Monash University
4621891_monash_85507.pdf (5.09 MB)

Resource capability of local government in managing a disaster: evidence from Indonesia

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posted on 2017-02-06, 06:09 authored by Kusumasari, Bevaola
Abstract Disasters cause great damage, destruction and human suffering. They test local capacity to respond to them. Unless a disaster management system has implemented a mitigation program and provided a comprehensive, effective plan, the consequences of a disaster will be amplified. In the wake of a disaster, adjustments to the plan, coherent requests for assistance and a willingness to coordinate with other institutions are critical requirements. Decision-making must be efficient and based on context-specific problem solving. Balanced with this is the need to redeploy resources in new ways and to regain trust from communities, so that they are not working to different purposes. These conditions therefore require strength in particular capabilities. This study highlights capability in institutions, human resources, policy making, finance, technical capacity and leadership as key functional success factors for local government in managing a disaster at the local government level. The study focuses on local government because local government is the institution closest to the community and plays an important role in a disaster management system. The research framework of this study articulates a model for local government in managing a disaster, the requirements needed, obstacles that may be faced by local government, and networking that occurs with all levels of government, NGOs and the community. The research is focuses on the Bantul local government, Indonesia, as a case study in managing the 2006 earthquake. The study is an exploratory and intrinsic case study. In order to increase reliability and validity, mixed method research was used. Information related to literature-identified key natural disaster responses was collected through in-depth and semi-structured interview with 40 key informants. Informants interviewed were varied from the central government, the provincial regional government, local government, community leaders, local NGOs and international NGOs who were involved during and after the earthquake. To support the interview findings, researcher also conducted a community leader survey in three districts where destruction was greatest and most deaths and injuries occurred. Qualitative data was analysed using NVivo; SPSS was used to analyse quantitative data. The study finds that: (1) The lack of a strategic framework for disaster management, lack of disaster mitigation and preparedness programmes and limited knowledge on the part of local government existed in Bantul before the 2006 earthquake and resulted in paralysis of the government’s mobilisation and organisation; (2) Although Bantul had never previously had to manage such a disaster, local government capability shows favourable results in terms of institutions, human resources, policy for effective implementation, finance, technical capacity and leadership; (3) Collaborative leadership revealed in the Bantul case indicates decisive action as the critical competency in managing disaster; (4) Building trust between local government and public, private and not-for-profit organisations contributed to the success of disaster response and recovery in Bantul; (5) Organisation, the budget, attitudes, local expertise and volunteers are the most crucial problems at each stage of disaster management; and (6) Social capital, local culture and local wisdom contributed significantly to the effective recovery result in Bantul.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Quamrul Alam

Additional supervisor 1

Kamal Siddiqi, Mark Dibben

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics

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