16/02/2021 - Climate and disaster resilience in Indonesia “We have made our mark”

After 10 years PfR has phased out and handed over its work in Indonesia, which was implemented under the Dialogue and Dissent progamme funded by the Netherlands government. PfR passed the batton to the local organisations who will take the PfR legacy forward. Over the years, focus of PfR's work has been very much on strengthening local capacities, on the one hand on integrated risk management (IRM), and on the other hand on lobby and advocacy. It is the local organisations and networks now who will take the IRM agenda forward, ensuring better policies, practices and investments in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and ecosystem management and restoration.

"Disaster risk reduction, securing livelihoods, promoting gender equality, and climate adaptation are all connected. We tried and sometimes succeeded in integrating these aspects. More recently, we adapted and integrated a COVID-19 response into our health system strengthening work. Creating a web of interlinked efforts, creating networks – also with the private sector, showing flexibility and adaptivity…. I think we managed to do that," said Yohan when reflecting on the work done in Indonesia.

In the past decade, Cordaid’s efforts in Indonesia focused heavily on increasing people’s abilities to adapt to climate change and to bounce back during and after natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. Cordaid aid coordinator Yohan Santosa looked back to it as well as ahead. For the full interview with Yohan, visit the Cordaid website

Yohan Santosa during the Vegetable Harvesting and Expo in Timor Tengah Selatan district. Credit: Cordaid

The PfR programme has achieved great results, at local as well as at national level. More concrete local measures are being taken now, supported by the government, as disaster risk reduction is now part of village development plans and funds. Ecosystems in some areas are better maintained and mangroves restored, ensuring better coastal protection. Rainwater harvesting and irrigation have led to improved livelihood opportunities. Gender budgets in village development plans have been increased, as well as women’s participation in the planning process. PfR is one of the partners in the Water as Leverage for Resilient cities Asia programme, which is implemented in Semarang. PfR, in its role as an advisory board member and knowledge partner, worked closely in the city of Semarang with civil society organisation, communities, the multidisciplinary design teams and other stakeholders – to ensure that all voices are included throughout the project lifecycle, and to ensure that the proposed plans are aligned with local, provincial and national policies.

Altough hampered by the COVID-19 andemic, PfR's/ UN-environment's work on improved community-based peatland management under the Eco-DRR programme in north Sumatra still continues.




  • Dialogue and Dissent Strengthening the capacity of civil society to engage in dialogues with stakeholders for improved disaster risk reduction policies, practices, and investments.
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  • Up-scaling Eco-DRR Increasing communities resilience and reducing disaster risks through ecosystem-based solutions.
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