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JAKARTA— The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is pleased to facilitate collaboration between the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and BPS–Statistics Indonesia that has resulted in the provision of population data for the national disaster management programme, announced UNFPA Representative Mr. Jose Ferraris at the National Seminar on Optimizing Population and Secondary Data for Disaster Management, held Tuesday, 5 June 2012 in Jakarta.


UNFPA is an international development agency that supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.


“UNFPA has long history in collaborating and partnering with BPS on population data in the context of development issues. This seminar is just the first step under an initiative that promises to enhance the capacity of these key organizations in preparing for and responding to disasters through more effective use of population data,” said Mr. Ferraris at the opening of the two-day seminar.


Mr. Ferraris added that further collaboration will hopefully lead to the development of national guidelines on data for disaster management programmes, the development of a robust Baseline Data Information System, as well as other initiatives between BNPB and BPS.


The availability of data is critically important during all phases of a humanitarian crisis. Accurate data are the cornerstone of effective emergency preparedness, and can be applied towards conflict prevention, emergency relief, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction process.


Indonesia, which sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire” at the intersection of the Pacific, Indo-Australian, and Eurasian tectonic plates, is particularly prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Results presented at the seminar of a preliminary mapping analysis which combined population data and disaster risk assessment on the provincial scale revealed that over 97% of the Indonesian population lives in an area with “very high risk” of natural disaster.


Head of BNPB Dr. Syamsul Maarif said in his opening remarks (delivered by the Deputy of Emergency Response, Mr. Dody Ruswandi) that the 2005 tsunami in Aceh was a wake-up call for Indonesia to create a more comprehensive system for disaster preparedness and management. “Comprehensive disaster preparedness management is important, and has become a priority in our national development plan, as stated in our Strategic Plan (Renstra) 2010-2014,” he said.


Mr. Dody added that while the need for data is imperative, it is often difficult to obtain comprehensive primary and secondary data. “Different institutions will come up with different data; hence, BPS is very important, as it has the best and most comprehensive data that we need.”


Mr. Dody explained that currently BNPB has ten clusters for disaster management, and plans to add an additional cluster on population data following the newly-established collaboration with BPS.


With support from UNFPA, BNPB and BPS will formalize their collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), expected to be finalized in the near future. The MoU’s scope covers optimizing population data for disaster risk analysis, data systems, and basic information for disaster needs assessments, including the use of MIRA (Multi Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment).


Dr. Suryamin, chief statistician at BPS–Statistics Indonesia, expressed his deep appreciation for the partnership and readiness to support BNPB’s efforts to utilize existing population and secondary data sets for better disaster management in Indonesia. “The results from our latest Population Census 2010 and Village Potential Survey 2011 are two of the best data resources that can be further analyzed for disaster management programmes,” said Dr. Suryamin.


As part of the two-day seminar, Dr. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of the Data Information and Public Relations Unit at BNPB, presented a baseline analysis on disaster trends in Indonesia and their potential impact on populations, based on provincial-level data provided by BPS.


“This is only very basic data and a benchmark for our collaboration. In the future, we will develop more comprehensive analysis needed for better strategies and management of disasters in our country,” explained Dr. Nugroho.


He added that with BPS’ ample population data yielded from the 2010 Census and UNFPA’s support through technical expertise, it will be possible for BNPB to produce analytical models that predict the effects of disasters on population groups at an even more finely-detailed scale, such as the district and village level.

Tags: Humanitarian, Population