With their scientific competence, universities can provide an important contribution to mainstreaming gender, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) perspectives in disaster management. In Bali Province, this contribution is realised through the Disaster Resilient Campus concept.
Komang Ayu Henny Achyar, Head of the Center of Health Polytechnic Education Development of the Ministry of Health (Poltekkes Kemenkes) Denpasar said, universities can produce ideas that are relevant to disaster management needs, including by integrating GEDSI perspectives.
She gave an example of a disaster which occurred in an area that forced some residents to evacuate. An adult male was reported to have abused a young woman in the refuge’s shared bathroom on his first day at the refuge.
“Based on this experience and several meetings about disasters in Bali, we proposed that when a disaster occurs, bathrooms in refuge sites should be separated by gender and closed. These sorts of issues and risks are often neglected when a disaster comes due to the urgency of the situation, but they are very important to prevent new and similarly big problems,” she said.
It is this kind of insight that underlies the Disaster Resilient Campus initiative in Bali. The idea emerged from discussions conducted by the Bali Disaster Risk Reduction Forum (FPRB) and the Bali Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), supported by the SIAP SIAGA Program, as an effort to expand preparedness efforts. A series of discussions, both informal and formal, have been carried out since mid-2022 involving FPRB Bali, BPBD Bali, and other relevant Local Government Agencies (OPDs), as well as representatives of universities.
From this process, finally, on October 13, 2022, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Higher Education Service Institution Region VIII and the Bali Provincial Government concerning Disaster Management in the Higher Education Sector. A total of 11 universities in Bali initiated a declaration of commitment to become Disaster Resilient Campuses.
In the guidelines prepared by BPBD Bali and FPRB Bali, with support from SIAP SIAGA, a Disaster Resilient Campus is defined as a program developed by various institutions, both within and outside the campus, that aims to improve campus preparedness in all phases of disaster management. This program is useful to ensure that campuses have disaster management plans that are effective and can be implemented properly, especially by students, education personnel, and the entire campus community.
Poltekkes Kemenkes Denpasar is one of the first universities to become a Disaster Resilient Campus. The declaration as a Disaster Resilient Campus was announced on October 20, 2023, in an event attended by the Director General of Health Personnel of the Ministry of Health, Arianti Anaya, and disaster management stakeholders in Bali.
According to Ayu, this is the culmination of planning and discussion since July 2023. Going forward, the development of disaster manuals and relevant research will continue. “Poltekkes Kemenkes Denpasar is the first Poltekkes in Indonesia to become a Disaster Resilient Campus. This is a part of our contribution to health transformation in Indonesia,” she said.
Poltekkes Kemenkes Denpasar has six study programs related to disaster management. The Midwifery Study Program looks at the management of risks related to maternal and neonatal health; the Nutrition Study Program at readiness to assist with public kitchens, including the special needs of vulnerable people, and the Environmental Health Study Program focuses on sanitation and properness so that toilets can be used safely, comfortably and inclusively. These initiatives are in line with the GEDSI perspective in disaster management.
Ayu explained that interaction with disaster activists in Bali brought new disaster-related knowledge and perspectives that she has tried to integrate across disaster-related courses. “Starting this semester, it is mandatory to take two-semester credits in disaster-related courses in all study programs, including the emergency response curriculum. The hope is that after gaining new knowledge and perspectives on disasters, students will become more aware of potential disasters around them and how they can be involved in preparing to deal with them,” she explained.
Additional special materials are given to students in the Nursing Study Program. These students are considered to be the frontline of health services when disasters occur. In addition to being required to obtain a BHD (Basic Life Support) Certificate, they also begin practical trials at the Coastal Community Clinic to provide first aid and treat patients.
Ayu added that her institution focuses more on vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities, women, and the elderly. “In Bali, the number of elderly women is even more than men, which means the management needs to be handled from the beginning when a disaster occurs,” she said.
Thematic Community Service Programs (KKN)
The Head of BPBD Bali Province, I Made Rentin, said that in Bali, the concept of disaster management involves multiple parties, and universities are one of these elements. Through the Disaster Resilience Campus, universities can integrate scientific aspects with community service programs. One example is through the implementation of Thematic Community Service Programs (KKN). “Through Thematic KKN and other Disaster Resilience Campus programs, efforts to educate and socialise disaster management principles and technical aspects can be expanded to the community using an intensive and scientific approach. This includes the principle of no one left behind through GEDSI mainstreaming,” he said.
The implementation of Thematic KKN can open a space for mainstreaming GEDSI perspectives by university students directly in the community. In the context of disasters, it can be adapted to their respective fields. “That is why our hopes are very high for the Disaster Resilience Campus because students can play a role as GEDSI mainstreaming ambassadors. I am optimistic that in 2025, all 83 state and private campuses in Bali can become Disaster Resilience Campuses and make Bali more disaster-resilient,” he said.
According to Made, GEDSI mainstreaming in disaster management in Bali is very important considering the very diverse character of the community and region amid so many potential disasters. The GEDSI perspective will be able to help ensure equality among the people in accessing public services in every stage of disasters, from pre-, during, through to post-disaster.
He added that with the support from the SIAP SIAGA Program, mainstreaming GEDSI perspectives in Bali was promoted through various discussions, studies, document developments, and the implementation of disaster management strategies. One of the achieved end goals was the Bali Provincial Regulation No. 12 of 2023 concerning the Implementation of Disaster Management. Article 47 of this Regulation specifically mentions the protection of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable people.
The Head of Human Resources Development of Bali Provincial DRR Forum, Dewi Reny Anggraeni, said that the existence of the Disaster Resilience Campuses in Bali is crucial, considering that disasters are everyone’s business and that all parts of the community must be involved.
“Since the beginning, we have always paid attention to the GEDSI issue, especially regarding the difficulty of obtaining data on disability, the lack of participation by women and so on. The role of the campuses is very important to educate the community to understand GEDSI mainstreaming to achieve collective resilience,” she said.