Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC) of Universitas Syiah Kuala in collaboration with the University College London (UCL) have been awarded a prestigious research grant entitled: “Fostering Resilient Recovery in Marginal Communities via School-based Hubs” funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Equitable Resilience. The award is one of over 140 projects, across 18 calls that form the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) GCRF Collective Programme, which is designed to enhance the overall impact across UKRI’s six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios in global health, education, sustainable cities, food systems, conflict and resilience. GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund supporting cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses the global issues faced by developing countries, and forms part of the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance commitment.
The awarded project is a partnership between UCL’s EPICentre (Earthquake and People Interaction Centre), UCL’s EFID Centre (Engineering for International Development), Universitas Syiah Kuala’s Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC) in Banda Aceh, and Tadulako University in Palu. The research project is led by Prof. Helene Joffe from the UCL, and the Indonesian team is led by Dr. Ella Meilianda from TDMRC. The research project will last for 3 years. It is also an opportunity for Syiah Kuala University to expand its collaboration with Tadulako University under the framework of Tripartit Capacity Building for Disaster-prone University Partnerships that has been endorsed by the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia since 2018.
As a multidisciplinary applied research institution, TDMRC Syiah Kuala University has been being influential in promoting and disseminating improved scientific research outputs on disaster risk reduction in Indonesia and around some disaster prone countries in Asia. The realization of this institution is a form of the Government and the university response to the 2004 great disaster that occurred in the Indian Ocean. The working title of TDMRC is “Communicating Science, Enhancing Resilience“. Dr. Ella Meilianda, the TDMRC’s researcher and Program Manager, has been previously led the TDMRC’s team in collaboration with UCL through research project under the Newton Fund Scheme and coordinated the joint fieldwork with The UK’s Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) for the post-disaster field assessment in the Central Sulawesi in November 2018.
In this opportunity, this abbreviated ‘School-Hubs’ project looks to foster the resilient recovery of the marginal communities of Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, which were displaced by the 28th September 2018 earthquake and tsunami, through a school-based rehabilitation and reconstruction. An interdisciplinary team of academics and NGO practitioners from the UK and Indonesia will co-develop an intervention that integrates psycho-social disaster support, hygiene and physical environment, and which centres around schools as hubs for community engagement and empowerment. This multi-pronged intervention will recreate not just the former status quo for these marginal communities but a more resilient recovery.