Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
Brief communication
02 Feb 2011
Brief communication |  | 02 Feb 2011

The Capacity Building programmes of GITEWS – visions, goals, lessons learned, and re-iterated needs and demands

T. Schlurmann and M. Siebert

Abstract. It was envisioned that the framework of the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS) should achieve an integral architecture and overarching technical design of an end-to-end tsunami early warning system (TEWS). In order to achieve this ambitious goal on a national and local level, a tailored set of capacity building measures has been started and implemented. The programme was meant and designed to meet requirements and urgent needs considering awareness raising campaigns, technical trainings and higher level education programs. These components have been integrated as complementary modules in order to ensure facilitating the early warning system to be operated, maintained and improved, and that institutions and people in coastal areas will respond adequately and timely in case of future tsunamis. Remarkable progress has been accomplished as well as programs and campaigns are being implemented in regard to a sustainable capacity development conducted by national institutions in Indonesia. Yet, local administrative and preparedness efforts on the Indonesian coastlines are still underdeveloped. This stems from the fact of missing links towards sustainable coastal zone management schemes on a broad local level. Yet, the demand and urgent need for an adequate and integrated disaster risk reduction and management addressing also other hazards in the region of interest is (still) substantial. Given the tragic loss of life and severe damages resulting from the December 2004 tsunami and recent series of severe earthquakes, the need for urgent mitigating action in the imperilled coastal regions of Sumatra and Java remains extremely high. The conceptual Capacity Building framework, its anticipated goals in the beginning of the project and, lately, the finally achieved objectives are promising. A significant contribution for mainstreaming scientific approaches and transfer methodological disaster risk reduction attempts towards other regions exposed to coastal hazards is still pending. Local authorities and researchers in tentative affected regions are now trained and enabled to disseminate and apply their knowledge and planning experience to other coastal regions in the area to help facilitating and multiplying effective disaster management plans and strategies. Yet, the Capacity Building framework within GITEWS also elucidated gaps in the early warning chain so that updated and to some extent re-iterated needs and demands in Capacity Building programs in any future research or development cooperation project are presented and discussed.