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Transition from disaster recovery to sustainable economic and social development - In 2011, ACTED assisted disaster-affected communities in their final transition from recovery to development in order to increase their resilience to future crises, both natural and economic. Projects contributed to the recovery of farming and fishing livelihoods and the capacity of local government in Nias, North Sumatra. As part of the transition to sustainable development and in parallel to increasing economic opportunity, ACTED began a new project to address issues of child labour in rural communities in the North and West districts of the island.
Beyond recovery: final steps in the transition to development and disaster resiliency
Recovery from the 2004 tsunami and 2005 Sumatran earthquake has been long and difficult because many communities affected were poor and vulnerable to economic and social crises even before the devastating natural disasters. In 2011 ACTED completed a project that assisted over 3,000 farmers and fishermen to not only recover, but to improve their livelihoods and access new economic opportunities beyond the pre-crisis situation. The second phase of this intervention provided training to previously established Self-Help Groups (SHG) in post-harvest processing of local products including cacao, coconut, sweet potatoes, and fish, as well as business skills. Cash grants for savings and loan activities were distributed and the SHGs were promoted to local microfinance institutions to stimulate microenterprise activities. Considering the increasing decentralisation of government development funding, ACTED trained village and sub-district authorities to assess community needs, understand the changing legal framework, and develop proposals. Local marine carpenters were also trained and 100 boats constructed and distributed to fishermen’s groups to improve asset ownership ratios in vulnerable coastal communities. Improved individual livelihoods and community development will contribute to mitigating the impact of future disasters and speeding recovery in this area which remains at high risk for earthquakes and coastal hazards.
Ensuring social protection in a growing economy through local advocacy
Indonesia’s status as a middle-income country is assured by recent growth rates exceeding 5% per year. Not all of the country’s provinces have benefitted equally however, and there is growing concern for the social and environmental costs that this growth is beginning to bear. In Nias, ACTED observed a high rate of child labour and school abandonment in high-growth areas of the informal sector including cash crop cultivation and construction material production. An intervention was launched at the end of the year to improve the social context of economic recovery and development on the island by addressing this problem with multi-stakeholder initiatives. Working with Indonesian partner NGO Pusat Kajian dan Perlindungan Anak (PKPA), the project aims to train local authorities and business representatives and to make parents and communities aware of the long-term impacts on children of forgoing education for hazardous work. Local regulations will be drafted in line with international conventions on child rights, businesses will be encouraged to adopt voluntary codes of conduct prohibiting child labour in production, services, and supply, and at least 150 child labourers will be reintegrated into equivalency education and vocational training.
Building local civil society capacity and increasing preparedness
Recognising the strength of civil society in Indonesia, ACTED plans to develop further partnerships with local organisations in 2012 to implement projects in new thematic and geographic areas of the country. ACTED will continue to target remote and vulnerable populations to address gaps at local levels in the implementation of the government’s national strategies in key areas such as disaster management, preparedness, and rural livelihoods. ACTED’s added value in Indonesia is based on global expertise in institutional capacity-building, as well as innovative approaches to assist communities to maximize the opportunities of rapid development, while ensuring that the social and environmental costs are minimised. ACTED will also remain ready to rapidly respond to small- and medium-scale emergencies in current areas of intervention, as well as participate in the international response to large-scale disasters.
Patners in 2011
Canadian Red Cross (CRC)