Day 3: Preparation for Vulnerability Assessments

July 29th, 2016

This day began with an introduction on community resilience. Dr. Tubagus Furqon Sofhani of Bandung Institute of Technology’s Regional and Rural Planning Research Group shared various approaches to working with communities and measuring resilience indicators. The discussion focused on developing indicators and methodologies for measuring resilience in communities. We learned about the case in Pangandaran, West Java, which suffered from a powerful tsunami that struck the region ten years ago. We also learned how research efforts were measuring how resilience indicators have progress in the post-recovery conditions there.

Thereafter, the discussion shifted to fieldwork preparation. How does one prepare for a vulnerability assessment? How do we collect the accurate data from existing sources, develop some initial indicators, formulate key questions to take to the community, and access the right local information to create a well-informed multi-stakeholder assessment in a short amount of time. How then do we make sure that are our assessments are accountable to the multiple stakeholders involved? To do this, the participants were divided into four teams: Two villages in Ternate, two in Tidore. We divided maps among the groups.

To initiate a vulnerability assessment, we first had to provide a framework and key concepts. The building blocks of vulnerability applied in this training include two key variables: impact and adaptive capacity. Furthermore, impact can be defined in terms of exposure and sensitivity. To initiate the process, we begin with exposure. Using the map, censuses, and other available data teams began to develop the extent to which people, places, and assets are exposed to hazards. These hazards were described in terms of likelihood, intensity and frequency.

Thereafter, we conducted a similar process of mapping and developing indicators (via proxies) for sensitivity. To what extent will people, places, and assets be affected once they are exposed to hazards? We also sought to explain direct and indirect impacts for each of the villages, looking at how individuals, community groups, and government are affected. Finally we did the same with adaptive capacity, seeking to develop indicators and proxies that determine resilience.

Each of the groups made their indicators and research questions applicable to each unique settng. Tomorrow morning we will be venturing out to each of the target areas to meet with local officials and community members. At each village we will be conducting sample transects to gather the necessary information for the vulnerability assessment.

IMG_0078
A team conducts vulnerability assessment preparation to go to Makassar Timur, Ternate

**For helpful resources to training materials, see the course developed by the East-West Center and University of Hawaii for USAID’s ADAPT Asia-Pacific Project. Locally-adapted versions of these courses are also being developed with ITB’s Climate Change Center and Khairun University’s Climate Study Center**

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