Indonesia has launched a new Disaster Recovery Index to measure the progress of communities affected by natural disasters in their country in 2010.
The initiative, with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), will focus on the economic recovery of the areas hit by the 2010 Mount Merapi eruption in central Java and destructive mud flows in east Java.
National Disaster Management Agency Deputy Director Bambang Sulistianto said Wednesday that surveys showed officials they need to focus on the economic factors of recovery.
"We observe the pre-disaster, during disaster and then later during reconstruction phases, and also post-rehab reconstruction phase. During the reconstruction-rehabilitation phase, the index may rise since there are still grants, but after the rehabilitation reconstruction is completed, there is no further relief. The question is, whether they can still improve or descend back or even fall further into a weaker position."
The DRI will measure 22 variables, including infrastructure, housing and employment, to determine how communities are recovering.
(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.)