations, training forms, variations of GPS, and trainer. During the series of activities, trainers and facilitators showed the attitude and capacity that can encourage the effectiveness of materials, task execution, and application development. Discussion and facilitation built in the understanding of the topics and each trigger given by facilitators driven by experience and learning process obtained by each facilitator. Planning and development were also supported by a series of goal clarity of activities. The reasons for conducting training and producing documents were described so well that implementors and participants know exactly what to achieve. Training competencies to achieve were also known by al
l parties.


  1. Teamwork and fair rewards

Those who work with Karst can work together and can perform their roles in group and this is related to the rewards given. Participants were given fair rewards in events including the events opened by important people in the districts such as Bupati, Vice Bupati or District Secretary. This also can be seen from the certificates and transport incentive given to participants who must travel long distances to engage a series of existing process.


  1. Creativity and High Motivation

Competence can Be achieved effectively with the emphasis on creativity, where the ideas for the development are properly utilized and there is no stagnation in developing GIS training and ground check Mapping training methods conducted by the by the completion of cases given and the balance of theories and its application of the data taken in the field and then formulated into spatial data too optimize the the role of GIS in disaster. The people who serve as trainers and facilitators concern about tothe problem of disaster good enough to exert their efforts in achieving the goal of increasing capacity.





  1. Synchronization of schedule

Scheduling activities became an obstacle because it had to be adapted to the agenda of the Dinas, DRR actors including BNPB and BPBA. This Caused delays in program that also affected the partner’s financial effectiveness.


  1. Payment system

The payment system with reimbursement method has not increased the Karst work effectivity because of some factors such as the synchronization and coordination with related parties including the actors, BPBA or BNPB which sometimes experienced delays.


  1. Regulation clarity –Synchronization with BNPB

The effort of synchronization of map assessment parameter that should be achieved has been delayed for quite a long time due to the unclarity of regulations and the revision of the Regulations by the Head of National Disaster Management Agency BNPB that serve as the guideline to make the map and disaster risk analysis.


  1. Participants did not have sufficient experience in DRR 

Most of the participants involved in the activities have not received any training or other capacity building program related to DRR.


  1. Office workloads

The training participants and the disaster actors couldn’t actively participate because they had to do their office workloads.


  1. Staff Mutation

Some people who were the Head of BPBD and the members of the technical team were transferred to other departments or institutions. Karst should conduct the resocialization of the program.


  1. Natural Disasters

Flood occurred in Aceh singkil has automatically suspended the activities for two months time and this affected the scheduling of the program.



  1. Access

Access To disaster data and information is limited. In addition, participants from Singkil were dispersed and they had to travel a far distance to the place of training, data collection, technical meetings, and a series of processes which were centralized in the district capital.


  1. Limited involvement of companies

The limited involvement of companies becomes initial benchmarks that the implementation of the program with the vision of mainstreaming DRR in all development programs becomes very difficult to implement. Therefore, some programs which specialized for the involvement of companies as one of the actor in DRR program need to be conducted.


  1. The limited district budget on DRR

The district could not actively participate in some of activities due to the financial limitation.



Future Expectations

In the future, the government is expected to continue to concentrate on improving the integration of disaster risk reduction in all the districts, and keep doing capacity building of it personnels. Because, Bener Meriah  and Aceh Singkil actually have the human resources aspect, social aspect, and aspect of nature that can be used to fill the gap in the need of economy and infrastructure aspects. However, this potential has no sufficient synergy with BPBA at provincial level and BNPB at the national level. In fact, the cohesion between actors working in disaster issue (the program district working unit- Non-governmental organizations, and communities) with BPBA and BNPB for the regions’ resilience will make a significant contribution in reducing the disaster risk. Meanwhile, for people who are in the front lines and deal directly with the threat of disaster should be benefited from the capacity building programs which have sustainable and independency vision. Another important thing to do is  “DRR audit ” for the entire regional working programs including to companies operating within the region so that  the principles of disaster risk reduction become  one of key points in the planning, implementation , and evaluation of development activities carried out in the region.


We hope that the the work arranged and implemented by Karst with the support from IOM-USAID, BPBDs, BPBA, BNPB, and related parties in this program will have a significant impact on the synchronization and coordination of disaster risk reduction by all parties on aspects of self-reliance and sustainability.



  1. Ibnu Mundzir says:

    May 18th, 2015at 3:39 am(#)

    Documenting lessons learned and sharing them is a good initiative so others may also learn from your experience. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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