DRH-Asia: Disaster Reduction Hyperbase
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1. Title

Community-based flood preparedness and mitigation in Bidara Cina, East Jakarta

ID: DRH 63
Hazard: Flood , Flash flood , Epidemic

Process Technology (PT)

Proposer: Giuseppe Arduino
Date posted: 06 December 2010
Date published: 25 January 2011
Copyright © 2011 Giuseppe Arduino (proposer). All rights reserved.


Giuseppe Arduino
Programme Specialist in Hydrological & Geological Sciences, UNESCO Office, Jakarta, Jl. Galuh II No.5, Jakarta Selatan 12110, Indonesia, g.arduino@unesco.org, Tel. +62217399818, Fax. +6272796489

2. Major significance / Summary

Every year floods cause loss of lives and infrastructural damages in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. In this regard non-structural flood mitigation and preparedness measures have been implemented in several neighbourhood units in Bidara Cina, East Jakarta. In particular these measures are aimed to improve community’s understanding and awareness of the natural and social components of floods and strengthen people’s capability to deal with flood events.

3. Keywords

Flood mitigation, non-structural measures, disaster-reduction, community participation, empowerment, education, capacity building, preparedness measures, waste management, bottom up approach, participatory process.

II. Categories

4. Focus of this information

Process Technology (PT)

5. Users

5-1. Anticipated users: Community leaders (voluntary base) , Administrative officers , Municipalities , National governments and other intermediate government bodies (state, prefecture, district, etc.) , NGO/NPO project managers and staff , International organizations (UN organizations and programmes, WB, ADRC, EC, etc.) , Experts , Teachers and educators , Urban planners , Environmental/Ecological specialists , Others

The proposed knowledge could be used also by waste management experts.

5-2. Other users: Policy makers , Motivated researchers , Local residents

6. Hazards focused

Flood , Flash flood , Epidemic

7. Elements at risk

Human lives , Human networks in local communities , Business and livelihoods , Infrastructure , Buildings , Urban areas , River banks and fluvial basin

III. Contact Information

8. Proposer(s) information (Writer of this template)

Giuseppe Arduino
Programme Specialist in Hydrological & Geological Sciences, UNESCO Office, Jakarta, Jl. Galuh II No.5, Jakarta Selatan 12110, Indonesia, g.arduino@unesco.org, Tel. +62217399818, Fax. +6272796489

9. Country(ies)/region(s) where the technology/knowledge/practice originated


Bidara Cina - East Jakarta

10. Names and institutions of technology/knowledge developers

UNESCO Office Jakarta - Hydrology Unit

11. Title of relevant projects if any

“Strengthening community-based flood resilience in Bidara Cina, East Jakarta Indonesia”

12. References and publications

Project publications
UNESCO office Jakarta (2004): Flood Mitigation – A Community-based Project, UNESCO, Jakarta.

UNESCO Office Jakarta (2008), Partisipasi Masyarakat dalam Penanggulangan Banjir, UNESCO, Jakarta [in Indonesian (BAHASA INDONESIA)].

Useful references
Alessandro G. Colombo et al. (2002): Guidelines on Flash Flood Prevention and Mitigation. Ispra, Italy.

Marc Caljouw et al. (2004): Flooding in Jakarta. Jakarta, Indonesia and Leiden, Netherlands.

Kamta Prasad (2005): Manual on Community Approach to Flood Management in India. Delhi, India.

World Health Organization (2007): Emergency and Humanitarian Action. News Update February and March 2007.

13. Note on ownership if any

No restriction for non-commercial use. Credit should be given to the UNESCO Office Jakarta - Hydrology Unit.

IV. Background

14. Disaster events and/or societal circumstances, which became the driving force either for developing the technology/knowledge or enhancing its practice

With its population exceeding twelve millions, Jakarta is considered as one of the most problematic “mega-cities” in the world for its intricate urban development issues. Being located in a coastal lowland area and cut across by thirteen rivers and many other streams, Indonesia’s capital city is affected by recurrent inundations, especially during the high rainy season. In February 2002, disastrous floods affected 24 % of its total area (around 650 km2), claiming at least 30 lives, and paralyzing the city for days. One of the most-severely affected areas was the sub-district of Bidara Cina (East Jakarta), which is inhabited by approximately 44.000 persons. Located along the Ciliwung River, this high-density area (57.000 inhabitants/km2 in 2003) is particularly vulnerable to inundations and is affected by recurrent severe flooding (Photo 1 and Photo 2).

Fig_1.jpg Photo 1    

Fig_2.jpg Photo 2

V. Description

15. Feature and attribute

The project rationale is based on the assumption that understanding the causes of floods involves accurate consideration of a range of environmental and socio-economic aspects. For this reason it is generally recognized that, to develop effective flood management projects, there is a need for a coordinated action at all levels, encompassing all society groups. Therefore one of the project’s main aims is to establish a link between the community and the local government for effective communication, coordination and mutual support. Likewise the project acknowledges that a sustainable and effective disaster-reduction strategy should begin with the identification of the specific problems that a community faces, and with the assessment of people’s perceptions on how to solve them.

The main feature of the project is the use of knowledge sharing mechanisms and practices to reduce disaster’s risk. In this regard the project’s focal attributes are its participatory and bottom-up approach and the implementation of networking activities to involve all the pertinent local stakeholders.


The project objective is to improve the community’s behavior in order to reduce the vulnerability of the residents and their belongings to flood events. The achievement of this objective requires a full involvement of the community members.

The project overall goal is to minimize the disastrous impact of recurrent floods on urban communities by:

  • improving community’s understanding and awareness of natural and social components of floods,
  • strengthening community’s preparedness to deal with floods through development of affordable technology,
  • developing appropriate participatory processes towards improved decision-making and implementation of relevant activities, and
  • creating a framework for coordinated action to address flood-related problems involving community, academic and technical specialists, and local and  central government authorities.

16. Necessary process to implement

This project is implemented in four different, but integrated phases (Fig. 1).

Community3.JPG  Fig. 1

Phase I

The first phase consists of :

a) preliminary studies to assess community vulnerability and capacity,

b) participatory appraisal and community profiling,

c) training for community representatives to enable them to become “facilitators” and “multipliers” of flood preparedness and mitigation within the community,

d) establishment of a community forum as a multiplier of knowledge, and

e) development of a community action plan for flood mitigation.

The first phase of the project includes also an assessment of the community water supply to gather information about the existing water supply’s conditions, consumption and water quality in the area (Photo 3).


Fig_3.jpg  Photo 3


The training (activity “c”) is based on two modules. The first module aims to improve basic knowledge on flood causes and impacts, as well as on community-based mitigation and preparedness. The second module is shaped to enhance participants’ practical skills with regard to flood mitigation measures and flood response activities, as well as public awareness raising.

As a result of the first phase a community forum for flood preparedness and mitigation is established. The forum is made of several community representatives who participate on a voluntary basis and are committed to identify and monitor community-based flood mitigation activities, as well as to ensure the follow-up of those activities.

The community organization plays a key role before, during and after the flood. It has three main areas of action: Emergency Response, Knowledge Sharing and Institutional Contacts (Fig. 2).



Community1.JPG Fig. 2


The forum is involved in the design of a flood vulnerability map through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods. This exercise is aimed at identifying evacuation routes and shelters, and flood affected and high risk areas to ensure efficient flood response during flood emergencies (Photo 4, Photo 5 and Photo 6)


Fig_4.jpg  Photo 4


DSCN6759.JPG Photo 5     DSCN6758.JPG Photo 6


Moreover the forum develops a proposal on how to strengthen community resilience to floods mainly by activities aiming to increase community knowledge and improve skills for flood mitigation. The activities proposed are then implemented during the project second phase.

Phase II

In the area of RW (neighborhood unit) 06 of Bidara Cina, the following activities were implemented based on the community proposal elaborated during the first phase:

  • training courses for the community forum members on search & rescue, post-flood health management, waste management and leadership training (Photo 7),
  • assisting the community in developing and implementing flood preparedness and mitigation measures, and
  • assisting the community in gaining support from local government authorities and other stakeholders.


Fig_5.jpg Photo 7


A waste collection system was also introduced, which ensured waste collection on a daily basis (three times a day by three persons using a cart) and its transport to a public temporary disposal station. Based on the community proposal for flood mitigation both public (22) and private (205) waste bins were distributed to the population, with the aim to prevent dumping of waste into the river, drainage channels or into the streets.

Paper recycling for the creation of photo-frames, small boxes and other products was introduced with the aim to empower unemployed community members, especially the younger ones.

Furthermore, four accesses to the river were closed by means of fences to prevent continued disposal of waste into the river.

The implementation phase also included physical efforts to improve flood preparedness, such as the provision of clean water supply, the procurement of special equipment (handy talkie, Photo 8 and Photo 9) in case of flooding, the rehabilitation of a storage-site for this equipment, and the rehabilitation of the site drainage system.


IMG_1063.JPG Photo 8     IMG_1062.JPG Photo 9


The outcomes of this assessment are then used to provide training to the community forum members. The training focuses on the basic elements of organizational development and management including:

  • Organizational structure
  • Leadership skills
  • Organizational communication
  • Team work
  • Roles and functions division
  • Action planning
  • Internal monitoring and evaluation

The community forum is also enabled to design a Flood Preparedness Work Plan including materials like: evacuation map, hazard map, leaflets, signs that can guide the community during the evacuation process.


The second step of phase III is the Network Development through the dissemination the Work Plan to several stakeholders, both inside and outside the community. Dissemination is conducted by organizing visits, community meetings etc. Potential stakeholders to be involved in Network Development activities are:

  • Government officials who are responsible for disaster management
  • Steering committees
  • Water vendors
  • Informal leaders
  • Business sector, etc.


The last step of phase III is the implementation of a flood preparedness simulation. The following flood-scenario activities are simulated:

  1. Evacuation procedure, stages and locations
  2. Logistics and distribution of clean water supplies for flood victims
  3. Logistics and distribution of food for flood victims
  4. Supply, distribution and use of SAR (Save and Rescue) equipment (e.g. lifebuoy, boat, etc., Photo 10, Photo 11)
  5. Saving and securing equipment and other materials in a safe storage place.


photo12.jpg Photo 10     photo13.jpg Photo 11


Phase IV

Finally the project actions are adapted and replicated in other areas. In particular two flood prone neighborhood units of the Kelurahan Bidara Cina were selected as a result of a flood review meeting held at kelurahan (sub-district) level after the severe flood of February 2007.  RW 07 and RW14 were selected due to the high vulnerability of their communities to floods and their strong commitment for community-based flood management. In both neighborhood units task forces for flood response composed of volunteering community members, and called “Satgas Banjir” (flood task force), were established and empowered.

Monitoring and evaluation

During and after every phase of the project, is necessary to implement participatory monitoring and evaluation activities. The monitoring activities are essential to ensure that the implementation of the project’s actions is in line with the goals of the project. Moreover they are needed to provide adequate adjustments to the project follow up actions. The evaluation can be carried out through the organization of review meetings with the community forum to discuss the effectiveness of flood preparedness and mitigation activities and to assess community and forum further needs. 

17. Strength and limitations


The use of a bottom-up approach guarantees the commitment of the community to achieve the project goals. This approach avoids the constraints which may arise when the solutions proposed are solely generated from actors such as authorities, institutions or organizations, external to the community which, therefore, may not reflect the local needs. One of the main strengths of the project is its socio-environmental sustainability. Indeed the project contributes to strengthen the community’s internal ties, provides the community with the tools for planning and implementing project activities, and foster consensus-building, which shall lead to a shared understanding of issues and problems.



The project cannot directly address several causes for flood vulnerability such as population pressure, occupation of flood plains, urban planning, etc.  Moreover the project might not achieve its goals if local institutions, both formal and informal, are not acknowledging and supporting the efforts of the community.

18. Lessons learned through implementation if any

The following lessons were learned through the implementation of the project:

-  To raise the awareness and understanding of communities regarding flood preparedness and mitigation requires a long-term process, active support from the local government (financial and technical assistance) as well as really good communication skills of the field staff working with the community.

-  The need for coordinated flood response and evacuation is understood by the community and thus their commitment to support such activities quite big. However, local communities are often not aware that effective flood response and evacuation highly depends on careful preparedness activities and pre-flood planning and training.

-  The introduction of alternative income generating activities does require assisting the community in finding appropriate market access (example of paper recycling).

-  Successful long-term community engagement in flood management depends vitally on the acknowledgement and support of the local government or on political commitment in general. Integration of community initiatives in government policies and practices is also important to up-scale such initiatives. Therefore a key for successful projects could be found in the synergies between grass-root efforts and local development policy.

-  The local government is the key to address the main causes for flood vulnerability such as population pressure, occupation of flood plains, etc.

-  Local institutions both formal and informal play a critical role in sustaining the community efforts.


Communities, in the Bidara Cina area, have already experienced many floodings and recognize the hazard that flood events represents to their livelihoods. In addition communities they are really keen in understanding how to protect their livelihoods from such events. In this sense the project fosters the communities’ capacity to formulate their own strategies to reduce and, when possible, overcome flood impacts through the use of communities’ knowledge of the local environment (Fig. 3).


Community2.JPG Fig. 3

VI. Resources required

19. Facilities and equipments required

20. Costs, organization, manpower, etc.

The project is based on non-structural activities; therefore the main costs and efforts are related to the human resources required for: organizational support and educational and capacity building activities. Other costs occurred to:

- provide the population with public and private waste bins,

- implement a waste collection system,

- acquire communication equipment,

- rehabilitate the site drainage system, and

- fence some areas to prevent uncontrolled waste disposal into the river.

VII. Message from the proposer if any

21. Message

Despite the project being originally designed for a densely populated urban area, the core approaches and the design of the activities can be tailored to other contexts and environments. In this regard are particularly relevant the underpinning principles of inclusivity of all the components of the society and the consideration for stakeholders’ perceptions.

VIII. Self evaluation in relation to applicability

22. How do you evaluate the technology/knowledge that you have proposed?

It is a technology/knowledge that has fair applicability demonstrated by implementation in one or more field sites.

23. Notes on the applicability if any

IX. Application examples


    E1-1. Project name if available

    “Community-based flood mitigation and preparedness project”

    E1-2. Place

    Rukun Warga (local neighbourhood unit) 06, 07, 14 located along the bank of the Ciliwung River in the sub district of Bidara Cina, which is administratively located in Kecamatan Jatinegara, under the Municipality of East Jakarta (Indonesia).

    E1-3. Year

    2003 - 2007

    E1-4. Investor

    UNESCO Office Jakarta

    E1-5. People involved

    Several people from the following organizations were involved in the project:

    UNESCO Office Jakarta - Hydrology Unit

    Research and Industrial Affiliation at the Institute of Technology of Bandung (LAPI ITB)

    Indonesian Red Cross

    Community of Banjarsari – South Jakarta

    East Jakarta Municipality Sanitation Sector

    Centre for Agro-Action Community Development (PPMA)

    E1-6. Monetary costs incurred

    The total monetary cost incurred to implement the project between July 2003 and October 2007 is 66,418 US$ (this amount does not include full-time permanent staff at UNESCO). The costs, for each phase of the project, are divided as follows.



                                               Budget Phase I  2003–2004


    Amount (US$)

    Preliminary Study


    Community Profiling


    Preliminary Report


    Training to The Community


    Facilitating Activities


    Community Proposal and Phase 1 Report






                                             Budget Phase II  2004–2005


    Amount (US$)

    Project Activities Implementation


    Draft on Final Report


    Evaluation and Feedback


    Final Report






                                            Budget Phase III  2005–2006


    Amount (US$)



    Training Activities


    Support costs (Administration, Transportation Communication)






                                             Budget Phase IV 2006-2007


    Amount (US$)



    Training, Strengthening, Simulation and Campaign Activities


    Support costs (Administration, Transportation Communication)




    E1-7. Total workload required


    Phase I required the full-time involvement of: 

    o       1 Team Leader/Disaster Mitigation Specialist (1,5 month)

    o       1 Community Development Specialist (1,5 month)

    o       1 Hydraulic/Flood Expert (0,5 month)

    o       1 Field Coordinator (1 month)

    o       2 Field Researcher/Facilitators (1,5 months)

    o       1 Supporting Staff (Administration) (1,5 months)


    Phase II required the full-time involvement of: 

    o       1 Team Leader/Disaster Mitigation Specialist (6 months)

    o       1 Community Development Specialist (4,5 months)

    o       1 Hydraulic/Flood Expert (1,5 month)

    o       1 Field Coordinator (4 month)

    o       2 Field Researcher/Facilitators (6 months)

    o       1 Supporting Staff (Administration) (6 months)


    Phase III required the full-time involvement of: 

    o       1 Project coordinator (6 months)

    o       2 Community organizers (6 months)

    o       1 Administration and logistic staff (6 months)

    o       1 Organizational management trainer (2 months)

    o       1 Flood disaster procedure trainer (2 months)

    o       1 Economy productive activity (paper recycling) trainer (2 months)


    Phase IV required the full-time involvement of: 

    o       1 Project coordinator (11 months)

    o       2 Community organizers (11 months)

    o       1 Administration and logistic staff (11 months)

    o       1 Organizational management trainer (4 months)

    o       2 Field Assistant (5 months)

    o       1 PRA trainer (2 months)

    o       1 Flood disaster procedure trainer (6 months)

    o       1 Expert Staff of Supplying of Clean Water Medium (3 months)


    During the project implementation the members of the community provided voluntary work, in particular for the activities of the community forum for flood preparedness and mitigation.


    E1-8. Evidence of positive result

    As a result of the project local community organizations for flood preparedness and mitigation has been established, trained and strengthened in Rukun Warga (RW) 06, RW 07 and RW 14. Thanks to their visibility within the community and through the daily contacts with the residents, these organisations represent an important channel for disseminating flood related information to other neighbourhoods and ensuring improved flood preparedness and reactivity of the whole community in Bidara Cina. Indeed the important role that these organisations play for community-based flood preparedness and mitigation has been acknowledged beyond the borders of the city sub-district Bidara Cina. Members of the community organisation in RW 06  have been actively involved in disaster preparedness activities of other organisations and the government, such as the ‘training and simulation on flood preparedness’ organized by the City Government of East Jakarta or the ‘International Youth Day’ which sought to raise disaster awareness of the young generation, both organized in 2006. In addition to that, the local community organisation can act as contact point for the implementation of future actions, which can be related to disaster reduction, but also to other activities which need the direct involvement of the community. A mapping exercise, based on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods, was successfully implemented fostering the awareness of the community on flood risks and increasing their response capacities. Another major achievement was the establishment of a waste collection system, with two long-terms positive results: the improvement of both the environment and the community’s quality of life and the reduction of flood impacts (the river is no longer used as waste disposal, which obstructed dykes and side channels, impeding water to drain and therefore increasing the impact of these events). Finally the sustainability and community ownership of the project actions is demonstrated by the continuity of community participation in flood management through the local community organizations three years after the end of the project.

X. Other related parallel initiatives if any


XI. Remarks for version upgrade


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By Hazard

> Flood (15)

> Flash flood (11)

> Epidemic (3)

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