Researchers help Indonesia better prepare for natural disasters

Rescuers paddle a rubber dinghy carrying people rescued from their homes down a flooded street in Indonesia

Logistics and operational research experts from Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) will help Indonesian disaster preparedness and response organisations improve their decision-making capabilities on how to prepare for natural disasters.

The Lancaster team will present their work alongside computer scientists from the University of Indonesia at the Effective Response to Natural Disasters: The RESPOND-OR-X Decision Support System (DSS) workshop in Jakarta on November 30, 2023.

Members of the international multi-disciplinary RESPOND-OR-X project will meet national and regional disaster countermeasure agencies, non-governmental organisation representatives, and academic experts.

RESPOND-OR-X is an extension of the RESilient Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disaster Response through OR (RESPOND-OR) project, funded by UKRI GCRF/EPSRC. RESPOND-OR-X was funded by UKRI GNCA grant funding, with ongoing support from the Global Advancement Fund (GAF) of Lancaster University. It is led by the LUMS’ Centre for Transport and Logistics (CENTRAL) and involves Universitas Indonesia. The workshop is funded by Lancaster University and is supported by BNPB (The Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure) and Humanitarian Forum Indonesia (HFI).

The RESPOND-OR/RESPOND-OR-X Decision Support System (DSS) aims to help Indonesia better prepare its response to natural disasters such as flooding, and volcanic eruptions.

Distinguished Professor Konstantinos Zografos, Director of the Centre for Transport and Logistics (CENTRAL) at LUMS, and Principal Investigator on the RESPOND-OR and RESPOND-OR-X projects, will be among the speakers, alongside representatives of Indonesian project partners and supporters.

Other members of the RESPOND-OR-X project speaking at the event include Professor Heru Suhartanto, of University of Indonesia; and Professor Juliana Sutanto, of Monash University, Australia (formerly with Lancaster University).

Professor Zografos said: “The work of CENTRAL is committed to addressing significant real-world problems and their impacts. Indonesia is afflicted by many different natural disasters. Through RESPOND-OR and RESPOND-OR-X, we developed a DSS that includes mathematical models and solution algorithms which incorporate real-world complexities, as well as the needs and resources of organisations on the ground responding to natural disasters. The DSS supports Assisted Evacuation Decisions of disaster-impacted areas, and the routing and scheduling of disaster response teams, considering efficiency and fairness criteria.

“The RESPOND-OR/RESPOND-OR-X DSS can support stakeholders in governmental and non-governmental agencies to improve their preparation and responses when these disasters occur, mitigating their impacts on the affected population.

“At this workshop, we will demonstrate and explain the use of the RESPOND-OR-X Decision Support System, as well as the potential benefits of the system, and receive feedback from its potential users.”

Representatives from Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency, provincial Regional Disaster Management Agencies, and Non-Governmental Organisations will be present at the workshop, along with academics from information technology departments at Indonesian universities.An aerial view of flooded streets and fields in Indonesia.

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