The Strategic Planning of Post Disaster Reconstruction (A Case Study of Banda Aceh’s Reconstruction)

Mr . Aulia Sofyan (2010). The Strategic Planning of Post Disaster Reconstruction (A Case Study of Banda Aceh’s Reconstruction) PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, The University of Queensland.

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Author Mr . Aulia Sofyan
Thesis Title The Strategic Planning of Post Disaster Reconstruction (A Case Study of Banda Aceh’s Reconstruction)
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-10
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor John Minnery
Total pages 289
Total black and white pages 289
Subjects 12 Built Environment and Design
Abstract/Summary This thesis investigates the reconstruction of Banda Aceh after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami of December, 2004. It fits the investigation within a framework derived from the literature on disaster studies and disaster recovery. The fundamental issue addressed in the thesis is the delays apparent in the reconstruction process even though a new government agency (BRR, or the Aceh and Nias Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency) was created to expedite reconstruction. The questions that underpin the research are concerned with the factors that hinder and support effective and speedy reconstruction; the thesis then reaches conclusions and makes recommendations on the basis of this investigation. The study used a number of research approaches, including interviews with 50 members of the community, with public figures, with representatives of donor organizations and NGOs from abroad and with national, provincial and local government officials. The interviews were supported by data from focus group discussions, as well as official reports and documents and the wider literature. The author was also able to use participant observation to support and guide the other research methodologies. The author was able to work closely with BRR in discussing in the field problems and obstacles that faced the implementation of BRR programs. The field work for the study was carried out in two six-month periods in 2005 and 2006. The research showed the approach needed for an effective reconstruction program in Aceh should enhance communication among stakeholders, build stronger coordination mechanisms amongst these stakeholders, build an effective bureaucracy working within an effective governance system, improve community involvement in the recovery process, strengthen the local government capacity and increase the level of practical and effective commitment from donors and NGOs. These are all aspects that have been listed in the literature as components of effective reconstruction after natural disasters. In general, the thesis research supports these conclusions. An issue that was of special significance in Banda Aceh was the impact of the level of international sympathy and support. Although this is a feature of many international disaster responses the reconstruction in Banda Aceh showed how critical is the actual level of delivery of assistance compared to the level of promises of assistance. The general recovery process faced obstacles that arose from the presence and absence of factors that can aid reconstruction: lack of communication among stakeholders, lack of coordination among stakeholders, ineffective bureaucracy, lack of community participation, lack of human resources, and unfulfilled promises to the communities. However, the case study showed that factors that strongly support the rehabilitation and reconstruction in Aceh are the strong budgetary commitment by central government, strong financial support from donors and NGOs and the powerful mandate of BRR to aid the reconstruction. A special circumstance that applied in Banda Aceh was the ceasefire agreements in the preceding civil strife and the agreement of both sides to assist in the reconstruction. The role of BRR has been very significant and effective in the implementation of the reconstruction programs, in the light of these constraints and opportunities. However, BRR faced many challenges. BRR was less successful than intended in re-housing tsunami victims. The reasons for this are indicated in the research findings, but some of the difficulties arose from cultural differences between BRR staff and the local population. The thesis used an institutional framework based on the work of Healey (2002) and Van Horen (2005). Through this, several forms of community assets (or capital) are identified that need to be in place for full community sustainability, and thus are needed as the basis for recovery after natural disasters. These forms of capital were used to assess the optimal framework for Aceh’s recovery and reconstruction. Physical and natural assets are the most obvious assets impacted on by a natural disaster such as the Aceh tsunami. Economic assets are not so immediately obvious but nonetheless are still important. These are also assets that are relatively easily identified and addressed (although often imperfectly) by international aid agencies. Human and relational capitals were shown in the case of Banda Aceh to be of particular importance and so should be flagged as a concern for post-disaster reconstruction. Similarly the strong Muslim ethic of the Aceh community was identified as being fundamental to the approach that should be used in reconstruction; in this way the spiritual aspects of cultural capital was seen as especially important in Aceh. Both Healey (2002) and van Horen (2005) recognize the governance framework within which these assets are utilized as critical for the development of values such as transparency and accountability.
Keyword Reconstruction, Post-Disaster, Recovery, Planning, Disaster Management, Strategic Planning, Coordination, Communication, Capacity Building, Community Involvement, Aceh, Indonesia.
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Created: Wed, 16 Feb 2011, 19:56:38 EST by Mr . Aulia Sofyan on behalf of Library - Information Access Service