Eko Teguh Paripurno
This profile was prepared when Eko Teguh Paripurno was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Working with communities endangered by volcanoes, floods, forest fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, Eko Paripurno is finding new ways for citizens and government to anticipate and respond to nature's sometimes violent mood swings. The Indonesian government's response to disaster is often criticized but, until Eko, no one was helping the people plan, prepare, and change the way they understand disasters. Eko has developed a system for early warning, rapid response, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and prevention that shifts the balance of responsibility and authority in crises more towards communities. Eko is also changing local government perspectives by advocating for sound planning in development, construction, and natural resource use–all of which can lessen the damage wrought by unforeseen natural catastrophes. While academics have discussed the importance of better resource management by local government, there has been little attempt at reforming.