Building the capacity of communities to address their own development needs
Despite being classified as a middle income country, many Indonesians have yet to feel the impact of the country’s prosperity, as many as half of all Indonesians still live either below or close to the national poverty line. In parallel, Indonesia remains one of the world’s most disaster prone countries with 1,525 disasters occurring in 2014 alone resulting in 2.66 million people displaced. In this context ACTED focused in 2014 on providing communities with skills and knowledge to build a brighter future for themselves including community-based disaster risk management and conservation agriculture techniques.
Early warning systems and capacity building to reduce the risk of natural hazards
ACTED’s main activities concentrated around building the capacity of communities in Malaka district, West Timor, to prepare and respond to natural disasters facing their communities on an annual basis. In 2014, a local radio station was launched broadcasting across 33 communities to act as an early warning system in case of a disaster. At the same time, village disaster management committees were provided with a series of capacity building trainings to prepare for and respond to disasters within their communities and evacuation points were equipped with safe water and sanitation facilities
Piloting conservation agriculture techniques with vulnerable farmers
In parallel, 2014 saw ACTED launch its conservation agriculture programme in Malaka district, West Timor that aims to increase resilience amongst resource poor and vulnerable farmers in the district. In recent years these communities have suffered from reduced crop yields due to land degradation and decreasing annual rainfall. ACTED’s pilot conservation agriculture programme across 17 farmers groups encourages farmers to adopt new conservation agriculture techniques such as cover crops, mulching and permanent hole planting amongst others.
Empowering civil society actors to address their own development needs
In 2014 ACTED continued its work with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Medan, North Sumatra. Through ACTED’s grassroots organizational capacity building approach, including a series of tailor-made training sessions and bi-annual capacity assessments, ACTED supported five CSOs to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to adequately represent and advocate for the needs of their community.
Supporting sustainable and profitable farming
Looking ahead to 2015, ACTED will continue its work with rural communities in Malaka district through its conservation agriculture programmes. Due to the success of the programme in 2014, activities will be expanded to a further 13 farmers groups in the coming year ensuring more farmers and their communities have improved household food security and nutrition