Integrated Community Based Risk Reduction (ICBRR) Programme III
A needs assessment analysis implemented by PMI & DRC in March 2008 identified particular vulnerabilities in the target communities in Indonesia, particularly towards natural hazards and their low capacity in hazard preparedness and mitigation. In Polewali Mandar, for example, most villages have ineffective and damaged drainage systems due to annual flooding. In addition, the soil capacity for water absorption is generally very low because of land conversion and illegal logging.
This project is a continuation of the CBDP program in 2002, which also focused on DRR. At the onset of the ICBRR project, PMI central had a disaster management division which mainly focused on preparedness, risk reduction and an emergency response. Over the years, the division has worked to change the priority from emergency preparedness and response to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption – however the project-targeted PMI branches and chapters still prioritize disaster preparedness and emergency response as can be seen in their regular program and budget allocation. A number of external evaluations and reviews were carried out and recommendations and lessons learned from these projects contributed to the design of the overall ICBRR model.
The key activities/results were as follows:
Strengthening of PMI target branches through formation and capacity building of SARTGANA and KSR volunteer teams
Establishment of CBAT teams in each targeted community, trained and able to engage communities in undertaking ICBRR activities
15 communities undertaking hazard risk, vulnerability and capacity assessments, developing risk reduction plans, and implementing appropriate mitigation measures
Raising awareness of DRR and ICBRR in target communities, local government authorities, schools and the general public
Strengthening of coordination between PMI, local government, communities and other stakeholders.
Management of the program is executed by PMI’s DMV under the supervision of its ICBRR coordinator with assistance from a program-funded PMI technical officer who is based in PMI headquarters in Jakarta. PMI branches and chapters are formed by a committee comprised of delegations from PMI caretakers, project management and some parties from the local government who are responsible for giving orders and supervision for any program implementation at PMI branches and chapters.
The project achieved its objectives satisfactorily; moreover, it contributed to an increased capacity of PMI branches, and also increased general risk awareness and DRR-knowledge of the target communities. The results of risk assessment (HVCA) and mitigation planning (VDRRP) showed that the communities were able to produce good DRR analysis and planning.
The project was funded by DIPECHO, and lasted for 15 months, starting in August 2008 and ending in January 2010.
Overall the project has been using participatory approaches and methods in every stage. This has resulted in creating a feeling of ownership and support from the community members and other stakeholders involved in the process. It has created increased transparency and accountability of the project to its beneficiaries. Beneficiaries will be directly involved at all stages of the program, including risk, vulnerability and capacity assessment, planning, prioritization and selection of mitigation measures, and in the coordination and supervision of the implementation of mitigation measures.
A positive image of PMI for public and local authorities has been a major factor that influenced this high level of acceptance and support. In addition, its mitigation project has addressed the needs and priorities of the community. The community was directly involved with several aspects of the project – most notably the implementation of mitigation measures, which were developed based on local knowledge and implemented in a low cost and environmentally friendly way. As a result, it highly reduced the risk of people against hazards that particularly affected specific communities.
The local government worked alongside PMI, providing substantial financial and technical support for some projects. Learning from evaluations of previous projects, the decision was made to sign formal MoUs with local governments in order to improve coordination and cooperation throughout the project. As a result, there have been more extensive meetings and discussions with local governments, and as a result increased support compared to previous projects in the region.
Coordination and collaboration with DRR stakeholders at national and local levels were undertaken by the PMI and DRC on a continuing basis and were an integral component in all its existing DRR programmes. Currently, the key coordination mechanisms that DRC participates in include the DRR Forum where DRC has played an instrumental role in its establishment. DRC and PMI remain members of the DRR Forum which currently consists of more than 40 members from non-government organizations and donor institutions. DRC and the entire Red Cross organization, through the facilitation of IFRC, have and continue to support PMI’s active participation in recent and current government efforts in DRR. These include, among others, the drafting and passage of the Disaster Management Bill and PMI’s fulfilment of various roles and responsibilities assigned to it as part of the GOI’s national plan for DRR.
Gender concepts have been an integral part of training and awareness-raising to facilitate a change of attitudes and the creation of an institutional environment at all levels that is supportive of women being given opportunities for active participation in decision-making. The DRC supported interventions that have a long-term perspective to support the objective on gender equality. One of the key goals of the project was the recruitment of 30 SATGANA team members in Karawang district, with 30% of recruits being women. As a result, there was a significantly higher representation of women in the decision-making process for the communities.
The budget for the planned television broadcasts in West Sulawesi was being proposed to be utilized for more direct community awareness activities in the absence of affordable TV stations that provide sufficiently wide broadcast coverage. While the final choice of interventions will be done in close consultations with local PMI chapters and branches, this may include DRR posters for public display, DRR inspired community drama/cultural presentations, additional school-based DRR activities and other similar awareness activities.
Planned activities to integrate community risk reduction plans developed under the program into the local development plans through participation in the local development planning process (i.e., Musrenbang) could not occur during the duration of the current program implementation because the timing of program implementation and the conduct of the Musrenbang did not match. The Musrenbangs were conducted in the months of January and February when programme activities had just started and community risk reduction plans had not yet been formulated. While efforts for integration of community DRR plans developed will nevertheless be continued post-program by the concerned chapters and branches as part of their sustainability interventions, activities related to the adoption, whether formal or informal, by the local village officials of the community plan will be pursued in the course of the current program’s implementation. This will be done in preparation and in anticipation of future efforts at Musrenbang integration
The original target of 180 KSR-SATGANA volunteers for capacity building/training was reduced to a total of 159 volunteers. The reduction represented the decreased number of KSR-SATGANA volunteers in PMI’s Tanah Laut branch in South Kalimantan who, at the time the refresher training was conducted, had not yet recruited replacement volunteers for those that have moved on. The branch cited the lack of financial resources as the key factor that has forced them to defer recruitment activities.
The program has also increased the community’s general risk awareness and knowledge that has been delivered through series of participative activities. Because of the project, the majority of active CBAT members have better understanding of their vulnerability and capacity against hazards; they also demonstrate their ability in DRR planning.
Sustainability is the main challenge for this project. At the chapter/branch level there is lack of vision to continue or incorporate some of the project initiatives into their regular project. This is likely caused by a lack of common understanding among key decision-makers at the branch/chapter level about how DRR policy and strategy at the national level should be translated and transformed in their regular programs. At the community level, some verbal plans to continue the initiatives such as maintenance of CBAT and mitigation measures have been identified. There is a need for PMI to advocate this further and have it done by the village authorities in order for these activities to be carried out after the project closure. However, certain activities are easily sustainable for communities – e.g. the standards and logical stages of HVCA and VDRR Plan are easy to replicate, although in order to be cost-effective some tools need to be simplified. The capacity building of CBAT and KSR/SATGANA is also replicable since PMI has adequate capacity and resources to further continue this initiative within their regular program.
From the perspective of DRC and PMI, the specific objective of the program “to increase the capacity of PMI branches and target communities to prepare for, respond to and mitigate the effects of disasters” was successfully achieved. This view is consistent with the conclusion reached by the program evaluation.
The increased capacity of all four Red Cross branches to respond to disaster events has been conclusively demonstrated by actual response activities by all of the PMI branches to local disaster events that occurred during the term of the program (e.g., local floods and the West Java earthquake) resulting in assistance for some 6,915 families (based on branch reports). It should also be noted that during these incidents it was not only the district level KSR-SATGANA volunteers that were activated and responded, but the village-level CBAT volunteers as well. At the village level, the CBATs mobilized and trained (under both previous and current DiPECHO-funded ICBRR programs) responded to disaster emergencies in both their own communities and in neighboring communities.
Preliminary observations, including those made by the final evaluation report, indicate that the pilot mitigation projects are also likely to achieve the intended results. Given these experiences, DRC and PMI are confidently behind the assertions of the chapters and branches involved in the program that their core of volunteers will continue to rise to the occasion in the event of future hazard and disaster events. Since the sustainability and continued implementation of the community-based DRR strategy introduced in the program rests primarily on the chapters and branches, their acknowledgement and realisation of the benefits and full impact (in the future) of the program will certainly go a long way in motivating them to more concretely adopt and institutionalise DRR in the organisational branch policies and programs of their respective chapters and branches.