In the beginning of September, members of the TRANSCEND team travelled to Jakarta to prepare and kick-start the household survey together with the Indonesian project partners from BRIN. Facilitated by our BRIN colleagues, we started the preparations by meeting the enumerators and coordinators from Data Chief, a company closely connected to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) that was hired to conduct the survey in several neighborhoods in Jakarta. During the meeting, we presented and discussed the household survey questionnaire and the pre-test as well as our sampling approach. Data Chief introduced technical details and together, we clarified all questions of the enumerators.

The next day, the enumerators went to the field to conduct the pre-test. Guided by colleagues from BRIN, we joined one group of enumerators to get impressions of the sampling site and the implementation of the survey. The site, located along the banks of the West Canal is composed of compact, low-rise buildings and experiences frequent flooding in some low-lying areas. Informal exchanges with local residents and observations showed that investments in pumps and the drainage system have already reduced the risk of flooding in some areas, however the fear of future extreme floods remains. Besides the sampling site, BRIN colleagues also showed us a local social housing complex (Rusanawa), which is a resettlement site for riverbank settlers.

The following day, feedback from the pre-test was collected from the enumerators. Using both, written feedback filled directly in the survey app and personal feedback discussed in a joint meeting with all enumerators provided a lot of helpful insights that we and our colleagues from BRIN will use to improve the questionnaire and tailor it even better to the Indonesian context for the actual survey.

On our last day, we visited another sampling site. Situated along the Ciliwung river and without any flood protection, the site had experienced severe flooding the past. In a meeting with the local leader, his wife and several local residents, we learned about the last extreme flood in 2019 and its consequences. We actually held the meeting on the remnants of the flood – a large pile of former mud and waste from the flooding that destroyed several houses.

Besides the preparation of the household survey and the field visits, our stay in Jakarta was very useful for in-depth exchange with our project partners from BRIN. Many interesting discussions around current challenges in Jakarta, expected future changes in local politics, vulnerability patters, and other relevant topics showed our common interests and led to several ideas for future collaboration.