The aim of this research is to analyse the impacts of disaster management activities carried out by the Ford Foundation (FF) in cooperation with its partners in Aceh and Yogyakarta. These activities had the additional aim of promoting the achievement of gender equity and social justice in the short term and the long term. The question is whether disaster response activities are actually able to promote the achievement of gender equity and social justice. And if not, what kind of program approach and strategy should be adopted?
To answer this question, data and information were collected through a series of in‐depth interviews and focus group discussions with FF, its partners, and program beneficiaries. Data and information collection was carried out to (a) be able to describe the types of partnership built by FF and its partners in Aceh and Yogyakarta; (b) identify early signs of the contribution of disaster management programs to gender equity and social justice in the target beneficiaries, in both the short term and long term; and (c) document good practices and lessons learned from program implementation.
Traditionally, the types of partnership built by FF and its partners are what are known as ‘bilateral partnerships’. In this kind of partnership, there is a direct link between the partner and FF through program officers (POs) whose role is largely determined by the granting of funding approval. This type of partnership was used in disaster response work in Aceh, which involved five organisations: World Agroforestry Centre‐ICRAF, IIEF, KAPAL Perempuan, Komnas Perempuan, and YBUL. In contrast to Aceh, the type of partnership build in Yogyakarta was partnership through a consortium. The 12 NGOs in the consortium formed a network called the FF Network in which one of the twelve acted solely as network manager. Through this form of partnership, it was proposed that the partners plan and develop an integrated program. The Post‐Earthquake Integrated Recovery Program in Bantul or IRP targeted five sub‐villages in Bantul district. The integrated program developed consisted of: (1) revolving funds for housing rehabilitation and reconstruction, which was the core program for the work in each sub‐village, (2) revolving funds for women’s micro and small enterprises, (3) activities to design of an earthquake resistant housing code; (4) activities to monitor the transparency and accountability of public and government funds; (5) activities related to physical and psycho‐social health, and (6) activities to revitalise art..
In general, it can be said that some of the programs clearly had great potential for contributing to gender equity and social justice in the long term; others perhaps not. Clearly there are always opportunities for promoting gender equity and social justice, but on the other hand, there are always obstacles or challenges that narrow these opportunities, or even close them off altogether. In the case of Yogyakarta, these challenges were the difficulties in harmonising activities in an integrated program package, in selecting the ‘right’ beneficiaries, the lack of strategies to mainstream gender and achieve gender equity, and the lack of an exit strategy, which threatened the sustainability of all the programs. Seen from the program management cycle perspective, these challenges arose from sloppy, near‐ sighted program planning, which was the logical consequence of forming an ad‐hoc, unprogrammed consortium. In turn, all these challenges contributed to the failure to achieve the pre‐conditions set for achievement of gender equity and social justice in the long term.