Taking stock of decentralized disaster risk reduction in Indonesia
The Sendai Framework, which outlines the global course on disaster risk reduction until 2030, places strong importance on the role of local government in disaster risk reduction. An aim of decentralization is to increase the influence and authority of local government in decision making. Yet, there is limited empirical evidence of the extent, character and effects of decentralization in current disaster risk reduction implementation, and of the barriers that are most critical to this. This paper evaluates decentralization in relation to disaster risk reduction in Indonesia, chosen for its recent actions to decentralize governance of DRR coupled with a high level of disaster risk. An analytical framework was developed to evaluate the various dimensions of decentralized disaster risk reduction, which necessitated the use of a desk study, semi-structured interviews and a gap analysis. Key barriers to implementation in Indonesia included: capacity gaps at lower institutional levels, low compliance with legislation, disconnected policies, issues in communication and coordination and inadequate resourcing. However, any of these barriers are not unique to disaster risk reduction, and similar barriers have been observed for decentralization in other developing countries in other public sectors.