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The Role Of Science Communication In National Planning And Community Preparedness

On 28th November 2018, RDI attended a seminar held by Bandung Institute of Technology in collaboration with Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (Bappenas) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). This seminar is themed around the topic of science communication. The seminar consisted of two speakers namely Ms. Aruminingsih, M.Sc (Bappenas) and Ms. Irina Rafliana (ICIAR – Indonesian Institute of Sciences). Each, Ms Arum and Ms. Irina presented two different topics that are similar but distinct in detail. Ms. Arum presentation was titled “Pengantar Komunikasi Sains untuk Pengurangan Risiko Bencana: Upaya Pengarusutamaan PRB ke dalam perencanaan dan pembangunan nasional”. Meanwhile, Ms. Irina presentation was titled: “Peluang dan Tantangan Komunikasi Sains Untuk Pengurangan Risiko Bencana di Indonesia: Pembelajaran dari Lombok dan Palu 2018”.

Picture 1. During Lecture

The first speaker was Ms. Arum, she explained briefly about the hazards, vulnerability and exposure of Indonesia and elaborated that local governments play a central role in disaster risk reduction thus the Central Government needs to intensively coordinate with the local government in the efforts of disaster risk reduction. She also explained thoroughly on the national policy for disaster management as stipulated in the Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional (RPJMN 2015-2019). According to the RPJMN, the national policy for disaster management focuses on three main points: (1) A strong economic structure; (2) The competitiveness of regions; and (3) Human resource quality. Moreover, Ms. Arum also explained the input-process-output of the implementation budget grand design of the national plan.

She also mentioned that Indonesia have went through a change of paradigm from a focus of responsiveness to a more preventive one. Indonesia have also undergone a change of paradigm from an emergency response paradigm to a paradigm that focuses more on disaster risk reduction. Ms. Arum also elaborated on two of the national priorities of Indonesia: Priority 2 (the decrement of disparity between areas through stronger connectivity and maritime) and Priority 4 (Disaster management). It is worth to note that disaster management have also been integrated into priority 2, which means that disaster management is expected to be more distributed evenly across regions. Lastly, she also explained on how disaster risk reduction is mainstreamed into the development planning, this includes the formulation of index of maps of disaster risks and its integration into development plans. Lastly, Ms. Arum explained how science communication for DRR should be done through: (1) Stakeholder analysis; (2) Making DRR as a part of local governments interests and agenda, (3) using local languages in communicating DRR in areas across Indonesia, and; (3) Having integrity, a good plan, and capable teams (including the community).

The Second speaker, Ms. Irina emphasized largely on how until today, communities across Indonesia have different cultural comprehension towards disaster risks. She also elaborated on the importance of Risk Society, in which Indonesia is still in the process of becoming a country which integrates risks in all aspects of its society. Most importantly, Ms. Irina also elaborated on the earthquake and tsunami which occurred recently in Palu Central Sumatera. She explained that a portion of Palu’s local community have already done disaster preparedness training and already have an evacuation procedure in place but unfortunately, the procedure which the community have set up did not fit to what happened in reality (e.g. the dissemination of tsunami warning information). Lastly, Ms. Irina elaborated on how the first step towards risk society is the importance of community preparedness and how a functioning community needs functioning scientists, functioning public education practitioners and promoters, and functioning disaster management officials. Therefore, Ms. Irina recommended that science/risk communication for disasters must be interdisciplinary because the science aspects and social aspects must both be addressed properly.