December 1, 2022
The humanitarian sector in Indonesia experiences regeneration problems where capacity strengthening initiatives such as trainings for aid workers and volunteers are generally carried out only after a large-scale disaster occurs, and not before. Between 2004 and 2010, there many practitioners, aid workers, and volunteers developed valuable skills from the Aceh tsunami (2004), the Yogyakarta earthquake (2006), the Jakarta flood (2007), the West Sumatra earthquake (2009), the eruption of Mount Merapi (2010), and many other disaster events. However, the absence of large-scale disasters from 2010 to 2018 led to gaps and also a dearth of various capacity building efforts, including Sphere trainings. This is also due to the lack of funding to conduct capacity building for emergency response. The Lombok earthquake and also the tsunami earthquake in Central Sulawesi in 2018 were an eye opener for many organisations about the importance of continuity in capacity building to avoid generational knowledge gaps.
Thus, the Indonesian Society for Disaster Management or MPBI, organised a workshop, inviting veteran humanitarian practitioners and Sphere trainers across Indonesia and also representatives from NGOs to discuss contextualising and developing a Sphere Road Map in Indonesia. These participants shared their stories on translating the first Indonesian-language version of the Sphere handbook starting with the 2000 edition, convincing the government of Indonesia to use the Sphere standards as part of government response standards, sharing their experiences in using the Sphere standards for programme implementation, and promoting the handbook in the humanitarian community and the wider public. These experiences provided context and basis to understand past challenges and contribute to the development of strategy to overcome future barriers. The workshop also facilitated dialogue between senior and junior humanitarian workers and strengthened the networks of Sphere trainers as this is the first time MPBI organised a workshop for Sphere trainers across Indonesia.
The workshop resulted in the formation of a small task force to translate, review, and contextualise the Sphere training materials to be more suitable for Indonesian audiences, and also developed a road map for strengthening capacities of humanitarian workers and volunteers in Indonesia. The workshop was conducted on 2-4 December 2022 in Jakarta and attended by 41 participants (25 male and 16 female) from 20 different organisations as well as freelance trainers. MPBI received seed funding from the Sphere Secretariat and later on we were able to leverage additional funding support from Oxfam in Indonesia, CRS Indonesia, and the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management in Indonesia (APAD-Indonesia). The workshop also solidified support for MPBI as the Country Sphere Focal Point, acting as the primary driver in promoting Sphere in Indonesia. In February 2023, the small task force has finished conducting the translation and review of the Sphere training materials and is currently developing case studies and analysis that are suitable with Indonesian context. Currently, the participants of the workshop are still connected through a WhatsApp group and engage in regular discussions. This network will also be linked with other humanitarian networks in Indonesia and serve as a platform to discuss issues related to humanitarian standards, principles, and values.
December 1, 2022