TRANSOCAP II: Building adaptive capacity through (trans-) local social capital – sea level rise and resilience of coastal communities and households in selected Indonesian second-tier cities

TRANSOCAP II focuses on coastal communities in second-tier Indonesian cities, which show high socio-ecological vulnerabilities towards sea level changes and coastal hazards. In the Global South, social networks play an important role for successful adaptation processes of local communities and households, especially in situations where governmental disaster risk reduction is insufficient. Through networks of trust, people are able to organize the access to loans, remittances, information, and knowledge, which are valuable resources for response capacities, adaptation, innovations, and social resilience. The central research question is: How are (trans-) local social networks formed, and how does the resulting social capital function as a resource in collective adaptation of local communities in socially and culturally diverse second-tier cities against flooding and sea level rise? The project understands social capital also as a translocal phenomenon with the aim to overcome the predominant local and place-based focus within hazard research. We are planning to investigate the structure and quality of local and translocal social capital in the Indonesian regional urban centers of Denpasar (Bali) and Padang (Sumatra). These cities extend the case study areas of the first funding period (Jakarta, Semarang, and the rural districts Kendal and Demak). The main assumption of TRANSOCAP II is, that translocal social networks play a stronger role in the diverse cultural contexts of Denpasar and Padang, than compared to the former study areas Jakarta and Semarang. A further methodological extension of the first funding period is a more detailed analysis of social networks by adding a networks analysis to the applied mixed-methods approach, which further entail focus-group discussions, a questionnaire household survey, and expert workshops.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fieldwork in Indonesia had to be postponed until 2022. In the meantime, additional qualitative interviews and an online survey have been conducted among Indonesian migrant communities in Germany and the Netherlands. We aim to get a deeper understanding of the “other” side of translocal social networks, specifically how Indonesians living abroad can support their families in Indonesia in responding to coastal hazards and environmental change. Insight created from the results of this additional data collection will help to draw a more encompassing picture of the dynamics of translocal social capital in the context of adapting to climate change and sea level rise.