Support for institutional strengthening has helped to develop the Disaster Risk Reduction Forum or FPRB in Bali Province, both in terms of its capacity and network coordination. This in turn isexpected to further strengthen the FPRB’s role its in boosting resilience in Bali, the Island of the Gods.
The Founder and First Chairman of FPRB Bali, I Gede Sudiartha, said when FPRB Bali was formed, the number of disaster activists from government and non-government organisatoins in Bali was relatively small compared to many existing disaster risks. “In addition to the relatively small number, they not well coordinated with one another,” he said when contacted on Thursday (5/10).
Many of these, including Gede himself, have long been active in disaster response through the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), government institutions, and other institutions and groups. Over time, after often being involved in disaster responses, they began to connect and formed a communication forum as a platform for sharing information.
In 2011, Gede received information that the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) would officially manage a disaster volunteer forum called FPRB. After discussing with disaster actors in the forum, they agreed to form FPRB Bali. “Yes, we just followed the nomenclature that has been determined by BNPB to create harmony and avoid the existence of many different entities. The important thing is to do real work,” added Gede.
This concept of real and harmonious work became the foundation for FPRB Bali members in the early days of its establishment. All operational costs came from the members’ pockets butlimited resources – both financial and human – did not affect the commitment of members to helping achieve a disaster-resilient Bali. Since the beginning, they have assisted the Bali Subnational Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) in holding disaster training, supporting emergency response and helping to check the condition of the disaster early warning system. “Although BPBD Bali was inaugurated in 2011, it only completed its organisation the following year,” said Gede.
BPBD Strategic Partner
This good relationship with BPBD Bali has continued since its establishment. FPRB Bali has positioned itself as a partner of the government, ithrough its relationship with BPBD Bali. “By working in alignment as partners, when we discuss current issues, it becomes more acceptable by BPBD because FPRB has proven its commitment to work together,” continued Gede.
Gede underlined that despite being a partner of the government, FPRB Bali does not receive budget support from the government. This remains the case even after FPRB Bali’s existence was acknowledged through a Governor Decree on the Establishment and Membership Composition of the Disaster Risk Reduction Forum of Bali Province and allows the forum to maintain its independence.
Gede admitted that although FPRB has continued to work both before and after the legal umbrella, limited resources have limited progress and achievements in some areas. As such the advisory support from SIAP SIAGA has accelerated the ideas, concepts, movements, and accomplishments of the FPRB Bali. Institutionally, FPRB has got stronger and more complete with the development of various guidelines and legal umbrellas, including the Governor Decree.
The SIAP SIAGA program began its support by identifying and clarifying the roles, responsibilities, and structure of FPRB Baliand by expanding community involvement by applying the perspective of gender, disability, and social inclusion or GEDSI.
According to Gede, since 2018, there have actually been a number of community groups that have joined FPRB Bali, ranging from the Disaster Risk Reduction University Forum, the Indonesian Disaster Experts Association Forum, and the Disaster Volunteer Forum. The existence of these community groups shows that FPRB Bali has the support of people with diverse backgrounds. This will certainly have a positive impact on the FPRB Bali initiative. Therefore, it is very important for FPRB Bali to implement GEDSI aspects.
The pentahelix composition within FPRB Bali Province has become more complete by embracing the Center for People with Disabilities (Puspadi), Gaya Dewata Foundation, Indigenous Village Council, Indigenous women groups (Pasikian Paiketan Krama Istri/Pakis), indigenous youth groups (Paiketan Yowana), and Paiketan Pecalang. These groups embody GEDSI representation, which strengthens the role of FPRB Bali Province.
Efforts to engage various elements of the community continued. In 2021, SIAP SIAGA facilitated communication between BPBD Bali and FPRB Bali with business actors and the media. This led to the formation of the Disaster Care Journalists Forum (Wapena) and the Disaster Resilient Business Partnership Forum (FKDUTB). In 2022, engagement efforts continued to expand by collaborating with the Indonesian Women Entrepreneurs Association (Iwapi), which then, together with women groups who had already joined FPRB, formed the Alliance of Disaster Resilient Women. With this, the pentahelix elements in FPRB Bali were completed.
With the addition of community groups, the potential and resources owned also increased. Through support from SIAP SIAGA, FPRB Bali, together with BPBD Bali, began to urge the formation of FPRBs in districts/cities in Bali. With these strong resources, throughout 2021 – 2022, FPRBs were formed in nine districts/cities in Bali.
“FPRB Bali’s activities and steps were accelerated when SIAP SIAGA came in and provided its support through technical assistance. Moreover, the position and capacity of BPBD Bali was also strengthened, thus making the collaboration to move to districts/cities faster,” explained Gede.
The recognition of FPRB Bali’s contribution to Bali’s resilience also emerged, for example, through the Indonesian Resilience House (Rumah Resiliensi Indonesia), which was showcased during the seventh Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) in 2022. FPRB Bali was charged wiht responsbility for designing and managing the Indonesian Resilience House, which was also used as a networking event with relevant parties, both at national and international levels.
Working together with these various elements can also generate changes in perspective and policy related to disasters, both in the form of regulations and disaster reference documents. The Head of FPRB Bali, I Putu Suta Wijaya, said that these documents also serve as important parts of institutional strengthening efforts.
Putu recalled when the SIAP SIAGA Program began partnering with FPRB Bali, one of the initial forms of support provided at that time was the development of guidelines for the Disaster Risk Reduction Volunteer Forum, which was part of FPRB Bali. “A few years later, we realised that FPRB, as the parent organisation, did not have a similar document. The SIAP SIAGA Program then assisted FPRB again until finally, in 2022, FPRB Bali completed its institutional documents, including its Articles of Association/Bylaws,” he said.
According to Putu, the institutional strengthening aspect was overlooked because FPRB Bali really bases itself on volunteerism. Institutional strengthening is very important to make FPRB’s position more strategic and to ensure a high degree of capacity. “Having a solid organisation will make the established relationships with other parties more sustainable,” he added.
Putu was recently elected as the Head of FPRB Bali on September 15, 2023, and will serve for three years until 2026. One of Putu’s focuses as the new head is to achieve FPRB’s organisational independence and pioneer resource sustainability. “In terms of independence, for example, it starts with the management structure for this period, which does not include governmental elements,” said Putu.
Putu emphasised that the non-inclusion of government elements in the FPRB 2023-2026 management structure is based on agreement from various parties. Although there will no longer be directgovernment participation, the collaboration pattern of FPRB Bali with the government, especially BPBD Bali, will not change. In fact, this serves as proof of a paradigm shift, that disaster risk reduction is not only a concern for BPBD but all elements of the community.
The facilitation from SIAP SIAGA for coordination, collaboration, and advocacy has made FPRB more institutionally prepared. One of the Forum’s recent innovations was involving universities in DM activities through the Disaster Prepared Campus. This initiative was formalised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Higher Education Service Institution (LLDikti) Region VIII and the Bali Provincial Government.
The Disaster Resilient Campus includes a community empowerment program, one of its activities is the Community Service Program (KKN). One of its programs is the establishment of Disaster Resilient Villages (Destana). The involvement of university students from various campuses is expected to further encourage community resilience and contribute in Destana acceleration.
Another effort to achieve sustainability of FPRB Bali Province was by establishing a cooperative. Cooperative was selected because its familial and mutual cooperation spirit perfectly suited the humanitarian mission carried out by FPRB Bali Province.
The Bali Tangguh Sejahtera Cooperative (Batara) was established as a strategic means to maintain the sustainability of FPRB Bali Province and was intended to improve the welfare of its members. One special example was life insurance protection when becoming a member of Batara Cooperative. Through this strategic method, FPRB Bali Province was independently able to protect each of its members, including volunteers who joined the Batara Cooperative.