BROADENING RESEARCH COLLABORATION
The Resilience Development Initiative (RDI) has entered into a recent partnership with Coventry University to embark on a research project focusing on the role of culture in facilitating disaster-resilient communities. Dr. Gavin B. Sullivan will lead this study, aiming to gain insights into the communities residing around Mount Sinabung. The research will explore how these communities coped with and continued their lives following the 2014 eruption and how their culture played a pivotal role in facilitating their recovery and daily life despite the challenges of living near an active volcano.
The study will be conducted over two separate survey periods, with the first occurring in May and the second in July, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Sumatra Utara. Dr. Sullivan, an expert in psychology with a focus on the psychological aspects of disaster victims, will collaborate with Dr. Saut Sagala, an expert in disaster management, and Dr. Wiwik Sulistyaningsih from the Psychology Department of the University of Sumatra Utara.
The research will delve into understanding the influence of culture on response and recovery during and after a disaster. It will investigate various factors, including the quality of life, attachment to place, and psychological distress experienced by the affected communities. Field surveys will involve interviews with key informants and community members around Mount Sinabung, supplemented by questionnaires that focus on their firsthand experiences with the recent eruption and its aftermath.
Should the initial survey be deemed insufficient, a follow-up survey will be conducted in July, following the Eid holidays. Dr. Sullivan anticipates that the research findings will be shared with the local communities around Mount Sinabung, fostering discussions about future strategies to mitigate the effects of volcanic eruptions and adapt to the ever-changing volcanic landscape.
The project aims to produce two journal articles based on its findings, which will be submitted to international peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Dr. Sullivan also plans to disseminate the research findings through events and activities in collaboration with RDI, thereby strengthening the partnership with Coventry University.
Furthermore, 2016 promises a range of other research initiatives and collaborations for RDI.