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The adaptive governance of natural disasters: Insights from the 2010 Mount Merapi Eruption in Indonesia


  • Darine Bakkour
  • Geoffroy Enjorlas
  • Robert Kast
  • Jean-Claude Thouret


An adaptive governance system strives to enhance the capacity of institutions to better coordinate between them. As such, the main objective of an adaptive governance system would be to put learning by experience processes in place, and thus to improve the adaptive capacity of the concerned system. The contribution of this paper is twofold: (1) to establish an assessment framework of the adaptive capacity of a system in the field of natural disasters and (2) to explore the governance system of Mt. Merapi, Indonesia. Firstly, this paper establishes an assessment framework for the adaptive capacity of a system in the field of natural disasters. This assessment framework contains six key parameters as follows: (1) context description, (2) institutions, (3) infrastructures, (4) economic and financial resources, (5) technology, and (6) information and skills. Secondly, using a field survey, which was conducted after the 2010 volcanic eruption and raintriggered lahars on Mt. Merapi, Indonesia, we underline a number of barriers, such as lack of appropriate infrastructures, complex interactions across institutions, dependence on funds from external parties, and rudimentary quantitative documentation on both human and material loss, that weaken the adaptive capacity of the rescue system. More efforts are therefore needed in order to improve the adaptive capacity and, thus, the adaptive governance at Mt. Merapi system. This study constitutes a significant step toward enhancing our understanding of the adaptive governance approach in the context of natural disasters in developing countries.

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  • Darine Bakkour & Geoffroy Enjorlas & Robert Kast & Jean-Claude Thouret, 2013. "The adaptive governance of natural disasters: Insights from the 2010 Mount Merapi Eruption in Indonesia," Working Papers 13-11, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Oct 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:13-11

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    Cited by:

    1. Rindrasih Erda, 2015. "Community Based Tourism In Crisis Management Due To Natural Disaster," Tourism Research Institute, Journal of Tourism Research, vol. 11(1), pages 81-101, September.
    2. Bahul Shrestha & Pairote Pathranarakul, 2018. "Nepal Government’s Emergency Response to the 2015 Earthquake: A Case Study," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 7(8), pages 1-27, August.

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