Technology’s Role in Disaster Management and Risk Governance

Atma Connect’s Head of Product Aisyah Gunung shared insights on using innovative technology in disaster management when she spoke at the ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster Management panel on August 24, 2023 in Indonesia.

“It was an honor to showcase Atma Connect’s initiatives and share insights on leveraging technology for community resilience and disaster management,” says Gunung, who leads and creates the vision for the AtmaGo platform and award-winning app at the intersection of tech, field operations, and real-world impact.

Here is Gunung’s recap of four Atma guiding principles for building resilient communities and robust disaster management strategies:

1. Unite people: “Instead of polarizing people, we need to make sure technology is facilitating social cohesion, enabling communities to come together, collaborate, and create collective actions to strengthen disaster and climate resilience.”

2. Put people first: “Human-centered design is vital for creating easily adopted systems by communities, governments, humanitarian agencies, and stakeholders involved in disaster management. Coupled with digital and information literacy programs, this approach bridges the gap in tech adoption and community engagement.”

3. Provide transparency: “Data transparency between ground-level happenings and command-hub monitoring streamlines resource allocation. Technology integration and utilizing what is already available will enhance the efficiency for implementation — no need to always start things from scratch.”

4. Build trust: “When there is a disaster, people are not going to change their behavior — It’s crucial to establish a trusted network before a crisis occurs. An independent evaluation showcases the power of such networks — 30% of AtmaGo users acted on warnings during disasters, compared with 18% of users on a major mainstream social media network. This translates to $106M in avoided damage and $4.6M in saved healthcare spending annually in Jakarta.” (Visit Atma’s website to view the report by the Centre for Innovation Policy and Governance.)

The moderator for this panel was Young Ern Ling, Singapore Civil Defense Force. Co-panelists included David Lallemant, Nanyang Technological University and the Earth Observatory of Singapore; Joanne Loh, ESRI Malysia; and Veronica Gabaldon, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation.

Thank you to the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), and Singapore Civil Defence Force for this opportunity. Events like this one ignite impactful conversations and collaborations.

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