Enhancing Citizen Engagement in the Face of Climate Change Risks: A Case Study of the Flood Early Warning System and Health Information System in Semarang City, Indonesia
This case study describes how two climate resilience action projects in Semarang City, Indonesia, were able to provide new mechanisms allowing better engagement between the Semarang city government and its citizens. With the introduction of the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS), flood-prone communities in the Beringin River Basin are now able to evacuate to safe shelters before flood incidents occur. Through the Health Information and Early Warning System (HIEWS), citizens can access real-time information related to dengue fever cases in the city. Although the focus areas are different, both projects aim to help communities become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, specifically floods and vector-borne disease. We find similar patterns in the two cases, in which efforts to enhance community participation are essential to guarantee the success of the projects. Enhanced community engagement is achieved through the thoughtful consideration of local knowledge and social networks, intensive assistance to increase awareness and motivation of the community, and understanding governance structures to ensure that funds are allocated through formal handover processes to continue and expand the results of the interventions. These findings are useful and important to guide any climate change adaptation projects toward better sustainability and ownership, especially in the application of an early warning system or information system that requires technology, sustainable budget allocation from the local government to operate and maintain the system, and buy-in from local communities.
KeywordsFlood early warning system Disaster preparedness Health information system Climate change resilience Climate change adaptation Climate change governance
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