National DRR Events in Solo, 16-18 October 2015

Members of the StIRRRD team attended the Indonesian National DRR Awareness Event held over 16th-19th October 2015 in Solo, Central Java.

In 2009, the UN agency UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) established October 13th as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. This provides an opportunity for countries to promote the culture of disaster risk reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

In Indonesia, a focus on DRR has become part of the national DRR agenda and events of some shape or form have been held every year since 2011 – Yogyakarta (2011), Yogyakarta (2012), Mataram (2013) and Bengkulu (2014). This year (2015) it’s Surakarta’s (Solo’s) turn to host the event.

Entrance to the DRR Exhibition at Benteng Vasternburg, Solo
Entrance to the DRR Exhibition at Benteng Vasternburg, Solo

Thousands of people attended the series of events over the weekend which included opening and closing ceremonies, 24 special sessions, 8 side events, 3 working sessions, and an exhibition which gave hundreds of organisations and local agencies a chance to showcase the work they were doing in disaster risk reduction and disaster management.

The StIRRRD programme hosted a Special Session which was attended by the NZ Ambassador to Indonesia (H.E. Dr. Trevor Matheson), the Governor of Central Java (Ganjar Pranowo), the Rektor of Gadjah Mada University (Prof. Dwikorita Karnawati), the Chief Executive of GNS Science (Dr. Mike McWilliams) as well as senior Indonesian Government officials, Dody Ruswandi (BNPB) and Suprayoga Hadi (KDPDTT).

Panellists at the StIRRRD Special Session chaired by Professor Dwikorita Karnawati, Rektor of the University of Gadjah Mada.
Panellists at the StIRRRD Special Session chaired by Professor Dwikorita Karnawati, Rektor of the University of Gadjah Mada.

There was much spirited discussion from the audience, who raised issues ranging from the consideration of disabled persons in DRR planning, to difficulties with the rules around the use of contingency funds after a disaster. One thing that emerged from the discussions was the need to ‘make a start’. With long lists of tasks and limited budgets, the DRR path can be overwhelming. It’s important to remain focused, prioritise the work that’s needing to be done and take one step at a time.

The StIRRRD team also had a booth in the exhibition space which showcased the StIRRRD programme through videos and the UGM developed early landslide warning system. Our booth was fortunate in that the Governor together with the NZ Ambassador made a point of stopping at the booth and discussing the work featured.

The StIRRRD booth at the Exhibition. Prof. Faisal Fathani and Rektor Dwikorita Karnawati ready to explain the University's landslide EWS and StIRRRD programme.
The StIRRRD booth at the Exhibition. Dr. Faisal Fathani and Rektor Dwikorita Karnawati ready to explain the University’s landslide Early Warning System and StIRRRD programme.

The very high level of participation in the event and the commitment shown by participants at the working and special sessions bodes well for the future and we hope that DRR ‘takes off’ and gets the priority it needs to have across all districts and provinces in Indonesia.

More information about the event and the ‘Solo Declaration’ can be found at

H.E. Dr Trevor Matheson, NZ Ambassador to Indonesia, addressing the audience at the StIRRRD Special session.
H.E. Dr Trevor Matheson, NZ Ambassador to Indonesia, addressing the audience at the StIRRRD Special Session.
StIRRRD Special Session participants get into the spirit of the event!
StIRRRD Special Session participants get into the spirit of the event!

RiskScape – Risk Modelling Training, Palu

For some, it wasn’t easy to get to Palu for the Risk Modelling training conducted in Palu 19 – 23 October 2015. Smoke from wild fires closed Palu Airport, and a few participants, and some of the training team missed the first day. Contingency planning wasn’t in place for such an event. Perhaps the economic losses and disruption to people from wild fire in Indonesia could be included in the future risk modelling. Tragically, some hikers died in a wild fire in Java on the day before the workshop. Flights were cancelled many times during our week here and we weren’t sure we were going to get flights out.

The R Team

The training was facilitated by members of the RiskScape team Kate Crowley (NIWA), Sheng-Lin Lin and Mostafa Nayyerloo (GNS Science) along with members of the StIRRRD team from UGM ( Agung Setianto,  Iman Satyarno, Wahyu Wilopo). Gumbert Maylda Pratarma from UGM provided able logistic support.

About 40 participants attended the training coming from the 4 universities that are part of StIRRRD project; Tadulako University (UNTAD), Andalas University (UNAND), Mataram University (UNRAM), and Bengkulu University (UNIB), and from the Emergency Management, Planning, and Public Works offices of Palu, Donggala, and Morowali, Padang, Agam, Kota Bengkulu and Mataram.

The training started with the fundamentals of Risk – Hazards, the exposed Assets (buildings, infrastructure and people) and the interaction between the assets and population and the hazards, known as the Vulnerability. RiskScape is the tool that combines these to calculate the impacts of hazard events in terms of damage and casualties, and the trainees were given a quick look at how the tool works.

Using Riskscape

To reinforce risk fundamentals, group exercises were used to discuss how risk modelling could support DRR activities in their districts and to list the possible impacts of hazards on the exposed assets.

Discussing the issues

For the more technical minded, a look under the hood of RiskScape enabled them to see how hazard layers and vulnerability functions can be loaded into the tool. Concurrently, the remainder discussed the development of hazard values and the basics of developing measures of vulnerability.

Outdoor riskscape session

This led into a discussion about the asset information required, including building and infrastructure attributes and typology, as well as population data, and involved a demonstration of the RiACT tool (Real Time Asset Collection Tool), to be used the next day in the field exercise. Being in Palu, Tadulako University had helped with organising the training, and had gathered significant asset data prior to the workshop using paper forms, the results of this survey presented by Dr Ketut of Tadulako University.

The following morning one half of the group went into the streets of Palu, armed with tablets to collect asset data using the RiACT tool. They collected 75 assets in 2 hours work and downloaded them to a database server.

Getting ready for field action

Field data capture

The remaining group worked through RiskScape tutorials and discussed ‘what if’ scenarios. They also came up with questions/scenarios that they might wish to have modelled in RiskScape to assist in Risk Reduction investment, and the data they would need to do so. These scenarios provided the basis of RiskScape Indonesia action plans to be developed later in the training. The groups swapped sessions the following morning.

Using the data they had collected, and earthquake hazard scenario and vulnerability functions from New Zealand, a Palu earthquake scenario was modelled using RiskScape.

Palu Scenario

The final sessions of the workshop were devoted to developing actions to take the training forward to develop and model the scenarios developed through the workshop. These will require collaboration between the district government departments and the universities involved. Tadulako University and Palu indicated they had data and resources and were ready to go, especially with the asset data collection.

Via the network established here, risk modelling in Indonesia can be developed and inform Disaster Risk Reduction decisions and investment.