Indonesia, lying on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” faces an average of 1,500 natural disasters a year – everything from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, landslides, drought, and forest fires to tsunamis. With one of the highest natural disaster rates in the world, the government needs to be ready to respond quickly, to save lives and help people rebuild their lives. Varying data standards is one of the challenges in the public sector due to the disparate ways data tend to be collected. This siloed approach tends to hinder effective coordination, especially at the onset of a crisis.

UN Global Pulse Jakarta worked with two specialised units within the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) to develop a roadmap for disaster management data preparedness. The collaboration with the Directorate of Spatial Planning and Disaster Management and the Centre for Data and Information helped the ministry take the first steps to creating an integrated data system. 

Our impact

We were able to map out what needed to be done in data preparedness, information management, and information systems. We recommended establishing data research collaborations, recruiting technically skilled staff, and reinforcing internal and external data governance mechanisms.

When disaster strikes, the systems will be in place for better decisions and quicker responses. Better data preparedness could benefit millions of Indonesian citizens by promoting effective coordination during crises.

The project could transform the field of disaster management by addressing the challenge of varied data standards and siloed data collection. It paves the way for an integrated data system that would improve the quality, consistency, and accessibility of disaster-related data. It suggests strategic steps to strengthen data governance mechanisms, foster research collaboration, and recruit technically proficient staff, signifying a far-reaching impact on institutional practices and policies.

Our lessons

  • Unified data standards can transform disaster response and promote collaborations among all levels of government.  
  • It’s vital to establish research collaborations and hire technically-proficient staff.
  • Usefulness of this roadmap is not confined to disaster preparedness and management – it can serve as a model for other sectors struggling with data standardisation and effective coordination.