Eighteen Integral Members opted in to respond together to the Sulawesi earthquake in Indonesia in October 2018. They worked closely with the Jakomkris network, made up of 38 Indonesian Churches and Christian faith-based organisations …
In 2016 Integral Member Tear Netherlands worked on forming Jakomkris and in the Integral Sulawesi response Tear acts as
Can you tell us about the role of Tear Netherlands in forming Jakomkris? Why was there a need for the network? What problem did it solve?
We saw that Indonesia is very disaster prone and we wanted to work to reduce the risk and impact of these disasters. But we did not want to do this in a standard partner-project way, because civil society in Indonesia is well established and organisations have considerable capacity. The intention from the onset was to work in cooperation with multiple churches and local organisations, so together they could increase their impact to reduce the vulnerability of communities in Indonesia. In 2016 we started some explorative research together with our long-term partner. We consulted organisations and churches to explore the relevance of working together in a network on church-based DRR and DR, in a more effective, sustainable and locally driven way.
Jakomkris officially started in 2017 and exists to bring the Christian community together in Indonesia to cooperate in Disaster Response and church and community based resilience building.
What is the role of Tear Netherlands as the Lead Agency for other Integral Members to support Jakomkris?
We hold the donor relations and communication on funding and reporting. Together with the shared country team of Tear Netherlands and Tearfund UK, we contact and support the partners on project design, progress and reporting.
Can you tell us about how the current Integral/Jakomkris proposal came about?
After the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia we were in contact with key member organisations of Jakomkris. They wanted to respond but the scale of the disaster was quite unclear then and was becoming more and more overwhelming by the day. Therefore the members were quite hesitant to offer to be the lead in the response with other Jakomkris member organisations. Then Tear Netherlands contacted Food for the Hungry International and we were very thankful that they offered to support YFHI (FH Indonesia) in this response. With this support YFHI was confident to be the lead in the response, with two local partners as sub grantees.
We worked together to put together a proposal – the first phase has gone well and we are now going into the second phase of the Sulawesi response. It is an interesting localisation case study – Sulawesi set an example for localisation, with the government forcing international organisations to work via local partner organisations.
Since Jakomkris started, what have been your main reflections and learnings?
In May 2019 we had a consultation with the network, to learn from the past period and look to the future. We discussed what needs to be developed or improved to better respond to disasters and build resilience in the future. This has been a good opportunity to reflect on successes and challenges.
Our successes include the fact that trust and relationships are built, we have a shared DRR and DR vision, we have run successful DRs and increasingly more churches are trained in DRR. Also, Jakomkris is recognised as an important change agent nationally and internationally and as united organisations and churches, we can together lobby for the role of FBO’s in DR and DRR.
It is always a challenge to work together in a response with different organisational cultures. Our learnings include the need to manage mutual expectations by first understanding the existing capacity and resources of the coordinators and members. The organisational side of the network turned out to be more important than first imagined. This included legal status, official membership, standard operating procedures, and specific roles and responsibilities for the different types of members in disasters. These were not yet established as the network was still in its first year when the large scale disaster struck Lombok and soon after that Sulawesi. The Jakomkris network is now working hard to develop this organisational side further, so that they are better prepared to respond to the next big disaster.
In what way do you see collaboration is important in a DR?
Organisations can have greater impact if they work together and complement each other with their own fields of expertise. In the Jakomkris proposal each organisation worked in their sector of expertise. For instance one local organisation who is an expert in shelter, built the clinic in which the health specialist organisation could house their medical services. Organisations can also learn from each other and be mutually supportive when they work together.
What inspires you about Integral?
I feel many Member organisations are very open and willing to work together. There is a high level of trust and often little hesitation to spend funding via other Integral Members, if the Member in question is not responding or does not have a partner in the affected area.
I also communicated with many Integral Members when I started the research to set up Jakomkris. I was so struck how easily people made time for someone that they did not know to talk about their experiences in DRR and network building. They were all very positive and supportive and willing to link me up with their partners in Indonesia. I am very grateful for that!