Measuring Disaster Recovery: Lessons Learned from Early Recovery in Post-Tsunami Area of Aceh, Indonesia

Monday, 18-12-2023Ni Wayan Suriastini, Ika Yulia Wijayanti, Bondan Sikoki, Cecep Sukria Sumantri

In the same timeframe of post-disaster recovery, the medium and heavily-damaged areas were improving, nonetheless, the lightly-damaged areas showed a decline in conditions.

This study aimed to investigate the early stages after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, using the Disaster Recovery Index (DRI). The two initial waves of Study of Tsunami and Aftermath Recovery (STAR) data were used to track the recovery process from 5 to 19 months after the tsunami. The results showed recovery rates in the medium and heavily damaged areas increased by 2.05 and 7.45 percentage points, respectively, with a 0.33 percentage point decrease in the lightly damaged areas. This was caused by the lightly-damaged areas requiring advanced recovery stages. The social and livelihood sectors showed rapid progress, supported by the establishment of temporary health and education facilities, including Cash-for-Work programs. Meanwhile, other sectors experienced slower recovery due to their complexity.

The application of the DRI successfully showed the relative positions across affected areas and sectors over time in a simple way. Variety of recoveries indicated the need of measuring recovery progress periodically using standard metrics. It aims to identify changes in the recovery phase and accurate policies for each affected area to support sustainable recovery process and pursue Build Back Better. The unavailability of pre-disaster data in this study also highlights the importance of baseline data prepared for disaster conditions, followed by post-disaster longitudinal data with consistent variables for evaluation purposes. This data is crucial for Indonesia, which has many disaster-prone areas.

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