News receives the United Nations Public Service Award for ensuring integrated approaches in public sector institutions

On May 21, 2019 was awarded the United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA) for the category “Ensuring integrated approaches in public sector institutions”. The initiative has been recognized alongside its institutional partner, Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana.

The UNPSA  is internationally recognized as the most prestigious award for work in public service. In the words of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “it rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide”. The competition is run annually with the aim of promoting outstanding organizations as examples of public service’s critical role  in communities around the globe.

“As weather patterns intensify and become increasingly unpredictable, cities in Indonesia are regularly faced with the challenges of extreme weather events. A lack of access to verified, real-time data compromises the ability to make informed decisions for planning and response, resulting in ineffective resource management and conflict. By providing free real-time disaster information, and making it possible to safely and easily share it, leverages capacities for all residents to equally participate in decision-making.“

In light of this achievement, Yayasan Peta Bencana will be participating in the United Nations Public Service Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan next month. The three day event includes a series of workshops, plenary sessions, and an awards ceremony surrounding this year’s theme of “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through effective Delivery of Services, Innovative Transformation and Accountable Institutions”.

We are honored by the recognition and grateful to be able to share this award with all project partners including USAID OFDA, BNPB, PDC, HOT, as well as with all residents of Indonesia and contributors to the platform for reducing risk together! is a part of the USAID BNPB InAWARE: Disaster Management Early Warning and Decision Support Capacity Enhancement Project in Indonesia.

Learning from Lombok and Palu: A multi-stakeholder workshop to build disaster preparedness and reduce disaster risk

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Lombok in July and a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi in September, left significant destruction, damage, and loss.

Over the last few months, Yayasan Peta Bencana has been speaking with disaster managers, emergency response teams, community volunteer groups, and student volunteers who experienced the events or were directly involved in their aftermath, in order to learn about the biggest challenges faced.

Difficulties in delivering aid and difficulties for evacuation, largely arose due to a lack of access to timely information. A lack of real-time situational updates about access conditions amplified confusion and risk on the islands;  response teams were unable to reach shelters and victims due to unexpected disruptions to access. Residents trying to evacuate faced similar challenges.

The real-time flood map,, has proven that crowdsourced information sharing reduces disaster risk and assists in relief efforts. Recognizing the value of community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization, Yayasan Peta Bencana is now working on expanding the map to support other disaster events, including earthquakes.

As part of our efforts to develop a disaster mapping platform for earthquakes, Yayasan Peta Bencana has been engaging in processes of co-design and co-research with a wide variety of stakeholders. In November 2018, we held a research/design workshop in collaboration with Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS). The workshop – which brought together government emergency disaster managers, journalists, students, academics, volunteer groups, community leaders, and climate agencies – provided a multi-perspective insight into strategies for earthquake response and disaster preparedness as participants shared their unique concerns, experiences, and knowledges.

In order to stimulate discussion, the workshop was structured as a game based on real scenarios experienced during the recent earthquakes. The game was successful in encouraging participants to become quickly involved in evaluating informational flows, identifying key gaps, and discussing opportunities to support response using crowdsourced information.

We were very excited to see that at the end of the workshop, very different stakeholder groups (who shared that they otherwise would not have the opportunity to speak together) were exchanging contacts; participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to learn from diverse groups, and were eager to build capacities to work more closely together in preparedness for future events.

Yayasan Peta Bencana Engages with Red Cross Indonesia Volunteer Corps

quote open    … is a useful tool to build resilience at a community level as it provides a way to easily share time critical information of flood affected areas with various communities and neighborhoods. The ability to share flood information without having to download a new application or register a username is a unique and highly effective way to crowd-source disaster information and build a network of active resident reporters… quote close

On August 11th, 2018 Yayasan conducted a workshop for PMI Korps Suka Rela (Red Cross Indonesia Volunteer Corps). 51 participants attended the workshop, representing over 13 different universities from Semarang. The workshop was opened by Mr Bambang Kristiyono, as a representative of the Semarang PMI office. Mr Kristiyono shared the enthusiasm of PMI in hosting the workshop, as they were excited to have a platform through which their network could easily share flood information in real-time. He mentioned that this would not only support their own response efforts, but also provide a way to easily share time critical information of flood affected areas with various communities and neighborhoods, thereby helping to build resilience at a community level as well.

During a hands on training session, participants were eager to test various methods of reporting flood information to the platform, as they were active on many social media channels already integrated into

Participants commented specifically on the ease of reporting through, mentioning that the ability to share flood information without having to download a new application or register a username, was unique, highly effective and would enable the platform to enroll a wide network of resident reporters who would be encouraged to share flood information in an uncumbersome way.

During the session, participants were also eager to learn about the mechanisms of verifying crowd-sourced reports, raising questions about how the platform ensures the validity of data. Intrigued by the verification methods employed by, participants requested the integration of additional social media channels and requested for the platform to expand to other hazards.

Participants were eager to spread the use of the platform with their own networks, expressing the value of sharing the use of crowd-sourced data for building community resilience



Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, is a free web-based platform that produces megacity-scale visualizations of disasters using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations in real time. The platform harnesses the heightened use of social media and instant messaging during emergency events to gather confirmed situational updates from street level, in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time consuming data processing. These verified user reports are displayed alongside relevant emergency data collected by local and government agencies. By integrating localized knowledge from a variety of sources into a single, robust platform, is able to provide a comprehensive overview of disaster events, enabling residents, humanitarian agencies, and government agencies to make more informed decisions during emergencies.

Since its debut in 2013 (as, the platform has been used by millions of resident users to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency flood events; it has also been adopted by the National Emergency Management Agency (BNPB) to monitor flood events, improve response times, and share time-critical emergency information with residents. The platform has enabled greater information sharing and data coordination among residents and government agencies, fostering equitable and collaborative resilience to climate change.

Currently supporting a coverage area with over 50 million residents in Jabodetabek, Surabaya, and Bandung, has proven that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces flood risk and assists in relief efforts. In the 2015 World Disaster Report of the International Federation of the Red Cross, the project was recommended as a model for community engagement in relation to disaster response. In 2016, the Federal Communication Commission of the United States also recommended the project as a best practice regarding disaster information crowdsourcing. is now being further developed to address additional hazards and other geographies in Indonesia.

Find out more about who we are, how we started, and how we work!



Mahtani N. and E. Turpin. “Neuroecologies of Attention & Intelligence in the Megacity: Learning with,” in Perspecta 51: Becoming Media The Yale Architectural Journal, November 2018.


Mahtani, Nashin. “Impressions of Disaster: Neuroscience, Design, and Attention
in Post-Internet Indonesia,” in e-flux Architecture, August, 2017.


Turpin, E., and T. Holderness. “From Social Media to GeoSocial Intelligence: Experiments with Crowdsourcing Civic Co-Management for Flood Response in Jakarta, Indonesia,” in Social Media for Government Services, eds. Surya Nepal, Cécile Paris, Dimitrios Georgakopoulos (Springer, 2016).

Holderness, T., and E. Turpin, “How tweeting about floods became a civic duty in Jakarta,” in The Guardian, Public Leaders Network, 25 January 2016.


Holderness T. and E. Turpin. “Floods in Jakarta? Tweeting Now,” in Strategic Review 5.1(October-December 2015): 26-35.

Holderness T., and E. Turpin. Assessing the Role of Social Media for Civic
Co-Management During Monsoon Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia
, SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, GeoSocial Intelligence Working Group White Paper 01 (June 2015).


Turpin, E., T. Holderness, and G. Quaggiotto. “Combining ‘Big’ and ‘Small’ Data to Build Urban Resilience in Jakarta,” United Nations Global Pulse Blog, April 2014.


Turpin, E., A. Bobbette, and M. Miller, eds. Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation (Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).

Get Involved

The community is made up of a diverse group of volunteers, local community leaders, and professionals dedicated to building capacities for community-based disaster co-management. There are a number of ways to get involved!

Support open data & open software for climate adaptation:

Help us keep the map running as a free platform, so that everyone in Indonesia can have access to time critical information!

To donate via wire transfer, please email

Become a Sustaining Partner: 

Partner with Yayasan Peta Bencana to increase employee engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility Programs! We also work with organisations to provide customized alerts to ensure the safety of your belongings and staff.

Become a Risk Ambassador:

Are you passionate about spreading disaster awareness and increasing preparedness in your communities? Sign up to become a risk ambassador – no experience needed, we will provide you the support you need!

Technology and Training:     

Yayasan Peta Bencana provides training to organizations, embassies, schools, and volunteer communities. Through digital literacy workshops we provide the necessary skills to safely and easily access and share time-critical information – leveraging capacities for everyone to participate in critical decision-making and boost community resilience. We can customize training to meet the needs of your organization.

Sign up for a training by sending us an email at!

Bring the crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform to your location:

The platform is now being further developed to address additional hazards and other geographies in South East Asia. If you would like to see a crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform implemented in your area, please contact us at


Contact us for current volunteer activities, or if you would like to get involved in other ways! We would love to hear from you!