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Indonesia unveils new technology to avert disasters, responding faster and more effectively

April 26, 2017

One of the most disaster-prone countries in the world is developing cutting-edge tools to improve access to information and reduce disaster risk


Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters, announcing during its 2017 National Disaster Risk Reduction Day investment in a new set of tools to enhance the country’s readiness, response, and risk reduction capabilities. The country’s national disaster management agency Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) launched the new InAWARE version 6 system, based on Pacific Disaster Center (PDC)’s DisasterAWARE™  platform. InAWARE v.6 is an upgrade to Indonesia’s current InAWARE sytem that was first implemented in partnership with PDC and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in 2014.

The new InAWARE v6 system, also funded by USAID, gives decision makers in Indonesia the option to work offline without an Internet connection—a vital function if communication systems are interrupted by a hazard or if staff are working in remote areas. Additionally, touch-screen capabilities have been added to increase the usefulness of the system as a mobile tool, allowing and its provincial disaster management staff to use both smartphones and tablets to operationalize use of InAWARE in the field when responding to disasters. 

What makes the InAWARE system most remarkable is that it provides critical information to the country’s disaster managers with accurate, real-time information about multiple hazards; allowing decision makers to prepare for and respond to hazards more quickly and effectively, before disaster strikes.

“DisasterAWARE offers an unprecedented amount of reliable, real-time data and the most advanced predictive analysis tools to help decision-makers avoid catastrophes and save lives,” said PDCs Executive Director, Ray Shirkhodai, adding that the center’s goal is to help nations throughout the world use science and technology to protect people, property, and support economic prosperity.

The InAWARE system upgrade also includes significant enhancements from project partners Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) and PetaBencana.Id, both of which now feed important data into the system. During flooding in Jakarta in February, for example, InAWARE was able to consume information about nearly 300 flood zones within the city from public social media reports uploaded to the national reporting website. The site provides a mapping interface to residents and responding agencies where they can instantly report and view changing flood conditions and their impact to infrastructure systems.

“InAWARE v6 – and the information provided by HOT and PetaBencana.Id – has been enthusiastically embraced by BNPB leadership and staff as their ‘go to’ application for disaster preparedness and response,” noted PDC's Deputy Executive Director, Chris Chiesa who directs the InAWARE Program for the Center.  “We look forward to continuing to provide assistance to BNPB to fully leverage the new capabilities offered by InAWARE.”

Indonesia’s disaster management agency, BNPB, and Pacific Disaster Center have been collaborating to enhance Indonesia’s emergency management capacity since 2011. The national disaster management agency has shown a strong commitment to the use of technology for disaster management in Indonesia and has made continuous investments, including the use of InAWARE following a massive earthquake that triggered one of the worst Tsunami’s in recorded history, claiming the lives of more than 230,000 in 2004.

Indonesia’s current project activities are scheduled to continue with PDC and its other partners through May 2018, strengthening global collaboration to increase disaster resilience and reduce catastrophic losses from natural disasters in Indonesia and throughout the world. For more information, visit:

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About PDC:

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.