Health Systems Reform and Ethics: The Earthquake in Central Java Province 27 May 2006

Start date
January 1, 2007
End date
December 31, 2009
Project code
Total grant
Contact person
Jens Seeberg

This project followed a number of households in earthquake affected areas of Yogyakarta and Bantul to assess impact of the disaster at household level and to assess the ability of disaster mitigation efforts and reconstruction programmes to address the difficulties faced at household level both in terms of health implications and in terms of reconstruction. Analysis of the material generated has so far emphasized the reconstruction process and the variability across neighbourhoods concerning access to and management of reconstruction resources. This part of the study shows how the distribution of vulnerability to disaster across a given community is both a product of inequitable access to resource prior to the triggering event (e.g. the earthquake) and is open for negotiation in the context of influx of disaster management resources in the post-disaster scenario. Due to an extended period of fieldwork it has been possible to follow reconstruction processes over almost two years, thereby providing a rich source of information. Based on theoretical analysis of empirical findings, a general model for the study of disaster has been developed. The model implies that any disaster combines four dimensions: energy, time, space and vulnerability (resilience). The actualized distribution/concentration of these dimensions determines the impact of the disaster. It is hoped that this model has relevance for a range of disciplines, and in particular for multi-disciplinary disaster research collaboration across the divide between natural and social science.